Antoine Marie Joseph Artaud, better known as Antonin Artaud, was a French dramatist, essayist and theatre director recognized as one of the major figures of twentieth-century theatre and the European avant-garde. Antonin Artaud was born in France, to Euphrasie Nalpas and Antoine-Roi Artaud. Both his parents were natives of Smyrna, he was affected by his Greek ancestry. Antoine-Roi Artaud was a shipowner. Euphrasie gave birth to nine children. Antonin contracted meningitis at age four. At the time the disease had no cure, but after a long struggle including a comatose period, a weakened Antonin survived. Artaud's parents arranged a long series of sanatorium stays for their temperamental son, which were both prolonged and expensive; this lasted five years, with a break of two months in June and July 1916, when Artaud was conscripted into the French Army. He was discharged due to addiction to laudanum and mental instability. During Artaud's "rest cures" at the sanatorium, he read Arthur Rimbaud, Charles Baudelaire, Edgar Allan Poe.
In May 1919, the director of the sanatorium prescribed laudanum for Artaud, precipitating a lifelong addiction to that and other opiates. Antoine suffered a nervous breakdown at age 19. In March 1921, Artaud moved to Paris to pursue a career as a writer and instead discovered he had a talent for avant-garde theatre. While training and performing with directors including Charles Dullin and Georges Pitoeff, he continued to write both poetry and essays. At the age of 27, he mailed some of his poems to the journal La Nouvelle Revue Française, their compilation into an epistolary work, Correspondance avec Jacques Rivière, was Artaud's first major publication. Artaud cultivated a great interest in cinema as well, writing the scenario for the first surrealist film, The Seashell and the Clergyman, directed by Germaine Dulac; this film influenced Salvador Dalí and Luis Buñuel, two key Spanish surrealists, when they made Un Chien Andalou. Artaud's performance as Jean-Paul Marat in Abel Gance's Napoleon used exaggerated movements to convey the fire of Marat's personality.
He played the monk Massieu in Carl Theodor Dreyer's The Passion of Joan of Arc. In 1926–28, Artaud ran the Alfred Jarry Theatre, along with Roger Vitrac, he directed original works by Vitrac, as well as pieces by Claudel and Strindberg. The theatre advertised that they would produce Artaud's play Jet de sang in their 1926–1927 season, but it was never mounted and was not premiered until 40 years later; the Theatre was short-lived, but was attended by an enormous range of European artists, including André Gide, Arthur Adamov, Paul Valéry. In 1931, Artaud saw Balinese dance performed at the Paris Colonial Exposition. Although he did not understand the intentions and ideas behind traditional Balinese performance, it influenced many of his ideas for theatre. During this year, Artaud's First Manifesto for a Theatre of Cruelty was published in La Nouvelle Revue Française. In 1935, Artaud's production of his adaptation of Shelley's The Cenci premiered. Les Censi was a commercial failure, although it employed innovative sound effects—including the first theatrical use of the electronic instrument the Ondes Martenot—and had a set designed by Balthus.
After the production failed, Artaud received a grant to travel to Mexico, where in 1936 he met his first Mexican-Parisian friend, the painter Federico Cantú, when Cantú gave lectures on the decadence of Western civilization. Artaud studied and lived with the Tarahumaran people and experimented with peyote, recording his experiences, which were released in a volume called Voyage to the Land of the Tarahumara; the content of this work resembles the poems of his days, concerned with the supernatural. Artaud recorded his horrific withdrawal from heroin upon entering the land of the Tarahumaras. Having deserted his last supply of the drug at a mountainside, he had to be hoisted onto his horse and soon resembled, in his words, "a giant, inflamed gum". Artaud would return to opiates in life. In 1937, Artaud returned to France, where he obtained a walking stick of knotted wood that he believed belonged not only to St. Patrick, but Lucifer and Jesus Christ. Artaud traveled to Ireland, landing at Cobh and travelling to Galway in an effort to return the staff, though speaking little English, no Irish whatsoever, he was unable to make himself understood.
