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Directing Workshop with Don Bellairs

Saturday, January 26, 2019 - 09:30
One-day workshop, Zofingerhaus, Alpeneggstrasse 8, Bern

Time: 9:30 – 17:00 with a lunch break
Venue: Zofingerhaus, Alpeneggstrasse 8, Bern
Workshop Fee: 50 CHF, Upstage members, students, pensioners: 40 CHF
Registration: send an email to

Are you interested in understanding the work of a director? Perhaps you are considering directing, or assisting a director? Through this workshop you will learn the skills needed to direct a stage play and gain the confidence to be a director.

The following topics will be covered:
• the roles of a director
• what makes a good director
• selecting a script
• choosing a cast
• scheduling and rehearsing
• blocking and movement
• learning lines
• using placement, movement, and lighting to present the story
• working with the Production Manager to realise the lighting, set and sound design, costumes and props,
• overcoming obstacles (stage fright, forgotten lines, rehearsal fatigue).

We will learn traditional stage directions and shorthand and use these (e.g. Cross Down Centre or "x DC") to block and present short sections of familiar plays. We will participate in activities to promote teamwork, self-awareness, and artistry. We will discuss potential challenges and how to address them and assess our own potential to direct a show. We will explore ideas and suggestions for future productions. Finally, we will evaluate the workshop.

About Don Bellairs

Don has a BSc in Language Arts Education an MA in Education. He trained formally in theater at Berea (KY) College, at Eastern Kentucky University and at the University of Texas-Arlington, as well as studying film at the Pennsylvania State University.

Don taught theater arts at both the middle-school and high-school levels for several years and often incorporated theater skills into his video production classes as well as his literature and composition classes. He has written and produced two dozen original stage productions for his drama classes, including one that was performed in spoken English and American Sign Language simultaneously. He has directed more than 50 upper-school stage plays and video productions. In his fifty-year theater experience, Don has also directed over a dozen community theater plays and has performed in over 25.

After retiring from teaching, Don began acting in independent films produced in the Portland, Oregon area while continuing to work with a local community theater company. A few years ago, he moved with his wife to Switzerland and now lives in Adelboden.