What is the job of a director in musical theatre and which abilities must a director in musical theatre actually have? Well, you surely must have a lot of creative, managerial and psychological skills to get your production on stage, but how does it all add up?
We had the privilege of speaking to Broadway director Robert Jess Ross in New York City, who gave us a brief insight of his view on the job of a director in musical theatre:
The job of a director for musical theatre
“I think the job description of a director for musical theatre is ‘someone to co-ordinate the vision of many, many artists.’ You don’t have to have all the ideas yourself when you are the director, you have to co-ordinate the actors and the designers and the musicians and the composers and the book writer so that everyone is on one path. So I feel like you are conducting a train kind of, and yes, you are responsible for everything and the buck kind of stops with you, you have to make all the final decisions but really, I found that it is a collaborative art and the right choices rise to the top when you have a lot of great artists around you. So I think the director is leading a group of people in a collaborative way.”
Robert Jess Roth directed the original Broadway production of Disney’s BEAUTY AND THE BEAST (for which he received a Tony award nomination) and LESTAT. He was the director for the world premiere of Elton John and Tim Rice’s ELABORATE LIVES: THE LEGEND OF AIDA at the Alliance Theatre in Atlanta, Georgia.
Musical Creations Entertainment’s Jacqueline Dunnley-Wendt has been Associate Director for international productions of BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, originally directed by Robert Jess Roth.