He would not have been admitted at Cobh, according to Irish government documents, except that he carried a letter of introduction from the Paris embassy. Most of his trip was spent in a hotel room, he was forcibly removed from the grounds of Milltown House, a Jesuit community, when he refused to leave. Before deportation he was confined in the notorious Mountjoy Prison. According to Irish Government papers he was deported as "a destitute and undesirable alien". On his return trip by ship, Artaud believed he was being attacked by two crew members, he retaliated, he was put in a straitjacket. His best-known work, The Theatre and Its Double, was published in 1938; this book contained the two manifestos of the Theatre of Cruelty. There, "he proposed a theatre, in effect a return to magic and ritual and he sough
Vsevolod Emilevich Meyerhold was a Russian and Soviet theatre director and theatrical producer. His provocative experiments dealing with physical being and symbolism in an unconventional theatre setting made him one of the seminal forces in modern international theatre. During the Great Purge, Meyerhold was arrested and executed in February 1940. Vsevolod Meyerhold was born Karl Kasimir Theodor Meierhold in Penza on 28 January o.s. 1874 to Russian-German wine manufacturer Emil Fyodorovich Meierhold and his Russian-Dutch wife, Alvina Danilovna. He was the youngest of eight children. After completing school in 1895, Meierhold studied law at Moscow University but never completed his degree, he was torn between studying a career as a violinist. However, he failed his audition to become the second violinist in the University orchestra and in 1896 joined the Moscow Philharmonic Dramatic School. On his 21st birthday, he converted from Lutheranism to Orthodox Christianity and accepted "Vsevolod" as an Orthodox Christian name.
Meyerhold began acting in 1896 as a student of the Moscow Philharmonic Dramatic School under the guidance of Vladimir Nemirovich-Danchenko, co-founder with Konstantin Stanislavsky of the Moscow Art Theatre. At the MAT, Meyerhold played 18 roles, such as Vasiliy Shuiskiy in Tsar Fyodor Ioannovich and Ivan the Terrible in The Death of Ivan the Terrible. In 1898, in the first successful production of Chekhov's first play, The Seagull, Meyerhold played the lead male role, opposite Chekhov's future wife, Olga Knipper. After leaving the MAT in 1902, wanting to break free of the naturalistic'missing fourth wall' productions of Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko, Meyerhold participated in a number of theatrical projects, as both a director and actor; each project was an arena for creation of new staging methods. Meyerhold was one of the most fervent advocates of Symbolism in theatre when he worked as the chief producer of the Vera Komissarzhevskaya theatre in 1906–1907, he was invited back to the MAT around this time to pursue his experimental ideas.
Meyerhold continued theatrical innovation during the decade 1907–1917, while working with the imperial theatres in St. Petersburg, he introduced classical plays in an innovative manner, staged works of controversial contemporary authors like Fyodor Sologub, Zinaida Gippius, Alexander Blok. In these plays, Meyerhold tried to return acting to the traditions of Commedia dell'arte, rethinking them for the contemporary theatrical reality, his theoretical concepts of the "conditional theatre" were elaborated in his book On Theatre in 1913. On the day when the Russian Revolution of 1917 broke out - on 25 February, under the old style calendar used in Russia - Meyerhold's production of Masquerade by Mikhail Lermontov had a dress rehearsal at the Alexandrinsky Theatre, in front of an audience that included the poet Anna Akhmatova; that evening has been described as "the last act of the tragedy of the old regime, when the Petersburg elite went to enjoy themselves at this splendidly luxurious production in the midst of the chaos and confusion.".
Sergei Eisenstein, a teenager but would be a world-renowned film director wanted to see the production, having heard that it featured clowns, but having made his way across the city, in the throes of a revolution was disappointed to discover that the Alexandrinsky was closed. Meyerhold was one of the first prominent Russian artists to welcome the Bolshevik Revolution - and one of only five out of 120 who accepted an invitation to meet the new People's Commissar for Enlightenment, Anatoly Luncharsky in November 1917, he joined the Bolshevik Party in 1918, narrowly escaping execution when he was caught on the wrong side of the battle lines during the civil war. He became an official of the Theatre Division of the Commissariat of Enlightenment. In 1918 -- 1919, Meyerhold formed an alliance with the head of the Division. Together, they tried to radicalize Russian theatres nationalizing them under Bolshevik control. Meyerhold had to leave for the south. In his absence, the head of the Commissariat, Anatoly Lunacharsky, secured Vladimir Lenin's permission to revise government policy in favor of more traditional theatres and dismissed Kameneva in June 1919.
