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Theatre director

A theatre director determines all aspects of interpretation of a dramatic script or musical score for the stage.

Job description

The theatre director’s role is key in the production of a play: they study scripts in depth and use their creative licence to figure out how the script should translate to the stage. This involves all aspects, ranging from the portrayal of characters and how scenes should be performed, to staging, lighting, sound and music.

A theatre director’s responsibilities can vary greatly depending on the type and size of theatre company. Some roles include company management and finance aspects.

Work activities

  • Studying scripts and undertaking research to fully understand the contexts, characters and motifs of a play.
  • Interpreting and adapting scripts for performances.
  • Collaborating with all members of cast and backstage, including actors and costume, set, lighting, sound designers and producers.
  • Selecting cast members for the production.
  • Leading rehearsals and providing advice to actors and backstage.

Work conditions

Travel: is a regular feature; especially if working on short-term contracts or with travelling companies.
Working hours: Hours vary: rehearsals take place at various times throughout the week and involve evenings and weekends.
Location: Amateur and professional theatre companies are based in cities across the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.

Entry requirements

A degree in a subject such as English, performing arts, drama or theatre studies may be advantageous. Practical theatre experience is very important to gain entry and provides the opportunity to meet contacts – vital in a very competitive industry.