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DP Theatre - Director's Notebook: Get Started!

Please use this guide as a starting point for your Director's Notebooks. Special thanks to Ms. Susan Trower of West Sound Academy for granting written permission to use this Libguide.

The Director

The Director's Role

A director is responsible for the staging of the play. He or she interprets the play text and identifies his or her directorial intentions regarding how the play will be presented and the impact he or she wishes to have on a particular audience. The director works with actors and a production team to stage the play, transforming ideas into action.

Britannica ImageQuest, Constantin StanislavskiThe Director’s Notebook

The director’s notebook is a document developed by the director prior to rehearsals and any meetings with the performers or production team.

It is a record of the director’s personal process of interpreting the play, developing a directorial intention and an idea of what impact he or she wants the play to have on an audience. The director begins to think about how particular moments may be staged using elements of performance and production.

The Director-led Approach of Theatre Practice

The director works with an existing piece of theatre, either a text (written or oral) or a piece of theatre created by a group or company. The director’s task is to prepare this piece for an audience. The director works very closely with the designer(s) to develop a vision for the setting, atmosphere and aesthetics of the piece of theatre. The director works in collaboration with the production team and the performers to bring the piece of theatre to life for an audience.

International Baccalaureate Orgnanization. Theatre Teacher Support Material. 
     Online Curriculum Centre (OCC). International Baccalaureate 
     Organization, n.d. Web. 24 Oct. 2015. 

Graphic Organizer for Researching a Play's Contexts

Click here or on the image below to use the DP Theatre Director's Notebook Graphic Organizer. You will need to make a copy of it so you can edit it.

IB Resources

Read these worksheets and handouts for tips on working with play texts.

International Baccalaureate Orgnanization. Theatre Teacher Support Material. 
     Online Curriculum Centre (OCC). International Baccalaureate 
     Organization, n.d. Web. 24 Oct. 2015. 

Introduction to the IB Theatre Director's Notebook

This guide provides resources for the Director's Notebook External Assessment for IB Theatre.

On this page:  

The Director - The role of the director in theatre and the Director's Notebook
IB Resources - Handouts and graphic organizers
Director's Notebook Examples

For print and digital resources for background reading and viewing, see:


The marquee of the Belasco Theatre advertising Lorraine Hansberry's play 'A Raisin in the Sun,' New York, New York, late 1959.  Britannica ImageQuestFor plays in the WSA Library and relevant articles in Gale Virtual Reference Library, see:

American and Canadian Plays
British and Irish Plays
Shakespeare's Plays
Greek and Roman Plays
French and Russian Plays
Plays from Other European Countries
Plays from Africa, Asia, and South America

For help with your research and writing, see:

Archive and Annotate Your Online Sources (using NoodleTools)
MLA Works Cited and In-Text Citations


This subject guide is based on the I.B. Theatre - Director's Notebook guide created by Nancy O'Donnell, School Library Media Specialist, for Kenmore West High School Library in Kenmore, New York.

Image Credits

Images on this LibGuide are from Britannica Image Quest, and are rights-cleared for educational use.

Examples of Director's Notebooks

International Baccalaureate Orgnanization. Theatre Teacher Support Material. 
     Online Curriculum Centre (OCC). International Baccalaureate 
     Organization, n.d. Web. 24 Oct. 2015.