Skip to main content
Working As A Team/ Theatre Production Team

3: The Director and Production Concept


Students will understand the position of a director on a production team, and his/her responsibilities, a director’s concept and how to develop a concept. They will demonstrate their understanding through participation in activities and discussions and by creating a director’s concept for their chosen scene from Midsummer Night’s Dream.


Materials Needed

Paper/pencil to notate answers in group discussions

Tags for Group Discussion Leader, Scribe, Spokesperson

Director/Concept Handout


Internet website:

Slides: (NOTE: The teacher may want to cut some of these so only one question/picture/concept is displayed at a time--optional.)

    • Director/Director Concept Questions
    • Director/Director Concept Answers
    • Pictures of different concepts/past productions
    • Director/Director's Concept Handout

Responsibility labels and tape.

Related Documents


Lesson Directions

Anticipatory Set/Hook

Have students find their own space on the stage and sit on the floor. Ask: What are some of the character’s in Midsummer Night’s Dream? (the king, the fairy queen, lovers, puck, other people, other fairies) Instruct students to close their eyes and staying in their own space, improvise their idea of a fairy. Afterwards, have all the students sit down again and open their eyes. 



Step 1—Review the previous lesson.


Step 2—Transition: Call for several volunteers to perform their improvisations OR specifically ask certain students to share their interpretations. After all the performances,

Ask: Why were each of these renditions of fairies different from the others? (everyone is different, each person had a different idea—concept, etc.)

Explain: Today, we are going to answer two questions.


Step 3- Transition: Before answering those questions, count off the students into groups so each group has three people in it. Have students group their desks so that they can see the projection screen but isolate their team from other teams.


Step 4—Directions: 

1) Hand each group some paper to notate their group discussion. 

2) Have each person in the group take a different responsibility: the Discussion Leader; the Scribe; and the Spokesperson. 

3) Have each person tape their responsibility label to their shirt.


Step 5--Place the Question transparency (What is a director?) on the overhead. 

  • Have each group discuss the question (which is led by the discussion leader)
  • Notate their ideas and conclusions (written by the scribe). 
  • Give the students 3-5 minutes to come up with their answers.
  • Have each Spokesperson stand and present his/her group’s ideas and answers to the rest of the class.
  • Write the different ideas on the board, placing a check next to repeated ideas.
  • Discuss each idea as a class
  • Guide the class to a consensus that correlates with the handout’s definition. Bring out the impact of a director’s concept, including the following ideas : 

o It defines how to stage the play.

o It is a framework around which the production can be structured so that it says something

o It determines setting, lighting, costumes, characterization, moves - everything.

o It helps actors develop a movement vocabulary which expresses this and it will permeate every aspect of the production.

o The production concept informs every aspect of the production: Without it, the actors are just going through the motions – signifying nothing!

o Without it, the designers do not have a united purpose.


Check for understanding.


Step 6—Repeat Step 4 for the question: What is the Director’s Concept?


Step 7—Discussion: Remind students that each of them will be the director of their chosen scene from Midsummer Night’s Dream. 

Ask: Do each of you have to have the same concept for your production book? 

Why? Why not?

So what?

If that's how you see the play, what difference does it make? The words are still the same; you can't change them; so what's the point?


Explain: There must be almost as many different ways to approach directing a show as there are directors! Everything depends upon the personality and - to an extent - the experience of the director concerned. Some have everything worked out in detail before they get to the first reading, others work totally off the tops of their heads, and there are all stages in-between.


Step 8--Show the different director’s concepts of Midsummer Night’s Dream. Teacher may determine whether to show the all or some of the Power Point, transparencies, and website concepts, just a few from each, or only use one resource for the discussion.

Ask: How are the director’s concepts different for these productions different? 


Step 9—Instruction: Plan the concept of the production very carefully. Show the Process of Creating a Director’s Concept transparency

Consider the following:

What is the theme?

What is the message you want to the audience to leave the performance with?

How will the production be played? Why?

What is the tone of the play? 

What is the mood? How will that be conveyed?

How will it affect the lighting? The set design? The costumes?

What kind of pictures do you want for key moments in the play?

The pattern of the play – its major elements -- structure.

How do the characters function in the play? 
What are the demands on the actor? 
What are the technical demands / requirements? -- sound, lights, costume, sets? 
The context of the play (often this is a factor) 
Biography of the playwright’s life 
Playwright’s canon of work (other stuff) 
Period play written 
Period play takes place 
Critical response to play and earlier productions 
Old plays are often updated, new plays often need a different combination of techniques.

Tone and impact of the play 
The play’s intended effects – director’s ideas can be placed on them. 
Relative importance of elements 
Which elements are the most important? 
Pick elements that the script gives theatrical life to. 
Spectacle and sound can be most clearly manipulated – can add to play. 
Character, idea, story usually integral to the play itself.

Analysis and interpretation of the script

Write down a variety of ideas.

Be creative.

Notate the reasons for your choices?

Be sure to work out details.

Check for understanding.


Step 10—Individual Practice:  Have students work on individual Director’s Concepts for the scene they have chosen. Have them follow the above method to help them. Check with each individual as they work to help them flesh out their ideas and develop a concept and put it into a sentence.

Check for understanding.


Step 11—If there is time, show the video of a production meeting so students will understand that the Director is responsible for the team understanding the concept. If there is not enough time, explain that to the students before the class is over.


HOMEWORK: Students will complete their Director’s Concept statement and type it so it can be put into their Production Book. They will also find music and an image that represents the theme/concept they want to convey to the audience and write an explanation of their choices.


CLOSURE: Check for understanding, disperse handouts, and explain homework. REMIND students to write in their Learning Log


Participation in discussions and activities, and students’ own Director’s Concept.