Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts



First Advisor

Noreen Barnes


This is an exploration of the director's role in autobiographical theatre. The director is in a unique position when storytelling on a personal level is being executed theatrically. I explored this topic over the course of directing three plays, each of which contained a strong personal storytelling element, which broadened my perspective of the director's role. The three plays were Slashtipher Coleman’s The Neon Man and Me, Birth by Karen Brody, and Will Power to Youth Richmond presents: William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. Traditionally, the director’s role includes a myriad of tasks. These tasks can include and are not limited to creating pictures on stage that reflect the story being told, coaching actors in their craft specific to the production, vocal and movement coaching, viii creating a concept, interpreting and translating the action, and being the intermediary amongst the creative team in reaching the overall artistic vision. However, when the director is presented with personal stories to shape and mold, this role changes; no longer can the director wear a traditional hat and assume that the story will tell itself through a series of pictures, but now the director dons different hats and accesses other skills that more closely reflect those of mentor, spiritual leader, psychologist, teacher, and friend. This thesis is a narrative of the explorative process that one director experienced when staging these three prototypes of autobiographical theatre.


© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

August 2009