THES623: Methodology and Practice of Acting and Directing - Ανοικτό Πανεπιστήμιο Κύπρου - Open University of Cyprus
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THES623: Methodology and Practice of Acting and Directing

Module Purpose and Objectives

In this module of specialization, students will come into contact with basic axes of theatrical practice within the directorial and acting context in order to become familiarized with the constitutive elements of a performance. By introducing students to concepts that permeate contemporary performance par excellence, THESP 623 treads beyond the description of the historical and aesthetic framework onto proposals for practical application of the factors impacting directly on the work of director and actor on the stage. THESP 623 investigates topics pertaining to the directorial and acting crafts, probing into techniques for the interpretation and conception of the scenic world, techniques of dramatic analysis, guiding actors and putting together an entire performance.

After successfully completing this module, students will be in a position to:

  • Understand the basic axes of the directing creative process (selection-preparation, casting, organization of production, rehearsals, collaboration with scenic designer, costume designer, choreographer, lighting designer, dramaturg etc.)
  • Make an in-depth analysis of a dramatic text, identifying dramatic particularities and staging possibilities
  • Conceive a script in an interpretive manner, visualizing it and scrutinizing the staging process (point-of-view, selection of collaborators, basic methods of dramatic analysis and rehearsal, adjustment of scenic space)
  • Set forth proposals for directing a play in a given scenic space, employing tools of scenic composition and documenting their choices
  • Know the essentials of the actor’s craft and the particularities-power dynamics of the actor-director collaboration, but also the collaboration between director and playwright during the process of interpretation
  • Actively participate in the process of preparing for a performance, contributing as an actor if required
  • Function as spectator-critic, with a lucid perception of the director’s intended reception of the performance and its basic semantic references

Module Content

  • Direction: Inspiration-Guidance (Sidiropoulou, Directions 5-6, 11-22)
  • Direction as Inspiration
  • The Necessity of Guidance


  • Direction: Organization – Collaboration – Production
  • Drafting a theatrical production: the givens
  • “So, you have to prepare a play?” (Descrochers, Playing Director: 11-25)
  • “Examining the theatre space” (Condee, Theatrical Space: 1-8).
  • Study Guide for the unit “Organization – Collaboration – Production”.
  • Love and Meaningfulness (Sidiropoulou, Directions 6-11)


  • Directorial Vision
  • Preparation stages: before rehearsals
  • “Styling the play” (Cohen and Harrop, Creative Play Direction: 219-269)
  • Study Guide for “Directorial Vision”


  • Director and Text(uality): Elements of dramatic analysis (Sidiropoulou, Directions 85-128)
  • “Given Circumstances” (Ηοdge, Play Directing: 17-23)
  • “Creative Text Analysis” (Braun, Theatre Directing: 137-155)
  • Study Guide for the unit “Director and Text(uality)”
  • Director and Text: Elements of dramatic analysis


  • Director and Rehearsal: Rehearsing and improvisation techniques
  • “Improvisation” (Cohen and Harrop, Creative Play Directing: 204-211)
  • “Scene Practice” (Hodge, Play Directing: 164-169)
  • “Rehearsing” (Hodge, Play Directing: 174-180)
  • Study Guide for the unit “Director and Rehearsal”


  • The stage space and its interpretation


  • Set and costume design for the theatre
  • Study Guide for “Set and costume design for the theatre”
  • “Director and Stage” (Sidiropoulou, Directions for Directing, 129-146)


  • Director and Audience: Reception and Interaction.
  • The director as lone spectator.
  •  “The Director uses semiotics” (Whitmore, Directing Postmodern Theatre: 14-30)
  • “Audience Systems” (Whitmore, Directing Postmodern Theatre: 51-57; 60-63).
  • Study Guide for the unit “Director and Audience”


  • Director and Actor: the convention of collaboration
  • Director-actor: a relationship of trust and freedom
  • “Directing Actors” (Cohen and Harrop, Creative Play Direction: 169-175)
  • “Structuring the Scene” (Rees, Between Director and Actor: 11-35)
  • “Giving Notes” (Rees, Between Director and Actor: 1-6)
  • Study Guide for “Director and Actor”
  • “Director and Actor” (Sidiropoulou, Directions for Directing: 165-201)


  • From theory to practice 1: Directing the play The Lady from the Sea by H. Ibsen.
  • The Lady from the Sea. H. Ibsen. (Greek transl. Margarita Melberg)
  • Instructions to aspiring directors / Case Study
  • Scenic Composition
  • Emphasis


  • From theory to practice 2: Directing Uncle Vanya by Α. Checkhov (Greek transl. Antig. Philopopoulou)
  • Uncle Vanya. Α. Checkhov (Greek transl. Antig. Philopopoulou)
  • “Sources” exercise
  • Creating the play’s world
  • Working with artistic contributors


  • From theory to practice: Exercises for Building a Character 1. Creating a role in Realist theatre
  • Death of a Salesman. Α. Miller. (Greek trans. Errikos Belies)
  • Units-Objectives-Actions: applied to the script of Death of a Salesman by A. Miller.
  • “Εxperimenting for Creative Characterization” (Dezseran, The Student Actor’s Handbook: 88-105)


  • From theory to practice: Interpreting The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams. Approaching a role through Poetic Realism.
  • The Glass Menagerie by Τ. Williams (Greek transl. Maria Pavlou)
  • Instructions to aspiring actors/ Case study on the roles of Laura, Amanda and Τοm
  • “Analyzing a Scene” (Practical Handbook for the Actor, 19-39)

Additional Info

  • Κωδικός / Course Code: THES623
  • ECTS: 15
  • Τρόποι Αξιολόγησης / Assessment:

    10% interactive educational activities, 30% written assignments and 60% final examination

  • Διάρκεια Φοίτησης/ Length of Study: Εξαμηνιαία (εαρινό)/ Semi-annual (spring)
  • Κόστος/ Tuition Fees: 675 euro
  • Επίπεδο Σπουδών/ Level: Μεταπτυχιακό/ Postgraduate