SDC Devising

SDC Devising


Stage Directors and Choreographers Society (SDC) Directing Initiative

One student director (either graduate or undergraduate) from each region will be selected to participate in the National Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival in Washington D.C. each April. This award includes travel, lodging and per diem expenses, as well as attendance at KCACTF National Festival workshops and performances. Unique educational opportunities will be planned for the award recipients at the National Festival. In addition, finalists receive a one-year Associate Membership in SDC. SDC underwrites the National Award(s), which is the result of a unique collaboration between SDC and KCACTF. Associate Membership in SDC introduces each regional finalist to the national community of professional stage directors and choreographers. Additionally, they receive the monthly E-Newsletter, a subscription to SDC Journal (the Union’s quarterly magazine), free or discounted admission to SDC Foundation’s events, and specially negotiated discounts. For more information about SDC, please visit the website


To be eligible for the SDC student directing initiative students must be nominated by a faculty member from the student’s institution. Nominated students must have demonstrated excellence in direction. The institution must have entered either an associate or participating production for the regional festival during the year in which the nomination occurs.

Student Status: The participant must be a bona fide student at the time of the regional festival. The scene must also include bona fide student actors.

Up to twenty-four (24) student directors from the region will be selected to participate in the regional festival. The application and selection process is detailed below.


Students selected to participate in the competition must direct one scene from the nationally selected list of scenes (see below). The scene will include bona fide student actors, and will be rehearsed at the institution for presentation in a preliminary round at the regional festival. If more than one director participates from the same institution, the directors are discouraged from sharing actors for their projects and the directors are prohibited from acting in each other’s scenes.


The scenes for the 2020 KCACTF Region 7 Festival in Fort Collins, CO. (Mon. – Fri., Feb. 17-21, 2020) are listed below. Please note: page numbers may or may not align with acting editions, and a link to PDF versions of the scenes is at the end of the list.

Indecent by Paula Vogel. Published by TCG Group, Inc. Pages 56-67. Beginning with Madje: “Husband, that was Lemml on the phone”; ending with Asch “If you get this, will you please respond.” 2 women, 3men – doubling roles.

References to Salvidore Dali Make Me Hot by Jose Rivera. Published by TCG Group, Inc. Pages 20-33. Beginning with “Cat and Coyote howl in heat” to Mati’n: “You’re incontinent. Shakespeare said” 3 men, 2 women

Harlem Duet by Djanet Sears. Published by Scirrocco Drama Pages 64-74. Beginning with Magi: “And you know what he says…!” to Othello: “My skin is not me.” 2 women, 1 man

Old Flame by Mia Gibson. Published in Off Off Broadway Festival Plays, 38th Series, Samuel French. Pages 35-45. Entire Play. 2 women, 2 men.

A Map of Virtue by Erin Courtney. Published in The Downtown Anthology, Playscripts. Pages 19-28. Beginning with Bird Statue: “In the Middle of the Night….” To “See-eyed.” 2 women, 3 men. (single script also available here)

Phoebe in Winter by Jen Silverman. Published in The Downtown Anthology, Playscripts. Pages 19-28. Beginning with Boggett: “Not the Liam you were expecting!” to “Lights flicker into darkness.” (single script also available here)

The Three Sisters by Anton Chekhov adapted by David Mamet. Published by Grove Press. Pages 78-84. Beginning with Irina: “Yes, really, our Andrei has lost weight.” to Andrei: “No…’income’…no…” 4 women (one non-speaking), 2 men (+recorded voice of man singing)

Uncommon Women and Others by Wendy Wasserstein. Published by Dramatist Play Service. Pages 44-49, scenes 6-7. Beginning with Man’s Voice: “The college maintains that along with knowledge….” To “slides the raccoon coat over her head. Music swells, lights fad out.” 1 man voice over, 5 women.

Go.Please.Go by Emily Feldman; script acquired for restricted use for SDC only from Kelly Quinnett by emailing send mail. A couple decides: This isn’t working. He says he’ll leave, and then he doesn’t. He stays and stays, through 70 years of marriages, bar mitzvahs, baptisms and funerals. A contemporary take on Our Town.

