Directing Agamemnon (Part One)

Written by Dorcas Chiu

Photos provided by Julia Howman


Let me tell you a secret; directing is HARD. Like, really hard.

Someone I consider a mentor recently told me that theatre or doing a play is basically like going on a road trip with selected friends and strangers. As an actor, you get to chill in the backseat and develop really close friendships through this month(s) long journey. But as a director, you’re effing driving, so you better know where you’re going, when you’re taking breaks, and what car you’re going to take.  It’s a lot of responsibilities, and everything adds up.

I found that especially in student theatre, you really have to be a well-rounded director. Of course, there were many people whom I relied on and consulted with throughout the process. I couldn’t have done Agamemnon with my entire production team. Blessed. But when the ball gets rolling, I found myself dramaturging, doing tech, stage-managing, producing, directing, and trying to remain calm. I think that’s the hardest thing about being a first time director, not trying to give out my wisdom through this blog post because who the hell am I to tell you what to do, is being a rock. I’m a very emotional person, that’s why I started out on stage. But a director is a rock, a sounding board, a DRIVER. The cast depends on you, they rely on your energy. So even if things are falling apart and projections are all lost 5 minutes before the dress rehearsal (actually happened during Agamemnon), you just need to take a deep breath and keep driving. Faith! Keep the ball of weeping mess at home, in front of your roommates, shoutout to Daniela.  

Anyway, that’s my blog post. There’s no process for directing, like there’s no one way to act. But I want to let everyone know that if you’re thinking about directing, be prepared! Take care of yourselves! In fact, everyone involved in student campus theatre, take care of yourselves! SELF-CARE!