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Palgrave Macmillan

The Director and Directing

Craft, Process and Aesthetic in Contemporary Theatre

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  • © 2019


  • Offers a coherent discussion of both the commonalities and divergences in a range of directors’ work
  • Explores directors' relationships with the actor/performer, the audience/spectator, and with the theatrical material itself
  • Includes first-hand testimony from a range of practitioners as well as the author's own spectatorship

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Table of contents (7 chapters)


About this book

This book critically assesses the artistry of contemporary directors. Its discussion includes the work of Declan Donnellan, Thomas Ostermeier, Deborah Warner, Simon Stone and Krzysztof Warlikowski. Alongside the work of wider theorists (Patrice Pavis and Erika Fischer-Lichte), it uses neuroaesthetic theory (Semir Zeki) and cognitive and creative process models to offer an original means to discuss the performance event, emotion, brain structures and concepts, and the actor’s body in performance. It offers first-hand observation of rehearsals led by Katie Mitchell, Ivo van Hove, Carrie Cracknell and the Steppenwolf Theatre. It also explores devising in relation to the work of Simon McBurney and contemporary groups, and scenography in relation to the work of Dmitry Krymov, Robert Wilson and Robert Lepage. The Director and Directing argues that the director creates a type of knowledge, ‘reward’ and ‘resonant experience’ (G. Gabrielle Starr) through instinctive and expert choices.


Authors and Affiliations

  • Reader in Theatre and Performance, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK

    Adam J. Ledger

About the author

Adam J. Ledger is Reader in Theatre and Performance, University of Birmingham, UK. He has published widely on performance practice. His previous publications include Odin Teatret: Theatre in a New Century (Palgrave Macmillan) and chapters and articles on several international directors. He is co-artistic director of The Bone Ensemble.

Bibliographic Information

  • Book Title: The Director and Directing

  • Book Subtitle: Craft, Process and Aesthetic in Contemporary Theatre

  • Authors: Adam J. Ledger

  • DOI:

  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan London

  • eBook Packages: Literature, Cultural and Media Studies, Literature, Cultural and Media Studies (R0)

  • Copyright Information: The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2019

  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-137-40766-5Published: 11 April 2019

  • Softcover ISBN: 978-1-349-68105-1Published: 27 September 2019

  • eBook ISBN: 978-1-137-40767-2Published: 02 April 2019

  • Edition Number: 1

  • Number of Pages: XII, 275

  • Number of Illustrations: 4 b/w illustrations, 14 illustrations in colour

  • Topics: Theatre and Performance Studies

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