A degree in directing is highly focused on the actor’s craft, creating a young artist who understands the needs and demands of both text and performer. Our Directing Program is not only ideal for students interested in becoming directors, but might also be of interest to writers and producers. The highly competitive program is only open to two to four students each year.
All students in the School of Drama will follow the same curriculum in the first two years, and those who wish to enroll in the Directing degree program must apply, audition and interview for a spot at the end of their second year; occasionally highly motivated students are admitted directly to the directing track as incoming first year students.
Directing students will take the same courses as those in the Acting program in order to give actors and directors a shared vocabulary and experience, and to deepen a student director’s understanding of the craft. Courses cover the acting process, text analysis, basic acting exercises, improvisation, improving your voice and speech, as well as techniques is a variety of disciplines such as combat, mask, dance and movement. As part of your degree, you will take liberal arts courses. You will also be required to take a course on the technical aspects of drama, serving as part of the running crew for a school production.
You will continue taking many of the acting classes, and additionally introduce advanced work in text analysis, scene design, lighting design, as well as directing practice, history and theory, with a rigorous production schedule that ensures you graduate with a clear sense of craft and the beginning of an artistic identity. Each semester you will be expected to assist a faculty or guest director on a main-stage play as well as direct a one act play in the spring semester.
Your fourth year will consist largely of various directing projects and scene work, such as assisting guest directors in preparation and rehearsal of major productions, preparing and directing a full length play. Numerous seminars with guest artists will be made available to you this year, as will the unique opportunity to be involved in the School of Drama’s year-long project Keys to the Kingdom. Actors and directors at UNCSA use this as an entrepreneurial opportunity to present independent work alongside the school’s major productions to encourage and explore artistic entrepreneurship. Fourth-year directors serve as the group’s Artistic Director, shaping an entire season of programming.
Due to the comprehensive training of the School of Drama’s Directing, graduates have been able to start careers in a wide variety of positions. Whether they are directing or acting, drama directing program graduates can be found working on Broadway and off-Broadway performances, in regional theaters and in film and television.
The Hollywood Reporter (THR) has ranked UNCSA No. 6 in the world on its list of the 25 best institutions for a drama degree. UNCSA is listed 2nd among the BFA programs in the U.S. highlighted by the magazine.
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