New York University
Educational Theatre Program
Dr. Nancy Smithner
May 14, 2010
Final Self- Assessment
To articulate my personal growth that took place in this course is almost incomprehensible. This was by far the most challenging class I enrolled in this semester. I approached my work with vigor and ferociously defended the beliefs I have set for myself as to what makes quality theatre. I have honed my critical eye and raised my standards, knowing what I am capable of and never settling for less. I have defined my ideals of artistic integrity and look to reevaluate those ideals with every new piece of theatre I have experienced.
In order to keep challenging myself with the course work, I explored our assigned readings with eagerness. When I came across an unfamiliar name, theory, technique, etc. I would research it online. Many times that research would lead me to new research, which would lead me to new research and before I would even realize it… 2 hours of concentrated learning had gone by and I was still on page 3 of the reading. That is really the beauty of the internet. It was in these moments that I relished in my role as a student of the theatre. I have gotten such immense pleasure out of directing and our assigned readings that I wanted to soak up more material. I was like a sponge. Coming from a girl that struggled with some devastating learning disabilities through out my childhood and adolescent years… (dyslexia, dysgraphia, ADD) I really savor the moments when school ignites a deep passion to learn. It is such a radically different feeling from what I am accustomed to, I could write an entire book on the ways a class such as “Advanced Directing” has changed me in my role as an accomplished learner. I’m leaving for a vacation to Italy on Tuesday and I’m excited to take some of the readings from the class with me. I’ll have a whole looong plane ride to delve back into the material and reevaluate it based on the experiences I had in class.
I can’t wait to direct my next full scale piece. I am salivating! I have all of these tools and no venue to work in! This class has given me a plethora of techniques, tools and ideas just waiting to be used! My one regret, I wish we had gone into some “career development” talk. How to make connections and where to find more professional directing opportunities. I’m very eager to direct in “the real world” again, and I’m a little confused as far as which route I should take to work towards that goal. I am inspired by directing, it engages my artistic interests on so many levels. From design to research, inspiration to collaboration; I find directing wholly fulfilling.
In finishing this course I feel as though I have a strong understanding of many of the techniques we learned and confidence in my ability to facilitate several of them as a director. I am anxious to explore future productions through the eye of the director and help others to make connections to theatrical work. I was passionately dedicated to my scene work and able to learn from my mistakes. I maintained my attention to detail and made clear choices in my directing that translated onto the stage. I enjoyed the weekly reading assignments and made notes of my favorites so that I can revisit them in the future. Being that I plan on teaching in colleges and communities I am excited about the freedom I will have to explore this work in a way that mirrors your facilitation of the techniques.
I learned the most about myself as an artist and learner. I redefined my identity by taking ownership of the type of student I was versus the type of student I have become. By challenging myself and overcoming personal obstacles I have made the connection of how to use the content learned in class and apply that passion to my everyday life. I have become an astute observer of the nuances in our world and my artist eye has only improved from that realization. I leave this class with confidence in my capability as a director, an artist and as a hungry student, which is truly the most priceless lesson of all.