Stage directors with unmistakeable signature

The Bavarian Academy of Dramatic Arts (ADK Bayern) aims to form stage directors who define the highlights of their own creative work, who have internalized the nature of working in the theater and its demands, and can effectively convey their artistic intentions.

A key qualification is the ability to collaborate with actresses and actors, taking into account their points of view. The foundation course initially provides an introduction to the work of the actor. The stage director learns to comprehend their work methods. Valuable impressions are gained, on which the students will draw throughout their careers.

On this foundation, starting in the second year the students will begin gathering experiences in the discipline of Stage Direction Practice, which they can deepen while still training in their own productions and the graduating production.

The students will engage with the technical theoretical precepts of their profession throughout the training course. Inspiration is born of the interplay between theory and practice. At the same time, classes remain focused on practice and the profession. Electives and specializations afford room to explore individual talents and interests, and complete the training of a fully developed stage director.

The Stage Direction Course – Course structure

1. Language and Voice:

Because it is designed specifically for the stage, speech training for stage directors at the Bavarian Academy of Dramatic Arts is based on the following four breathing, voice and articulation methods: Gestural speaking according to Klawitter & Minnich, or Ritter, the Linklater method, the Vasiljev method and AAP training according to Coblenzer (breath-timed phonation).

2. Body and Movement:

The study of movement for Stage Direction at the Bavarian Academy of Dramatic Arts is designed to prepare students for the modern theater, to train the body as a vehicle for representation and performance. It is based on elements from Humphrey/Limon, Cunningham, Post Modern, Release and other body-experience techniques. Particular emphasis is placed on precise and above all deliberate, expressive movements. The medium of improvisation helps to become aware of one's own body with its capabilities and expressive power, and to develop it further. Activities are focused on the relationship between space, power, time, and always on inner attitude as well. Influences are the works of Jacques Lecoq, Pina Bausch and the theater of Christoph Marthaler and Falk Richter.

3. Dramatic Performance:

In its practical orientation in the discipline of Dramatic Performance for stage directors, the Bavarian Academy of Dramatic Arts draws on the European tradition, with particular reference to the ideas of Bertolt Brecht and Konstantin Stanislavski. Practical application remains at the heart of the instruction. Individual creativity is stimulated and individual gifts are nurtured. Technical ability and artistic challenge are emphasized in equal measure.

4. Stage Direction Practice:

In order to expand the range of possibilities for learning the discipline of Stage Direction Practice, the Bavarian Academy of Dramatic Arts sets its students many different tasks in a wide range of fields. Besides early experiences in the Acting class under the close supervision of technical instructors specializing in Stage Direction, additional opportunities to gain practical experience are offered starting in the second year of the course. Project assistance roles in teaching sequences or in productions by the Academy Theater alternate with roles assisting more experienced Stage Direction students from more advanced semesters, completing their own first attempts at stage direction, and advancing to their own full productions. Stage Direction students are also required to complete a stage direction internship and stage direction assistantship with external theaters. These are followed by in-house assistants' positions with a guest director. This is a production for the Academy Theater with the graduating class of the Acting students. Finally, every Stage Direction student is required to complete their own graduating production.

5. Technical Theory:

The program of practical disciplines offered at the Bavarian Academy of Dramatic Arts is complemented by the discipline of Technical Theory with a view to providing a comprehensive education. The students receive a fundamental knowledge of acting methods, theatrical theories, stage direction theories, current technical literature, dramatic and textual analysis, theatrical and literary history, esthetics, musicology, costume and make-up studies, dramaturgy, project management, stage and lighting technology, the anatomy and physiology of speech, orthoepy, theater law, self-management and cultural management.

Specializations

Students of the Academy may elect to pursue additional specializations in the following fields:

  • Singing
  • Dialect acting
  • Children's theater
  • Dramatic writing/Film script writing
  • Lighting and sound engineering

The specializations entail additional commitment, above and beyond the actual training course.
Acceptance for these specialization courses is contingent on passing an aptitude test (does not apply for all specializations). 
The specialization courses will only be held if there are sufficient numbers of participants.