After returning to Moscow, Meyerhold founded his own theatre in 1920, known from 1923 as the Meyerhold Theatre until 1938. Meyerhold confronted the principles of theatrical academism, claiming that they are incapable of finding a common language with the new reality. Meyerhold's methods of scenic constructivism and circus-style effects were used in his most successful works of the time; some of these works included Nikolai Erdman's The Mandate, Mayakovsky's Mystery-Bouffe, Fernand Crommelynck's Le Cocu magnifique and Aleksandr Sukhovo-Kobylin's Tarelkin's Death. Mayakovsky collaborated with Meyerhold several times, was said to have written The Bedbug for him; the actors participating in Meyerhold's productions acted according to the principle of biomechanics, the system of actor training, taught in a special school created by Meyerhold. Meyerhold's acting technique had fundamental principles at o
Performance is completion of a task with application of knowledge and abilities. In work place, performance or job performance means good ranking with the hypothesized conception of requirements of a role. There are two types of job performances: task. Task performance is related to cognitive ability while contextual performance is dependent upon personality. Task performance are behavioral roles that are recognized in job descriptions and by remuneration systems, they are directly related to organizational performance, contextual performance are value based and additional behavioral roles that are not recognized in job descriptions and covered by compensation. Citizenship performance like contextual performance means a set of individual activity/contribution that supports the organizational culture. In the performing arts, a performance comprises an event in which a performer or group of performers present one or more works of art to an audience. In instrumental music, performance is described as "play".
The performers participate in rehearsals beforehand. An effective performance is determined by achievement skills and competency of the performer - level of skill and knowledge. Spencer and McClelland in 1994 defined competency as "a combination of motives, self-concepts, cognitive behavior skills" that helps a performer to differentiate themselves superior from average performers. A performance may describe the way in which an actor performs. In a solo capacity, it may refer to a mime artist, conjurer, or other entertainer. Williams and Krane found the following characteristics define an ideal performance state: Absence of fear Not thinking about the performance Adaptive focus on the activity A sense of effortlessness and belief in confidence or self-efficacy A sense of personal control A distortion of time and space where time does not affect the activityOther related factors are motivation to achieve success or avoid failure, task relevant attention, positive self-talk and cognitive regulation to achieve automaticity.
Performance is dependent on adaptation of eight areas: Handling crisis, managing stress, creative problem solving, knowing necessary functional tools and skills, agile management of complex processes, interpersonal adaptability, cultural adaptability, physical fitness. Performance is not always a result of practice, it is about honing the skill over practice itself can result in failure due to ego depletion. Theatrical performances when the audience is limited to only a few observers, can lead to significant increases in the performer's heart rate above his or her baseline heart rate; this increase takes place in several stages relative to the performance itself, including anticipatory activation, confrontation activation and release period. The same physiological reactions can be experienced in other mediums, such as instrumental performance; when experiments were conducted to determine whether there was a correlation between audience size and heart rate of instrumental performers, the researcher's findings ran contrary to previous studies, showing a positive correlation rather than a negative one.
Heart rate shares a positive correlation with the self reported anxiety of performers. Other physiological responses to public performance include perspiration, secretion of the adrenal glands, increased blood pressure. Bell, B. S. & Kozlowski, S. W. J.. Active learning: Effects of core training design elements on self regulatory processes and adaptability. Journal of Applied Psychology, 93, 296-316. Fadde, P. J. & Klein, G. A.. Deliberate performance: Accelerating expertise in natural settings. Performance Improvement, 49, 5-15. Freeman, S. Eddy, S. McDounough, M. et al. Active learning increases student performance in science and mathematics. PNAS, 111, 8410-8414. Gagne, R. M.. Military training and principles of learning. American psychologist, 17, 83-91. Lohman, M.. Cultivating problem solving skills through problem based approaches to professional development. Human Resource Development Quarterly, 13, 243-256. Meyer, R.. Problem solving skills through problem based approaches to professional development.
