How to Create a Production Folder

If you are reading this, you have probably been assigned to create a production folder indicating how you would direct a particular play. This may seem daunting particularly if you are not a drama student. I have provided you with some A grade student work that should give you an indication of how best to accomplish this task. You will see these examples to your left, a paper on The Vagina Monologues by Amanda Pawlik and Six Characters in Search of an Author by Kate Regan.

Below is a typical assignment you will have received. Past folders have included sketches of costumes, set, etc. but you may also simply write an essay.

Imagine you are directing a new production of one of: The Lesson, Six Characters…. Endgame, or The Zoo Story, and write the production notes. You may, if you choose, focus on one particular scene, or an act, rather than having to look in detail at the entire play. Don’t worry if you are not a drama student—I am asking you to show your understanding of the play, not display your knowledge of directing or theatre practice. The production notes should answer questions such as the following:

What would be the important points to bring out in your version? Could you update the setting, or the language and create an “alternative” performance in that way? Could you cross gender cast the play? What ethnic background might your actors have? What sorts of accents? What would the design look like? The costumes? How realistic should the props, costume and set be? What lines and stage directions would you choose to highlight, or ignore, in order to put forward your view of what the play might be like? What sort of audience might you expect, and how might you meet, or challenge, their expectations?

I have illustrated this page with some highlights from Lyn Nagel’s extremely detailed production notes for Six Characters in Search of an Author. She went so far as to cast the play with her dream cast, outfit the actors, and even worked out a very complicated bow order! Please do not feel your production notes need to be as complex as Lyn’s. Note, however, that she has completed her project not in essay style but as an annotated portfolio of materials.