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Grace Kasemeier
AP Literature
Ms. Bradley
Period 2
22 October 2016
The Good Witch Senior Project Research
Over the summer I wrote a childrens play entitled The Good Witch. Its a one act
play thats thirty minutes long and Im planning to direct and produce it. I have already
begun the casting process, as I held auditions last week and plan to have the play cast
by the 24th of October. I have also already started thinking about costuming. Though I
have acted in numerous plays, a lot of them in the same fantasy genre, I have never
directed before making this experience a learning stretch. I expect to come across some
difficulties managing my future casts schedule as everyone is busy especially seniors,
so finding rehearsal time may be a problem. With costuming, even though its a
childrens play Im leaning towards a A Midsummer Nights Dream aesthetic which also
presents its own difficulties as I have a small budget and costuming is expensive,
especially because Im not a proficient seamstress, therefore Ill probably have to use
costumes from my own house. I love the theatre and I want to be a screenwriter, this
project will show my skills at writing as well as my leadership skills, which I hope to
hone. Having been in theater since I was seven I know the basics like cheating out and
projecting but I have never directed which will be a whole new perspective and hopefully
strengthen my leadership skills. Writing has been a passion of mine since I could write

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and thats one of the reasons I want to be a screenwriter, this project is the perfect
introduction to that. To effectively execute this project I researched a variety of helpful
information covering a wide range of tasks such as directing, producing, stage
managing, costuming, leadership, and time management skills.
When directing a production a highly strict and direct director can be effective
even though in todays times directors often let the actors have a more free will and
interpretation of their own characters. It also unnecessary for a director to ask of his
actors to dig deep for their characters emotion. George Abbot a very successful director
demonstrates this as he believes a director wastes his time in rehearsal when he talks
endlessly to an actor about who his mother was, what did she want, what does he want
and why it has led him up to this moment when he asks for the salt. Instead he prefers
that the director get on with it and tell the actor, ''C'mon, Johnny, just pass the salt.'' And
for the last 60 years no one has known how to get Johnny on and off an American stage
better than George Abbott. (Wasserstein). George Abbott is so successful with his
techniques that are highly different than what most directors teach therefore directors
can be effective using a variant of styles to get the best emotion from their actors. They
can however still feel blocked no matter what style of director they are.
Often directors feel stuck and no longer know how to connect with their actors.
Three tips for reconnecting with them include identifying the pivotal word, the trouble
step, and going to the other extreme. Finding the pivotal word shows the actor where
the movement is in their line, where the emotion is stressed, or changes. The trouble
step is a useful tool when the actions become muddled making the actors do the trouble

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step means that have to stay in one place while saying the line leading them to make
smaller movements as well let the words speak for themselves. Going to the other
extreme helps in scenes that are one note or tone the whole time If thats the case,
find a moment in the scene where you feel it is becoming false, stale, or ineffective and
have the actors go to the opposite end of the spectrum utilizing a new emotion,
intensity, tempo, rhythm, pace, etc. (Mroczka) This makes the scene more interesting
for the audience and allows for the actor to develop their character on more than one
flat level.
It is important that the director give their actors a safe environment in order for
them to perform their best work. In the article Stage Directors: Giving Actors an
Environment for Success the author highlights the absolute importance of this safe
environment and the impact it has. If a director is responsive and focuses on the good
qualities in the actors work they will have a higher desire to work with that director and
help them achieve their vision. An honest and communicative director will also have a
better response to their critiques because the actors feel mentally safe and held. Also
the actual space the actors are working in should be comfortable so they arent freezing
and therefore uncooperative. All of these are important in order to provide an
environment for the directors actors that is ready for creativity from those actors.
The director isnt the one who holds power in the theater. The different roles of
theater include the three most powerful roles the director, the producer, and stage
manager. Directors coordinate everything in order to satisfy their vision. Producers have
the ability to hire and fire people and therefore hold more power than the director. The

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stage manager makes sure that the show maintains its integrity and holds to the
directors vision. They have lots of authority through the work they do Throughout the
production process, the stage manager takes on a supervisory role, making sure that
rehearsals start and end on time and run smoothly, facilitating production meetings, and
constantly keeping communication open with all departments. (Mroczka)
To be a stage manager one must be incredibly organized and have great people
skills. Some of the tasks they have to complete include being able to Schedule,
organize, and run auditions. Organize and run rehearsals. Assemble and supervise a
technical crew. Supervise actors schedules and to meet their needs. Create and be
responsible for a full production notebook (known as a prompt book), containing all
essential information about a show. (Mulcahy) These technical aspects of the job are
necessary but to really shine An aspiring SM ought to have some personal qualities as
well. Those include: Practical reasoning ability. Good organizational skills (especially in
regard to note-taking and paperwork). Good communication and listening skills. A
knack for staying cool under pressure. A willingness to take charge with ease and an an
understanding of when to delegate (and when not to). (Mulcahy) This list shows the
importance of the role of stage manager and how many tasks they have to actually do.
Doing a show for the first time can be hard and in 5 Things They Don't Tell You
About Being a First-Time Director Buchanan discusses what mistakes are made by first
time directors. When directing a movie there are some things every first time director
should know, primarily that background actors can ruin the film. If a background actor is
ridiculously over acting and the leads were perfect in that shot, no one will be able to

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concentrate on those leads because the background is so distracting. This means that if
a background actor or actors is bad the whole shot will be and will have to be scrapped
no matter how amazing the lead was.
A costume designers job entails creating the costumes for a production. Their
costumes have to reinforce the mood and style of the production, distinguish between
major and minor characters, suggest relationships between characters, change an
actor's appearance, suggest changes in character development and age, and be
objects of beauty in their own right. (AACT) The costume designer has to develop all of
this through the costumes and in order to do that they have to read through the script
perhaps sketching along the way, research the historical era the production is from, and
then they have to draw up a costume plot which is a full list of all the characters and
what they need as far as costuming. The goals of a costume designer include
costumes should help establish tone and style, time and place, and character
information, and costumes should aid the performer and coordinate with the director's
and other designers' concepts. (Blood) Costumes have to help the tell the story of a
production, they cant be random and unconnected to the plot. Costumes dont only help
the overall story they also establish each individual characters story because What you
wear says a great deal about who you are and about what you are intending to do.
(Blood) It is also the job of the Costume Designer to work closely with the actors in
order to produce costumes that will fit them and match the character theyve developed.
Leadership skills are needed for any role in the theater, to improve leadership
skills you must have a clear plan, be able to use what you have and play to your

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strengths, be enthused, live according to your ethical values, be a role model, make
goals and follow a set plan, be positive, a good communicator, motivate others to be
great, be willing to learn from your mistakes, and always improve yourself. All of these
will help to improve leadership skills. Research clearly shows that transformational
leaders leaders who are positive, inspiring, and who empower and develop followers
are better leaders. They are more valued by followers and have higher performing
teams. (Buj)
To be an effective leader it is also important that youre able to make a schedule.
In Effective Scheduling: Planning to Make the Best Use of Your Time the article
discusses that to schedule time effectively it is important that you identify when youre
available, schedule the essentials first, and schedule some extra time in order to have
wiggle room. In order to complete these tasks effectively it is also important to
delegate work when possible and to utilize technology in order to maximize your free
My senior project is already somewhat completed and therefore I didnt research
how to write a script because that part is already done however there is still much to be
done and that includes directing, producing, costuming and stage managing the
production. As I have no experience directing, I did look up some of the basics in order
to accomplish it successfully. Things like providing a safe environment for my actors will
help me develop their abilities and bring my production to its highest level. Researching
different directing techniques such as George Abbotts strict and direct method helped
me to see that I could choose how to best utilize my skills to create my own style of

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directing, one that I can only hope will be that effective. Also looking at articles about
leadership skills helped illustrate that as well. I have to utilize my preliminary knowledge
of theater to develop my actors and show to them the kind of positive leader I am no
matter what happens. Already Ive started to see that scheduling will be a major issue
because so many of my actors are busy people, this means I will need to create a
schedule for myself something that will be easier after researching how best to
approach this. Before my research I didnt know that the stage manager had such a
different job than director and because Im putting on this show myself I will have to do
that job. My research helped me to see the intricacies to all the tasks I hope to
accomplish as stage manager from simple tasks of scheduling to harder tasks of
directing the tech and how I want my production to look. I also have never costumed a
show before, my research showed me the importance of costuming the show and each
costume tells the story of that character. This will help me to pick costumes that match
my characters and eliminate any unnecessary pieces of clothing, pieces I might have
thought were pretty but in actuality they wouldnt have matched the character and the
story Im telling to my audience. All of this research has fueled my process and will help
to grow my project and continue to make it a success as I go into my project with further