Human Resource Development Quarterly, 13, 263-270. Noordzu, G. Hooft, E. Mierlo, H. et al. The effects of a learning-goal orientation training on self-regulation: A field experiment among unemployed job seekers. Personnel Psychology, 66, 723-755
Theatre or theater is a collaborative form of fine art that uses live performers actors or actresses, to present the experience of a real or imagined event before a live audience in a specific place a stage. The performers may communicate this experience to the audience through combinations of gesture, song and dance. Elements of art, such as painted scenery and stagecraft such as lighting are used to enhance the physicality and immediacy of the experience; the specific place of the performance is named by the word "theatre" as derived from the Ancient Greek θέατρον, itself from θεάομαι. Modern Western theatre comes, in large measure, from the theatre of ancient Greece, from which it borrows technical terminology, classification into genres, many of its themes, stock characters, plot elements. Theatre artist Patrice Pavis defines theatricality, theatrical language, stage writing and the specificity of theatre as synonymous expressions that differentiate theatre from the other performing arts and the arts in general.
Modern theatre includes performances of musical theatre. The art forms of ballet and opera are theatre and use many conventions such as acting and staging, they were influential to the development of musical theatre. The city-state of Athens is, it was part of a broader culture of theatricality and performance in classical Greece that included festivals, religious rituals, law and gymnastics, poetry, weddings and symposia. Participation in the city-state's many festivals—and mandatory attendance at the City Dionysia as an audience member in particular—was an important part of citizenship. Civic participation involved the evaluation of the rhetoric of orators evidenced in performances in the law-court or political assembly, both of which were understood as analogous to the theatre and came to absorb its dramatic vocabulary; the Greeks developed the concepts of dramatic criticism and theatre architecture. Actors were either amateur or at best semi-professional; the theatre of ancient Greece consisted of three types of drama: tragedy and the satyr play.
The origins of theatre in ancient Greece, according to Aristotle, the first theoretician of theatre, are to be found in the festivals that honoured Dionysus. The performances were given in semi-circular auditoria cut into hillsides, capable of seating 10,000–20,000 people; the stage consisted of a dancing floor, dressing scene-building area. Since the words were the most important part, good acoustics and clear delivery were paramount; the actors wore masks appropriate to the characters they represented, each might play several parts. Athenian tragedy—the oldest surviving form of tragedy—is a type of dance-drama that formed an important part of the theatrical culture of the city-state. Having emerged sometime during the 6th century BCE, it flowered during the 5th century BCE, continued to be popular until the beginning of the Hellenistic period. No tragedies from the 6th century BCE and only 32 of the more than a thousand that were performed in during the 5th century BCE have survived. We have complete texts extant by Aeschylus and Euripides.
The origins of tragedy remain obscure, though by the 5th century BCE it was institutionalised in competitions held as part of festivities celebrating Dionysus. As contestants in the City Dionysia's competition playwrights were required to present a tetralogy of plays, which consisted of three tragedies and one satyr play; the performance of tragedies at the City Dionysia may have begun as early as 534 BCE. Most Athenian tragedies dramatise events from Greek mythology, though The Persians—which stages the Persian response to news of their military defeat at the Battle of Salamis in 480 BCE—is the notable exception in the surviving drama; when Aeschylus won first prize for it at the City Dionysia in 472 BCE, he had been writing tragedies for more than 25 years, yet its tragic treatment of recent history is the earliest example of drama to survive. More than 130 years the philosopher Aristotle analysed 5th-century Athenian tragedy in the oldest surviving work of dramatic theory—his Poetics. Athenian comedy is conventionally divided into three periods, "Old Comedy", "Middle Comedy", "New Comedy".
