Rego Rexi Rectum – To Guide, Direct, To Rule


“Move closer.” “More emotion.” “Be braver.” “Better.” “Faster.” “Stronger.” “Above all: act.” There’s a lot of things to say about directing, especially for a person doing it for the first time. Indeed, when I was imagining doing theater for the first time, the position I did not really believe I would be in was the one I ended up in anyway: the director. Truth be told, it had always been my dream to be a director in some sort of project, but I had no idea it would be so soon. The entire process of deciding to be a director wasn’t even my own idea. I was merely asked if I wanted to direct something, and I said yes. And well, here we are. Is it all I ever thought it to be? Yes, but at the same time quite a bit more.


For a person working first time on a production larger than a high school project, coming into directing can be a confusing sort of business. My usual mode of operation includes gradually getting into things at a slower pace. First a small role in acting, perhaps, and helping out when possible in other backstage work. Then a larger acting role in a play, and after that maybe even a leading role. That got thrown out of the window relatively quickly with what happened, but if someone asked me if I had any regrets the answer would be a resolute “no”.


But why is a director needed in a performance of any kind in the first place? While the actors could act on their own and even create a finished product without directorial influence, it would come out as a fractured whole without a unifying vision guiding the actors in their roles. It’s all in the name: it is the director’s job to quite literally direct the actors to produce a cohesive performance made not from dozens of different opinions and tastes, but from one mind with a clear purpose. Like any occupation, a director uses the tools they need. Where an artist uses a paintbrush to create a masterpiece out of paint, a director uses the movements and emotions of a cast to create a performance and put it on stage.


This is all not to say that the director’s is the only voice recognized when crafting a performance. Unlike the painter whose brushes do not speak back or have emotions, the tools of the director are people. While overall control over the project is crucial to its success, feedback from the actors, both to each other and to the director, is vitally important. Some things work for some people and not for others and things that seem obvious to the director might feel problematic to the actors.


Unobstructed communication is crucial to a play’s success, regardless of any overarching vision the director may have. The director needs to say what works and what doesn’t without prejudice, but also needs to listen to the actors and what they think. Being a director is one thing, but being a dictator is another. After all, we’re all here to have fun.

Janne Andsten is only a small man with grand ideas. Or a grand man with small ideas, take your pick. In his free time he engages his mind with theoretical roleplaying, freeform pun battles and procrastination, though that is often postponed. Sometimes he also does theater.

Thespians Anonymous proudly presents their new production, coming out in May 2014, The Iliad, The Odyssey, and All of Greek Mythology, In 99 Minutes or Less! Stay tuned for more information coming soon!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *