we addressed seriousness of this undertaking. Considerable amount of work required before rehearsal/devising stages begin. Importance of peer exchange, as directord often find themselves alone. We also talked about importance and development of the concept, director's artistic practice, importance of Director's Notebook (in Germany: Regie Buch, Russia: Rezhisserskaya Eksplikatziya (Director's Explication)). Dual function that carries a series of important processes that can create conflict, and ways to handle those: organisational and artistic. Director's duty of care. Understanding that directing is a service first and foremost. Director as first audience member. Director as a safe space maker who teases our everyone's creative impulses. We compared creative impulses to hares who move rapidly and can be scared easily. How do we entice our impulses out to play?

Some of the current issues in this profession that were raised by attendees of the session:
- lack of competency, especially in relation to working with actors
- deadening effect of "appropriate" acting or directing (by the book, leaving no space for surprise and discovery)
- shoehorning actors into roles, rather then developing those collaboratively (what would those practices be? what are the tools?)
- necessity of giving actors creative agency

Resources mentioned:
The Director's Craft: A Handbook for the Theatre by Katie Mitchell
Paul Oerton's Discipline of Freedom (importance of daily practice)

Directors mentioned:
Dimitris Papaioannou
Pina Bausch
Kate Mitchell
Ariane Mnouchkine
Vsevolod Meyerhold

Some of the questions to raise at the event:
Why direct? What does that mean to you.
Many more to consider

Write up your practice

Ellis mentioned a new website he created, where Directors Lab can be placed. Shop Windows Theatre Exchange. (look for more info in the comments)

Session ended with being registered by Olya Petrakova.

Conversations about DL continued into the night in The Crown pub.

Importance of this venture to be self-organised, rather than framed by an organisation.
Seek support from JMK Trust
Stage Directors UK
Insights and experiences from: Directors Labs in USA, Israel, Europe

People attended:
Lawrence O'Connor

I will end this report with an excerpt from some of my personal ruminations on Directing:

"Undirected thoughts on Theatre Directing" by Olya Petrakova

- I believe that director’s job is multi-faceted, yet the most essential function is to kindle the ensemble, to hold the space for the constellation of people to self-organize into the most irrefutable transmitter capable of igniting the spark of change in the audience.

- Theatre is about forging change, one drop of water of self-cognition on the stone of civilization at a time.

- Theatre is a dialogue. Always. Between performance and the audience. It starts with a director and an actor, with a director and an ensemble, with a dialogue in the ensemble itself. It is important to seek the common ground, to reach for the sound of understanding, to feel aligned.

- Job of the director is to raise many questions that we are afraid to raise or even consider determining in our life. What do we want? The most difficult question to answer. When asked, we often avoid it. Nonetheless, our behavior, human behavior proved that subconsciously we will pursue what we want, and if we don’t - we will react. I am having trouble finding that word, it is not reacting, but acting from a place of self-inflicted rejection of our deep-seated purpose, our essence of existence, with unawareness. Director’s job is to provoke the observation, the awareness, our innate desire to dig in, to understand, to fall in love with Self.

- Scenography: Is is the most archetypal setting. It is symbolic, breathing, transforming, alive - the world where all the scenes and settings unfold. It is a character, familiar and distant.

- What provokes us to imagine, to feel, to be inspired, to kick us out of the daily, ordinary, pre-set thinking processes? For me it is music. This notion of “landscape”.

- The space between the spectator and the actor is dominated by the rhythm.

- Story is another landscape, another dimension. We enter the stage, we are in a movie, the one that is already shot and edited. That world is already existing, and we are discovering it. It has its own reasons why we are happy or unhappy, as characters or as actors playing them.

Full set of thoughts can be found here: