DRM402H1 Advanced Directing

An exploration of advanced directing for the theatre. The class is centered on student directed short productions, which are publicly presented at the end of term. Emphasis is placed on strong dramaturgical readings, imagination, collaboration, and creativity. The DRM402H1 Directors' Showcase in Fall 2024 will be a series of student-directed 20-minute scenes/short plays.

2024 Application dates 

  • March10, 2024: Apply online by selecting DRM402H. 

  • April 10, 2024: Upload your DRM402H Proposal Submission (2-3 pages). 

  • April 10, 2024: send Colleen Osborn a copy of the proposal and a copy of the text/script (pdf or link if the text is available online).

  • April 17, 2024: follow-up interview to discuss your proposal.


  • Specialist or Major in Drama with a minimum of 70% in the following: DRM220Y1, DRM331H1 and DRM302H1; a written proposal and an interview in April.

How Does the Showcase Work?

The concept of the Directors' Showcase is to work within the restrictions you might experience in your first foray into the professional world, namely at a Fringe Festival. At these festivals there are strict time constraints in terms of length of play because the changeover between shows has to be very short. For that reason, there are also constraints in terms of set, lighting, projections, and sound — constraints that are very useful as you learn how to be an effective director.  

You might be an experienced director, or you might be directing for the very first time. The course is open to all of you. You will be mentored by your instructor and other professionals to work with your level of skill, and you will also work in a team with your fellow student directors.  

Proposal Guidelines

You can propose one of the following: 

a. A complete short play (20 minutes or under).  
b. An excerpt (20 minutes or under) of a longer play. If you choose this option, you must submit your edited version of the play.  
c. An adaptation (20 minutes or under) of a longer play or a short story.

Some important factors to consider for your proposal: 

Time is of the essence. If you are submitting an excerpt from a longer play, or an adaptation, make all your cuts before you submit your proposal. Read the play out loud to see how long it is. Usually, 20 to 25 pages will equal 20 minutes. However, you might want to add a movement section or long pauses. Take these factors into consideration.  

The rights to the play can be problematic. Not all authors allow their plays to be cut, even dead ones. Not all authors allow gender swaps, reordering scenes, etc. Do some research into the play before you propose it. Once you are accepted in the course, the department will apply and pay for the rights, but we don't always get them, so be forewarned. Sometimes student directors are forced to change their choice. 

We will not consider a play you have written yourself. We will consider a play written by a fellow student if it is not longer than required.  

Budget. The budgets for the student shows are very small. We tend to pull a lot of costumes, set and props from storage. You will be working with students in the design classes to achieve your vision.  

Your Proposal Should Contain:

  • Your name, student number, e-mail, and phone number 
  • Confirmation that you have completed the following prerequisites by April 2024: DRM220Y1, DRM302H1 and DRM331H1 
  • A statement addressing the reasons you are drawn to this particular project: why this play — here, now?  
  • A brief outline of your proposed production: what will it look and sound like? Please reference the specific scenes and page numbers. Include some images.  
  • Describe your previous experience as a director, or, if you have none, describe anything else you have done on for the stage — whether you were an actor, a stage manager, a props person, a lighting designer, the playwright.  
  • If you have little to no experience in theatre, describe other work you have done which is akin to the performing arts — making films or choreographing dance, for example.
  • Include a copy of the script or a link to the script (combined PDF — your proposal + script).
  • Address the proposal to "DRM402H Selection Committee." 

How To Submit Your Proposal:

  • Upload a PDF attachment of your proposal saved as yourname_402submission to your DRM402H application
  • Email a copy of your online submission and a copy of the play/link to the play to the Undergraduate Coordinator by 11:59pm on April 10, 2024.


  • Interviews will be held in April over Zoom on April 17 between 12pm to 3pm.
  • Exact interview times will be emailed to applicants after the proposal deadline.
  • Please be prepared to discuss the specific project that you have proposed in an interview.

Please note

  • Students will be notified of their acceptance by email in late-May once all grades are entered.