Jump by Charly Evon Simpson, script NPX Jump is about flickering lights, vapes that fall from the sky, old homes, and a young woman who finds solace on a bridge.

No cuts may be made to the scene selected. Directors are encouraged to consider non-traditional casting for any of the scenes selected as can be supported by your concept.

Note: PDFs of the scenes listed above can be found online at here


Preliminary Round: A presentation of no more than six (6) minutes of the director’s selected scene (scenes will be timed, and will be stopped at 6 minutes if necessary). Students may select which six (6) minutes they’d like to share with the respondents. All directing candidates are required to stay for the entire round and the response sessions unless excused by the Directing Coordinator. Mentors of the directing students are encouraged but not required to attend. Other than for the scene in which they are performing, actors are not allowed in the room. After the presentation the respondents will respond to the work in front of the closed gathering of student directors and teachers/mentors. Following the preliminary round, the respondents will select up to ten (10) directors to continue to the semifinal and interview round.

Semi-Final and Interview Round: Students will present their scene in its entirety in this round. Respondents will provide immediate feedback following each scene. All semi-finalists are required to stay for the entire round and response sessions unless excused by the Directing Coordinator. Only SDC participants and mentors are allowed in the room (preliminary round directors are invited and encouraged to attend this closed session as well). Following the semifinal round, the semi-finalists will attend individual interviews with the respondents. At this time, the director’s book, written statements and approach will be discussed. No teachers/mentors or actors are allowed to participate in the interviews. After the interviews, the respondents will select up to six (6) students for the final round.

Final Round: Presentation of the scene in a round open to the public. A final round of presentations will consist of up to six (6) selected scenes. The final round will occur at least two days following the semi-final round to allow the director and actors time to work on the scene based on feedback from the semi- final round. Limited rehearsal space will be provided. Teachers/mentors may advise the student directors during these rehearsals. A response session will follow the final round. The response session will be a closed session. All finalists are required to attend. Mentors and all directors who participated in the preliminary round are invited to attend.


Analysis will consist of a prepared director’s book for the scene. Student directors will submit their analysis in two steps.

  1. Step 1: All student directors will submit an electronic copy of their director’s statement (as a PDF file) to the Directing Coordinator by Friday, February 7, 2020 at 5pm.
    • Failure to meet this deadline will disqualify the student director from participation in the event.
    • Director’s statement: The director’s written statement provides the personal, analytical and intuitive framework for the scene. It is a combination of script analysis, research, creativity and personal connection to the text. The statement should address the themes, images and specific lines of text that guide the director’s work, including the context of the scene; where/how the scene fits into the play. Please limit this statement to a single page (single space, 12pt font). Director’s name (name only, not school) must appear on the page.
  2. Step 2: All participating directors will submit a hard copy of their entire director’s book to the Directing Coordinator at the beginning of the Preliminary Round. The director’s book should include the director’s statement from step 1 (in hard copy format) in addition to the following:
    • Play Overview
      • A metaphor which expresses the essence of the play.
      •  A simple, one sentence telling of the story of the play.
      •  Given Circumstances: Address the following:
        • Geographical location, including climate 
        • Date: year, season, time of day 
        • Economic environment 
        • Political environment
        • Social environment 
        • Religious environment
    • Characters: provide the character’s objective for the scene, their obstacles (both internal and external) and discuss what the character learns (or how they change/evolve) in the scene.
    • Language: discuss how choice of words, images, phrases, sentence structures and the sound of the dialogue help to reveal character and provide meaning within the scene.
    • Scene Analysis
      • Dramatic Action: Include the following:
        • Provide a concise analysis of the scene’s basic conflict. 
        • The previous action (to the scene) 
        • Provide a copy of your script divided into units of action and beats. Give a nominative phrase as a title for each beat.
        • Detailed breakdown of the action. Separate the action into beats and provide an active present-tense verb for each character within each beat. Example: A entraps and B pleads
        • Indicate the key events for the scene (key discoveries and turning points, etc.)
    • Additional materials: provide any additional research material, images, etc., that helped you find the core of the scene.

