Mr. M. J. Boswell E-Mail:
Office Hours: by appointment at lunch Office Phone: 240-497-6300
"Art is a lie that makes us realize a deeper truth." --Pablo Picasso
In theater and film, it is the director who generates collaboration among diverse contributors, with a view to turning a play script into a theatrical production. In this class, students will be given opportunities to strengthen their interpretative acuity and knowledge of film and theater practice by undertaking projects from a directorial perspective.
COURSE OF STUDY
Students will build their knowledge of directorial practices by exploring theater and film texts as "plans for action" and imagining these texts from a director's point of view. To this end, students will develop an imaginative and practicable understanding of the major elements out of which scripts are produced, and an awareness of the interrelation and interdependence of these elements. In short, they will explore how, in all relevant specifics, the script might find expression on stage or on screen. The student-director will practice imagining a text under production and learn to grasp the practical implications of these imaginings. Students therefore will practice imagining the translation of scenes and whole works from printed texts to performances. Practical projects for each student include the following:
I. the creation of directorial notebook for a prescribed script that shows how the student plans to direct it; your teacher will provide you with a copy of the play and specific instructions for the notebook
II. co-directing a key scene in a prescribed text to bring about a preconceived vision; your teacher will assign you your partner
III. involvement with ONE of the following independent projects:
A. helping mount the Student-Directed One-Act Play Festival for the general public in late May by 1) preparing a director's notebook for a 10 minute play or key scene from a play of your choice, 2) directing your chosen piece for the festival, AND 3) working as co-producer of the festival OR
B. helping mount an in-class, Student-Directed 10 Minute Film Festival in early June by 1) preparing a notebook for an original 10 minute movie or movie scene of your choice, 2) directing and filming your chosen piece for the festival, AND 3) working as co-producer of the festival. Students are allowed to turn a play script into a film script for this project.
NOTE: Since there are a limited number of slots for each option under III, students with the highest Directing class average for the 3rd qtr. will get to choose first.
ADDITIONAL COURSE WORK
In addition to regular studies, there are several projects that need to be completed outside of class:
1. Students will respond in their journals to occasional readings and class activities as assigned. The primary function of the journal is to help the instructor assess student progress and to help students prepare for the creation of a portfolio at the end of the course. It will play a large role in determining quarterly grades when students are assessed by rubric. (Journals are due aprox. every four weeks)
2. Outside of class, students will view at least two live performances or two films and type a critical review of each in a format prescribed by the instructor. (One review due per quarter)
3. For a final exam, students will choose a text from a prescribed list and justify their directorial approach to the work in an oral presentation. (Due near final exam day)
SEMESTER GRADING SCALE
No assignment will be worth more that 25% of your grade.
25%: Weekly journals and portfolio (1@ 50 pts)25%: Director Notebook 1 (1 @ 50 pts)
15%: Live Performance Critiques (2 @ 15 pts each)25%: Director Notebook 2 (1 @ 50 pts)
10%: Oral Presentation (1 @ 20 pts)
All performances and assignments will be graded using a rubric listing standards and expectations tailored to the particular assignment. Students will receive the rubric when the work is assigned. Generally, a grade of "C" on a project / performance is an indication of satisfactory completion of the assignment, both in terms of preparation and execution. Grades higher than “C” will be based on those elements of the project / performance that indicate a high degree of personal investment, thoughtful preparation (particularly through practice exercises), and a desire to surpass basic standards.
RETEACHING / REASSESSMENT
All assignments graded by rubric can be reassessed. A reassessment must be requested by the student the same week the initial assignment is returned. The reassessment will be scheduled within five days of the return of the initial assignment. The assessment may be in the original format or an alternate format. Students are expected to seek additional help and guidance from the teacher outside of class, preferably after school.
All scores for work--written or performed--will be accompanied by direct feedback from the teacher, in writing or orally. Scores will be based a point system with more demanding projects being assigned more points possible. Anytime you'd like an update on your progress, check Edline or schedule a brief meeting w/ the instructor before or after class to ensure meaningful feedback. Parents wishing to discuss your progress need only to contact the teacher via email. Otherwise, the teacher will communicate progress regularly through interim reports.
ALLOWANCES AND EXPECTATIONS
Theater and Film Conservatory students are granted a large amount of freedom and responsibility when making artistic choices; to prevent any infringement on a student’s choices, additional help from the instructor, when needed, must be sought.
Also, since this is a conservatory class, it should also be understood by students enrolled in this class that all performances will be critically scrutinized and evaluated; honest feedback by the instructor (or other students) should be viewed as an opportunity for growth; it should never be looked upon by a performer as a personal attack, a judgment of personal worth, or an attempt to undermine confidence. The critiques are part of the activities and are intended to help individual students reach very deep within themselves so that their work can be true.