The Assistant Director (AD) position is an opportunity to learn firsthand an individual director's process and the production process as a whole. The duties of the AD are quite flexible and will vary from production to production and Director to Director. The AD's responsibilities may include facilitating the rehearsal process, taking notes, and facilitating the smooth running of the entire production process, and/or other duties as assigned. Sometimes a Director will expect the AD to perform duties normally assigned to the Stage Manager and vice versa. Specific duties and tasks will be decided based on the abilities of the assistant and the needs of the show.
Communication and negotiation are important in clarifying the assignment of these duties. Typically the AD will act as another set of eyes and ears and as a sounding board for the Director at auditions, rehearsals, and performances. Therefore, it is essential to note that the AD position is one of trust and confidentiality--the Director may share thoughts or concerns that should not be common knowledge.
When asked, the AD will offer constructive suggestions to the Director regarding any elements of the production from design to performances. The AD should keep in mind their status as a student and that the structure of the production team in academic theatre differs from community and professional situations; therefore, the Director should be the only person communicating notes and suggestions directly with the production team members and crew including performers. It is essential that the AD restrict their comments to the Director in order to avoid confusing or possibly contradictory messages.
- Read and study the play; discuss the interpretation and production concept with the Director.
- Attend all production conferences and meetings.
- Assist the Director as needed. Sit in on all rehearsals, taking notes and actively watching and listening. Communicate regularly with the Director regarding the progress of the production.
- Run special rehearsals such as line-throughs, speed-throughs, etc. if the Director requests it.
- Although typically the Stage Manager's duty, the AD may be asked to walk through scenes for an absent actor.
- Some Directors may ask the Assistant Director to take blocking, line, and/or dialect notes. The Assistant Director should always be prepared for such duties.
- Insure that appropriate people and/or organizations are thanked in the program for their contributions to the production.
- Makes notes for the Director as instructed during rehearsals and tech. Share these notes with the Director who may communicate them to the cast and/or crew.
- The Assistant Director may be asked to type up any rehearsal notes taken by the Director for distribution to the cast and/or crew.
Online application for this position.