Contemporary Directions is a unique new research project that will explore the changing role of the director in 21st century theatre.
A collaboration between The Stanislavski Centre and Globe Education at Shakespeare’s Globe, this is an open-ended project and will include lectures, seminars and master-classes, all of which will be open to the public and all of which will be recorded to produce a unique research resource.
The final aim of the project is to produce an open educational resource which will be available to all who are interested in the director’s role in contemporary theatre.
Launched in June 2012 by Sir Richard Eyre, the first event comprised a panel of leading British Directors talking about their work and their approaches to theatre-making. The panel, chaired by Colin Ellwood, consisted of Ian Rickson (Jerusalem, Royal Court, Young Vic, etc.), Natalie Wilson (Theatre Centre), Kristine Landon Smith (Tamasha), Sarah Esdaile (Birmingham Rep, West Yorkshire Playhouse, etc.), Stephen Unwin (The Rose, Kingston), Michael Walling (Border Crossings), James Dacre (National Theatre, New Vic, Globe, etc.), and Simon Usher (RSC, Royal Court, National Theatre, etc.). Subsequent contributors have included Tim Carroll, Maria Shevtsova, Philip Bird, Richard Eyre, Tom Cornford, Trevor Rawlins, and Tony Palmer.
In March 2013, a complementary strand was launched called Directing Forum, curated by Colin Ellwood and Simon Usher.
This presents an open-ended sequence of encounters between small groups of theatre directors. Sessions normally last between sixty and ninety minutes, and involve one or two guest directors in discussion with the curators. The focus is upon experiences and processes, with a view to exploring, mapping and advancing contemporary theatre directing practice.
Guest participants may take part in one or several sessions, and it is hoped that key questions and concerns can be fed back into the ongoing debate.
Whilst the core of the project is the conversations between participants and the recording of these, sessions may sometimes be held in spaces open to observers, and involve some possibility for observer questions. The attendance of young and emerging directors will be particularly encouraged.
Directors who have taken part so far include Sean Holmes (Artistic Director of The Lyric Hammersmith), Adrian Jackson (founder-director of Cardboard Citizens),James Dacre (Artistic Director of Royal and Derngate Theatres, Northampton) and Ramin Gray (Artistic Director of Actors Touring Company).