Note: The hard copy book should identify the student director by name only, and omit student contact information and the name of the student’s institution.


The only furniture items permitted and provided will be two chairs, one table, and four acting cubes (approx. 18” x 18” x 18”). You may not have other furniture or set items.

Any hand props or costumes required for the scene must be provided by the director. If you have questions about what constitutes a “prop” verses a “set item” please contact the Directing Coordinator. The regional host and coordinators will not be able to provide props or costumes for the scenes.

Costumes may be used (but are not required).

The use of liquids/liquid substances of any kind must be approved by the Directing Coordinator at least 3 days before the beginning of the festival. Anything that might make a mess should be cleared with the Directing Coordinator.

Please note that there is no technical support in the way of lighting and sound. You may provide your own sound with your own equipment – no speakers or amps are provided. No lighting equipment will be provided for the scenes. Directors will simply say “lights up” when actors are set. Likewise, directors will say “lights down” to indicate the end of the action. There will be a three-minute break between each scene for set-up.


The respondents are skilled directors who have a strong track record of responding to directing and are out-of-region colleagues or local professionals who are not affiliated with regional institutions. They will respond to each scene in the preliminary round and semi-final round, will run the “interview round,” and will decide which student director will attend the events in Washington D.C. after seeing the final round. At least one member of the respondent team will be an SDC member. Note: Students chosen to attend events at the national festival in Washington D.C. are not chosen to work on original scripts.


To apply for the SDC Directing Initiative please submit the following materials as a single pdf. file by 5pm PST on December 1, 2019:

  1. SDC CONTACT INFORMATION COVER PAGE, include the following:
    • SDC Student Directing Initiative
    • Name of Directing Nominee
    • Institution Name
    • Cell Phone Contact for Nominee
    • Current Email Contact for Nominee
    • Name of Faculty Mentor
    • Phone Contact for Mentor
    • Current Email Contact for Mentor
  2. A LETTER OF APPLICATION from the student, which addresses the following:
    • Why are you interested in participating in this program?
    • Why are you interested in participating in this program?
    • How well prepared are you to participate in this program? (Note: This is not meant to ask about your preparation of materials for this festival, which may not have begun, but your preparation as a director overall.)
    • In what ways do you believe the program may contribute to your growth as a director?
    • You must also affirm your availability for the Region 7 KCACTF Festival in Fort Collins, CO. February 17-21, 2020 and for the National KCACTF Festival in Washington D.C., April 6-10, 2020. Please note, if selected only you will attend the National Festival for this program. The scene will only be performed at the Regional Festival. Your scene actors must attend the Region 7 Festival.
  3. A CURRENT RESUME for the nominee.
  4. A LETTER OF NOMINATION provided by a faculty member from the student’s institution (must be sent to the director coordinator separately, not by the student). The letter should address each of the following:
    • Provide information about their record as a student of directing, including coursework and practical directing experience. 
    • In your assessment of the student, how confident are you they will be well prepared to participate in this program? (Note: Please indicate “extremely confident”, “very confident”, “somewhat confident”, or “not very confident” with commentary explaining that assessment.)
    • How will this program benefit this student?
    • How important is it that this student be admitted to this program this year? (Note: Please indicate “very important”, “somewhat important”, or “not very important” with commentary explaining that assessment.)
    • Please affirm that your institution entered either an associate or participating production during the calendar year prior to the regional festival

All materials must be submitted electronically to:

Andrew Golla

Directing Coordinator, KCACTF Region 7

send mail

The application deadline is 5 PM PST, December 1, 2019. Failure to meet this deadline, follow the prescribed format listed above, or address all prompts in their application letter will disqualify the student director from participation in the event.

You should receive confirmation that your application was received within a couple of days. If you do not receive such confirmation within a couple of days of submitting your application, please contact the Directing Coordinator via email immediately.


A maximum of twenty-four (24) student directors from Region 7 will be selected to compete at the festival. Nominated directors will be selected based upon the following criteria: a) a complete application packet at the time of the deadline; b) the student’s response to the prompts in their application letter; and c) the faculty mentor’s responses to the prompts in their nomination letter.

Students will be notified of selection via email by December 15, 2019.