Old Comedy survives today in the form of the eleven surviving plays of Aristophanes, while Middle Comedy is lost. New Comedy is known from the substantial papyrus fragments of Menander. Aristotle defined comedy as a representation of laughable people that involves some kind of blunder or ugliness that does not cause pain or disaster. In addition to the categories of comedy and tragedy at the City Dionysia, the festival included the Satyr Play. Finding its origins in rural, agricultural rituals dedicated to Dionysus, the satyr play found its way to Athens in its most well-known form. Satyr's themselves were tied to the god Dionysus as his loyal woodland companions engaging in drunken revelry and mischief at his side; the satyr play itself was classified as tragicomedy, erring
Stanislavski's system is a systematic approach to training actors that the Russian theatre practitioner Konstantin Stanislavski developed in the first half of the 20th century. Stanislavski was the first in the West to propose that actor training should involve something more than physical and vocal training, his system cultivates what he calls the "art of experiencing". It mobilises the actor's conscious thought and will in order to activate other, less-controllable psychological processes—such as emotional experience and subconscious behaviour—sympathetically and indirectly. In rehearsal, the actor searches for inner motives to justify action and the definition of what the character seeks to achieve at any given moment. Stanislavski further elaborated the system with a more physically grounded rehearsal process that came to be known as the "Method of Physical Action". Minimising at-the-table discussions, he now encouraged an "active analysis", in which the sequence of dramatic situations are improvised.
"The best analysis of a play", Stanislavski argued, "is to take action in the given circumstances."Thanks to its promotion and development by acting teachers who were former students and the many translations of Stanislavski's theoretical writings, his system acquired an unprecedented ability to cross cultural boundaries and developed a reach, dominating debates about acting in the West. Stanislavski’s ideas have become accepted as common sense so that actors may use them without knowing that they do. Many actors equate his system with the American Method, although the latter's psychological techniques contrast with the multivariant and psychophysical approach of the "system", which explores character and action both from the'inside out' and the'outside in' and treats the actor's mind and body as parts of a continuum. In response to his characterisation work on Argan in Molière's The Imaginary Invalid in 1913, Stanislavski concluded that "a character is sometimes formed psychologically, i.e. from the inner image of the role, but at other times it is discovered through purely external exploration."
In fact Stanislavski found that many of his students who were "method acting" were having many mental problems, instead encouraged his students to shake off the character after rehearsing. Throughout his career, Stanislavski subjected his acting and direction to a rigorous process of artistic self-analysis and reflection, his system of acting developed out of his persistent efforts to remove the blocks that he encountered in his performances, beginning with a major crisis in 1906. Having worked as an amateur actor and director until the age of 33, in 1898 Stanislavski co-founded with Vladimir Nemirovich-Danchenko the Moscow Art Theatre and began his professional career; the two of them were resolved to institute a revolution in the staging practices of the time. Benedetti offers a vivid portrait of the poor quality of mainstream theatrical practice in Russia before the MAT: The script meant less than nothing. Sometimes the cast did not bother to learn their lines. Leading actors would plant themselves downstage centre, by the prompter's box, wait to be fed the lines deliver them straight at the audience in a ringing voice, giving a fine display of passion and "temperament."
Everyone, in fact, spoke their lines out front. Direct communication with the other actors was minimal. Furniture was so arranged. Stanislavski's early productions were created without the use of his system, his first international successes were staged using an external, director-centred technique that strove for an organic unity of all its elements—in each production he planned the interpretation of every role and the mise en scène in detail in advance. He introduced into the production process a period of discussion and detailed analysis of the play by the cast. Despite the success that this approach brought with his Naturalistic stagings of the plays of Anton Chekhov and Maxim Gorky, Stanislavski remained dissatisfied. Both his struggles with Chekhov's drama and his experiments with Symbolism encouraged a greater attention to "inner action" and a more intensive investigation of the actor's process, he began to develop the more actor-centred techniques of "psychological realism" and his focus shifted from his productions to rehearsal process and pedagogy.
He pioneered the use of theatre studios as a laboratory in which to innovate actor training and to experiment with new forms of theatre. Stanislavski came to organise his techniques into a coherent, systematic methodology, which built on three major strands of influence: the director-centred, unified aesthetic and disciplined, ensemble approach of the Meiningen company. Stanislavski's earliest reference to his system appears in 1909, the same year that he first incorporated it into his rehearsal process. Olga Knipper and many of the other MAT actors in that production—Ivan Turgenev's comedy A Month in the Country—resented Stanislavski's use of it as a laboratory in which to conduct his experiments. At Stanislavski's instistence, the MAT went on to adopt his system as its official rehearsal method in 1911; this system is based on "experiencing a role." This principle demands that as an actor, you should "experience feelings analogous" to those that the character experiences "each and every time you do it."