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Works Cited
Wasserstein, Wendy. "Directing 101: George Abbott on What Works." The New York
Times. The New York Times, 07 Oct. 1989. Web. 25 Sept. 2016.
Mroczka, Paul. "3 Stage Directing Tips to Use When Youre Stuck." Broadway
Educators. N.p., 21 Mar. 2015. Web. 25 Sept. 2016.
Mroczka, Paul. "Theatre Hierarchy: Whos on First?" Broadway Educators. N.p., 24
June 2014. Web. 25 Sept. 2016.
Mulcahy, Lisa. "Managing the Show." Teaching Theatre, n.d. Web.
Buj, Margaret "Top 11 Ways to Improve Your Leadership Skills." Career Rocketeer.
N.p., 06 Sept. 2014. Web. 25 Sept. 2016.
"Costume Designer." AACT Home. N.p., 12 Nov. 2015. Web. 25 Sept. 2016.

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Blood, Melanie. "Costume Designers Goals" CostumeDesign1.html. N.p., n.d. Web. 25

Sept. 2016.

Wasserstein, Wendy. "Directing 101: George Abbott on What Works." The New York
Times. The New York Times, 07 Oct. 1989. Web. 25 Sept. 2016.
George Abbot and his directing techniques are discussed in this article. He is a
hundred and one years old and his strict directions are highly valued by his
actors. Though the author points out that in this day and age most actors want
less specifics from their directors in order to explore their character more,
however she points out that George Abbots method of orchestrating every move
his actors perform is highly effective. The author of this article Wendy
Wasserstein is credible on the subject matter as she is an American playwright
who has won a Tony Award for Best Play and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in
1989 for her play The Heidi Chronicles.The article is also from a well established

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magazine The New York Times. This is almost entirely an opinion based piece
and therefore reflects the views of the author and shows her bias on the subject.

Mroczka, Paul. "3 Stage Directing Tips to Use When Youre Stuck." Broadway
Educators. N.p., 21 Mar. 2015. Web. 25 Sept. 2016.
The article discusses how to move a scene along if something isnt working,
specifically through the stage direction. A main tip the author discusses is that if a
scene is heavy in a certain kind of movement, such as abrasive large moves, be
sure to include moments of small movement to indicate the difference. This
prevents the scene from feeling flat and one note. The author Paul Mroczka is
well versed in this field as he has served Theatre by the Sea as associate
director and playwright-in-residence. His knowledge of theater therefore makes
him credible. The piece is opinion based and therefore is not factual. What is
stated is Mroczkas opinion based on experience. It was published recently
because the topic is staging a play this holds little importance.

Mroczka, Paul. "Theatre Hierarchy: Whos on First?" Broadway Educators. N.p., 24

June 2014. Web. 25 Sept. 2016.
This article discusses the roles of the producer, director, and stage manager and
how they fit on the hierarchal scale in the professional theater world. Directors
coordinate everything in order to satisfy their vision. Producers have the ability to

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hire and fire people and therefore hold more power than the director. The stage
manager makes sure that the show maintains its integrity and holds to the
directors vision. Paul Mroczka has experience in the theater field as he has
served Theatre by the Sea as associate director and playwright-in-residence.
This article he only uses one source and doesnt site it. The piece is opinion
based as he uses little sources.

Buj, Margaret "Top 11 Ways to Improve Your Leadership Skills." Career Rocketeer.
N.p., 06 Sept. 2014. Web. 25 Sept. 2016.
In this article Margaret Buj discusses how adaptability and positivity are better
leadership qualities than just assertiveness. She also discusses her eleven ways
to become a better leader. These methods include having a clear vision, knowing
and utilizing your gifts, being passionate and more. Margaret Buj is authorized to
discuss this as she is an Interview and Career Acceleration Coach. The first
paragraph says that research clearly states the authors opinion however she
doesnt provide sources to confirm this. The rest of the article is more opinion
based and therefore because shes well versed in the subject is more credible.
The article is fairly recent and because leadership skills havent changed in the
past two years is still usable.

