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The Performance of Directing and The Directing Summer School

We are very pleased to announce two new initiatives in the ongoing   Rose Bruford College and The Stanislavski Centre exploration of Directing and Director Training. 

 Rose Bruford College of Theatre and Performance, Lamorbey Park, Sidcup 

[25 mins. From London Charing Cross]

The Performance of Directing


Directing Summer School

Participant feedback from recent Contemporary Directions workshops:

  •  ‘Thanks so much, as in all good things, I was left wanting more. So engaging and informative and fun’: (Directing Through Exercises)
  •  ‘Just a note to say how much I enjoyed and got from the directing workshop I attended. I’ve been returning to my own notes from the day again and again. It was so fab to be working on the subtlety of questions around form and the matter of the pieces, as well having a shared psychophysical vocab underpinning’. (Directing Through Form)  
  •  ‘I do think these sessions are very valuable and interesting, and I very much enjoy attending them’. (Directing Through Form  & Directing Through Exercises)
  •  ‘I look forward to more workshops in 2017’ (Directing, Induction and the Unconscious)

The Performance of Directing

Fortnightly, Saturdays, 29th April – 24th June

In association with Presence Theatre

These day-long practical director-training-and-research workshops (all 10 a.m – 4 p.m.) involve a ‘directing-in-dialogue’ approach and include working with professional actors from Presence Theatre. The workshops are led by two practitioners, Simon Usher (RSC; National Theatre; Royal Court) and Colin Ellwood [Rose Bruford, Central, Guildhall], with extensive combined experience in both directing and director training. The final summative workshop has been designed in consultation with and will feature the participation of playwright Simon Stephens. Taken together the workshops aim to offer a comprehensive grammar of contemporary directing useful for both working and emerging directors and also for anyone with a serious interest in its constantly-developing practice

 Workshop 1: Gateways and Geographies: Saturday 29th April

Sets out the geographies of directing in relation to the terrains of performance, exploring for example what causes audiences to ‘lean forward’ into the performance experience

 Workshop 2: The Director in the Room: Saturday 13th May

Focuses on the director and her/his ‘performance’ in the room – physically and verbally – and its direct effect on the developing production, not just in terms of generating atmosphere but also in relation to the detail and achieved-ness of individual moments of performance.

 Workshop 3: Directing through Exercises: Saturday 27th May

Workshop 4: Directing through Improvisation: Saturday 10th June

These pull back from what might be termed ‘leading edge’ directing techniques to explore the facilitation of the performers’ imaginations in a broader ‘parameter’ directing mode – where the ‘creative space’ made available to the performer is framed and grounded more broadly through, respectively, Exercises and Improvisations.

 Workshop 5: Story into Space – A Sense of Connection: Saturday 24th June

With the participation of Simon Stephens we return again to the core ‘instrumentality’ of directing to synthesise the earlier work in the quest for concerted, meaningful and compelling staged action. For this final day we will draw principally on Simon’s Three Kingdoms, given a highly charged and radical production in 2012 at the Lyric Hammersmith directed by Sebastian Nübling

 In each workshop participants will have a range of opportunities to participate in the directing of featured scenes and also to observe, discuss and evaluate demonstrated work in relation to a range of dramatic forms and texts.


Full price £75 per workshop / £300 for the full series of five

SCUDD Members £65 per workshop / £275 for the full series of five

Concessions £50 per workshop / £225 for the full series of five

 For much more information including booking please visit:


Directing Summer School

Monday 3rd – Fri 7th July (10 am – evenings each day)


This week-long intensive directing exploration and training opportunity offers a rare combination of linked tutor-led workshops (mornings), supervised participant directing practice with actors (afternoons) and discussions and video showings (evenings), leading to a showing and discussion of student-prepared work on the final afternoon

  •  Master-classes each morning from a range of practitioners
  • Afternoon individual participant-directed scene rehearsals with professional actors and acting students
  • Final-day showing of work and debrief
  • Evening discussions and related video showings (optional)

The course is led by Simon Usher (RSC; National Theatre; Royal Court), Colin Ellwood [Rose Bruford, Guildhall, Central] and Matthieu Bellon (Rose Bruford, Bred in the Bone and Song of the Goat). We will be joined for the final day by Ramin Gray (Artistic Director of Actors Touring Company and former Associate Director Royal Court) who will also participate in feedback on student work. The course is intended to establish (for both practitioners and scholars) a workable grammar of contemporary directing; a foundation in basic directing practice and a contribution to the consolidation of more advanced skills. (It aims also to offer participants in earlier Contemporary Directions workshops such as The Performance of Directing sequence an opportunity to further develop their practice)


Deposit – £100

Course fee – £600

Early booking before 8 May 2017 – £500

Accommodation (optional) – £250

Discounts are available for Rose Bruford College alumni and for those booking the full sequence of The Performance of Directing.

Please contact Andrew Scanlan with any enquiries –  / +44 (0) 208 308 2605

For further information including booking please visit:

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