Stanislavski approvingly quotes Tommaso Salvini when he insists that actors should feel what they portray "at every performance, be it the first or the thousandth."Not all
Eugenio Barba is an Italian author and theatre director based in Denmark. He is the founder of the Odin Theatre and the International School of Theatre Anthropology, both located in Holstebro, Denmark. Although Barba was born in Brindisi, he grew up in Gallipoli in the Province of Lecce, where his family came from, his family’s socio-economic situation changed when his father, a military officer, was wounded in the Second World War and died soon after. Upon completing high school at the Nunziatella military academy of Naples in 1954, he abandoned the idea of following his father into the military. Instead, in 1954, he emigrated to Norway to work as a sailor, he took a degree in French, Norwegian literature, history of religion at Oslo University. In 1961 he went to Warsaw in Poland to study theatre direction at the State Theatre School, but left one year to join Jerzy Grotowski, who at that time was the leader of Teatr 13 Rzedow in Opole. Barba stayed with Grotowski for three years. In 1963 he traveled to India where he had his first encounter with Kathakali, a theatre form which had received little attention in the West up to that time.
Barba wrote an essay on Kathakali, published in Italy, the USA and Denmark. His first book, Grotowski in search of a Lost Theatre, was published in Italy and Hungary in 1965; when Barba returned to Oslo in 1964, he wanted to become a professional theatre director, but as he was a foreigner, he was not welcome in the profession. In this period he became a close friend to the Norwegian author and rebel Jens Bjørneboe with whom he wanted to start the theatre group. Together, they gathered a group of young people who had not passed their admission test to Oslo’s State Theatre School, created the Odin Teatret on 1 October 1964; the group rehearsed in an air raid shelter. Their first production, Ornitofilene, by the Norwegian author Jens Bjørneboe, was performed in Norway, Sweden and Denmark, they were subsequently invited by the Danish municipality of Holstebro, a small town in the Northwest, to create a theatre laboratory there. They were offered a small sum of money to set them on their feet. Since Barba and his colleagues have made Holstebro the base for the Odin Teatret.
During the past forty two years Eugenio Barba has directed 65 productions with Odin Teatret and the Theatrum Mundi Ensemble, some of which have required up to two years of preparation. Among the best known are Ferai, Min Fars Hus, Brecht’s Ashes, The Gospel According to Oxyrhincus, Itsi Bitsi and Mythos; some of the more recent productions are Salt, Great Cities under the Moon, Andersen's Dream, Ur-Hamlet and Don Giovanni all'Inferno in collaboration with Ensemble Midtvest. Since 1974, Eugenio Barba and Odin Teatret have devised their own way of being present in a social context through the practice of theatre "barter", an exchange through performance with a community. In 1979 Eugenio Barba founded the International School of Theatre Anthropology, he is on the advisory boards of scholarly journals such as The Drama Review, Performance Research, New Theatre Quarterly, Teatro e Storia and Teatrología. Among his most recent publications, translated into several different languages, are The Paper Canoe, Theatre: Solitude, Revolt, Land of Ashes and Diamonds.
My Apprenticeship in Poland, followed by 26 letters from Jerzy Grotowski to Eugenio Barba and, in collaboration with Nicola Savarese, The Secret Art of the Performer and the revised an updated version: A Dictionary of Theatre Anthropology. Eugenio Barba has been awarded honorary doctorates from the universities of Århus, Bologna, Warsaw, University of Plymouth and the "Reconnaissance de Mérite scientifique" from the Université de Montréal, he is a recipient of the Danish Academy Award, Mexican Theatre Critics' prize, Diego Fabbri prize, Pirandello International prize, the Sonning Prize of the University of Copenhagen and the Academy of Performing Arts. Eugenio Barba was brother to a prominent Italian hotelier. Eugenio Barba, Jane Turner, Routledge, 2004, ISBN 978-0-415-27327-5 Odin Teatret Archives
A theatre director or stage director is an instructor in the theatre field who oversees and orchestrates the mounting of a theatre production by unifying various endeavours and aspects of production. The director's function is to ensure the quality and completeness of theatre production and to lead the members of the creative team into realizing their artistic vision for it; the director therefore collaborates with a team of creative individuals and other staff, coordinating research, costume design, lighting design, set design, stage combat, sound design for the production. If the production he or she is mounting is a new piece of writing or a translation of a play, the director may work with the playwright or translator. In contemporary theatre, after the playwright, the director is the primary visionary, making decisions on the artistic concept and interpretation of the play and its staging. Different directors occupy different places of authority and responsibility, depending on the structure and philosophy of individual theatre companies.