"Effective Scheduling: Planning to Make the Best Use of Your Time." Effective
Scheduling. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Sept. 2016.

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Scheduling to minimize stress and maximize efficiency is the main point of this
article. The way to do that includes identifying when you have available time,
block in the times youre scheduled, and prioritizing. A primary point about
leaving time for things to go wrong is also discussed. This article doesnt say who
the authors are which is slightly problematic, however the website in which it's
published, Mindtools, has a newsletter to help people plain their lives. It is also
not an evidence based article which makes the need for sources less. The article
is primarily experienced based and therefore would be more helpful if a credible
author was listed.

Mroczka, Paul. "Stage Directors: Giving Actors an Environment for Success."Broadway

Educators. N.p., 26 Mar. 2015. Web. 25 Sept. 2016.
This article presents some of the ways a director can create a successful
environment. The primary points of the author are the director must be confident
and positive, create a supportive environment for their actors, and a physically
safe environment. Above all the author suggests that in order for a play to be
successful everyone must be ready to be creative. Paul Mroczka is a playwright
as well as an associate director and playwright-in-residence at Theatre by the
Sea. He is knowledgeable in the theater arts and therefore his opinion is credible
in this completely opinion and experienced based piece. The article was
published fairly recently though that isnt super important as stage directors jobs
havent changed drastically in the past year.

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"Costume Designer." AACT Home. N.p., 12 Nov. 2015. Web. 25 Sept. 2016.
This article gives the basics of what is entailed in being a costume designer. This
includes what the costumes job is, such as reinforcing a character based on how
much money they earn and their position in society. The article also discusses
the costume designers process of going through the script and researching the
era so as to create era appropriate clothing. This article comes from AACT which
is an organization that provides resources to theater people as well as provides
support to organizations putting on community theater. This shows that the article
has credibility based on the source of information, even though the author isnt
mentioned. This is an opinion based piece so no sources are used or cited.

Mulcahy, Lisa. "Managing the Show." Teaching Theatre, n.d. Web.

This article goes through step by step what it takes to put on a show. This
includes rehearsal time, organization, scheduling, and tech run throughs. It also
provides help on being a student director and having to lead a group of your
peers.This article is written by Lisa Mulcahy a theater teacher, director,
performer, and multimedia writer and was cowriter and stage director of the hit
Off-Broadway musical Renegade Sluts on Bikes. She is credible on the subject
as she is well versed in the field. The article was published in Teaching Theatre a
well known theater site. The article is opinion based.

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Buchanan, Kyle. "5 Things They Don't Tell You About Being a First-Time Director."
Vulture. N.p., 10 Oct. 2013. Web. 25 Sept. 2016.
This article points out that which film directors arent told when they do their first
movies. The author primarily discusses that oftentimes a director is in the way of
their own film, background actors can ruin a scene, and you will get sad when the
film is over. The five things the author states are all based on what John Krokidas
learned during his movie debut. The author Kyle Buchanan is interviewing John
Krokidas on his movie debut and therefore the information is coming from
Krokidas, the director of Kill Your Darlings starring Daniel Radcliffe, a credible
speaker on the subject. Krokidas uses examples from his own experience
directing Kill Your Darlings to illustrate his points making them more credible as
they carry some weight. It is also somewhat recent as it was published three
years ago and still holds credibility as the movie industry has not drastically
changed in the past three years.

Blood, Melanie. "Costume Designers Goals" CostumeDesign1.html. N.p., n.d. Web. 25

Sept. 2016.
This article provides an overview on what a costume designer is meant to
accomplish. In the article descriptions of how costuming sets the tone of the play
and what tools a costume designer utilizes to create that tone or vision is
included. Some technical parts of a customer's job is also included such as the
necessity of consulting the director. Examples from famous plays are given to

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show the audience what the author meant. The author Melanie Blood is a
professor of theater at the State University of New York at Geneso. This
professional knowledge of theater makes the article more credible. The article is
opinion and well-known fact based and therefore no sources or citations are
provided. Because Melanie Blood is credible in the field the article based on her
opinion reflects that even though a bias is present.