The art of stage directing: a case of three Kenyan directors
Kahuro, Kevin Kimani
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Abstract This study interrogates the directing techniques/styles used by three Kenyan stage directors: Joseph Murungu a guruin the Schools and Colleges and Universities Drama Festival director, Sammy Mwangi of Heartstrings Entertainment and Andy Ruri of Sparks Theatre Company. The study examines how these directors use their directing techniques to convey thematic concerns, and the factors influencing the techniques/styles used. The study has been informed by the Auteur Theory – a theory that is appropriated in theatre studies – which refers to the director as the author of a film/theatre production. The theory argues that the point of view – and the implementation of the point of view of a dramatic production – comes almost entirely from the director rather than from a writer, the audience or the text. The study used observation of rehearsals and the performance, recording of the production and interviews as the primary means of data collection for analysis and interpretation. Textual analysis was applied to the recorded texts. Secondary data was obtained by sourcing materials from the libraries, online, published and unpublished works that are related to the study. This study foregrounds that directors with academic background and vast research in theatre have a wide and rich range of directing techniques, and thatKonstantin Stanislavski system acting is the most common acting style used in Kenya. This study also establishes that theatre directors try to influence the society by addressing the vices that affect the people and society at large.