Directors use a wide variety of techniques and levels of collaboration. In ancient Greece, the birthplace of European drama, the writer bore principal responsibility for the staging of his plays. Actors were semi-professionals, the director oversaw the mounting of plays from the writing process all the way through to their performance acting in them too, as Aeschylus for example did; the author-director would train the chorus, sometimes compose the music, supervise every aspect of production. The fact that the director was called didaskalos, the Greek word for "teacher," indicates that the work of these early directors combined instructing their performers with staging their work. In medieval times, the complexity of vernacular religious drama, with its large scale mystery plays that included crowd scenes and elaborate effects, gave the role of director considerable importance. A miniature by Jean Fouquet from 1460 bears one of the earliest depictions of a director at work. Holding a prompt book, the central figure directs, with the aid of a long stick, the proceedings of the staging of a dramatization of the Martyrdom of Saint Apollonia.
According to Fouquet, the director's tasks included overseeing the erecting of a stage and scenery and directing the actors, addressing the audience at the beginning of each performance and after each intermission. From Renaissance times up until the 19th century, the role of director was carried by the actor-manager; this would be a senior actor in a troupe who took the responsibility for choosing the repertoire of work, staging it and managing the company. This was the case for instance with Commedia dell'Arte companies and English actor-managers like Colley Cibber and David Garrick; the modern theatre director can be said to have originated in the staging of elaborate spectacles of the Meininger Company under George II, Duke of Saxe-Meiningen. The management of large numbers of extras and complex stagecraft matters necessitated an individual to take on the role of overall coordinator; this gave rise to the role of the director in modern theatre, Germany would provide a platform for a generation of emerging visionary theatre directors, such as Erwin Piscator and Max Reinhardt.
Constantin Stanislavski, principally an actor-manager, would set up the Moscow Art Theatre in Russia and emancipate the role of the director as artistic visionary. The French regisseur is sometimes used to mean a stage director, most in ballet. A more common term for theatre director in French is metteur en scène. Post World War II, the actor-manager started to disappear, directing become a fledged artistic activity within the theatre profession; the director originating artistic vision and concept, realizing the staging of a production, became the norm rather than the exception. Great forces in the emancipation of theatre directing as a profession were notable 20th-century theatre directors like Vladimir Nemirovich-Danchenko, Vsevolod Meyerhold, Yevgeny Vakhtangov, Michael Chekhov, Yuri Lyubimov, Orson Welles, Peter Brook, Peter Hall, Bertolt Brecht, Giorgio Strehler and Franco Zeffirelli. A cautionary note was introduced by the famed director Sir Tyrone Guthrie who said "the only way to learn how to direct a play, is... to get a group of actors simple enough to allow you to let you direct them, direct".
A number of seminal works on directing and directors include Toby Cole and Helen Krich's 1972 Directors on Directing: A Sourcebook of the Modern Theatre, Edward Braun's 1982 book The Director and the Stage: From Naturalism to Growtowski and Will's The Director in a Changing Theatre. Because of the late emergence of theatre directing as a performing arts profession when compared with for instance acting or musicianship, a rise of professional vocational training programmes in directing can be seen in the second half of the 20th century. Most European countries nowadays know some form of professional directing training at drama schools or conservatoires, or at universities. In Britain, the tradition that theatre directors emerge from degree courses at the Oxbridge universities has meant that for a long time, professional vocational training did not take place at drama schools or performing arts colleges, although an increase in