The course work for directors is determined by the needs of the students and is negotiated on a semester by semester basis between students and staff. The core components of the course include the ability to analyse and reproduce the discourse, narrative and plot of play texts, television and film scripts, rehearsal process – planning a rehearsal, stages of rehearsal, rehearsal techniques for different genre, media and actors and basic skills in devising and developing work.
Students are encouraged to adopt laboratory approach to learning. In recent years directing students have explored the semiology of body language from proxemics to characterization, rehearsal techniques required by post-modern texts involving non-linear narrative and multiple identities, representations of gender and sexuality and the communication of emotion from actor to audience.
Directors undertake specialist classes in all aspects of video production relating to television drama: multi-camera studio and single camera operation, lighting, sound and non-linear editing. Directing students can elect to work on television dramas, create their own short videos or experiment with new media projects incorporating video imagery.
In design classes directing students develop an awareness of the tools available for the creation of stage imagery – space, shape, texture and colour. Students are introduced to the dynamics of different spaces and to composition and framing in those spaces. Students are expected to design their own productions in consultation with the design lecturer and create scale design models as part of this process.
In dramaturgy classes students acquire skill in production research. Working with play scripts from different times and places, students research the historical conditions, theatrical conventions and social context of original productions. Students learn to evaluate the significance, relevance and interest of play scripts from the past for theatre audiences of today. Students also explore the dramaturgy of developing new scripts, adapting and translating existing works, and planning a production season.During their final year, graduating directors have the opportunity to direct a show on the main stage of the Mathew Flinders Theatre and to invite industry representatives along to view their work. They also prepare a folio of their Drama Centre productions.