How To Choose a Director*

*And also a Music Director, Producer, Choreographer, Head Costumer and Stage Manager

When selecting a director, or really any important position for the show, your preference should obviously go to someone who has experience directing/working with children. But experience isn’t necessarily the most important qualification. The director also needs to be:


Kids aren’t good at waiting, and their parents will be annoyed if the director is late or doesn’t show up.


The director has to have the ability to control a group of kids while maintaining their respect and affection. Basically, have fun, but not TOO much fun.


A director must be very organized both before rehearsals begin and during rehearsals.


The director has to work with not just the kids but also their parents, the producer, the music director and the whole production staff.


A good director can make even a kid’s show magical. But they also have to have the follow through to bring their ideas to the stage effectively.



When you are interviewing a prospective director, be sure to let them know clearly what their responsibilities will be. Briefly stated, the director is responsible for everything that happens on the stage — the actors, the set, the costumes, the lights, everything having to do with the rehearsing and performing of the show. 

These tasks include:

Script: The director should be totally familiar with the script and able to create blocking diagrams for where actors will stand. They will need to know how the stage will be set up. They should have a good idea about the overall tone of the show and the personality of each of the main characters.

Rehearsals: The director should decide how many rehearsals are needed and organize the rehearsal times so that everyone will have time enough to learn their parts.

Auditions: The director should decide how the auditions will be held and how they will go about casting the various characters and notifying the actors of their roles. (The music director should also audition the actors and have a say in the casting so that the actors you cast will be able to sing any solos or small group songs in the show.)

Music: The director should talk to the music director about how the music will be rehearsed and what type of accompaniment the show will have. 

Choreography: The director should talk to the choreographer about what type of dance or movement they want and should go over blocking issues that will influence the dance numbers.

Props and Sets: The director should make a list of all props and set pieces needed for the production. They should consult with the set designer/builder about how the sets will look and how the set changes will take place

Costumes: The director should consult with the costumer about costuming ideas.


Selecting the Music Director, Producer, Choreographer, Head Costumer and Stage Manager

Again, you will be looking for reliability, ability to work well with both kids and adults, organization and creativity.

The music director is responsible both for preparing the actors for their singing roles and also for the show's musical accompaniment. The music director must constantly consult with the director to make sure the music and singers are what the director needs. The director has the final word on the music; the music director's job is to give them the best possible choices. They may or may not be responsible for music before and after the show and during intermission — they should check with the director and producer.

The producer is responsible for everything else that the director is not responsible for, and, in many cases, they are also responsible for choosing the director and the music director. (Hint: Make sure those two people are going to get along!) Examples of things the producer does is make sure there are people to make the costumes, construct the sets, run the lights, make the playbill, advertise the show, run the refreshment stand, etc. The producer is usually responsible for creating a budget and making sure the show stays on budget.

The choreographer is responsible for dance numbers and other movement needed for the show. They should be able to adapt to the different skill levels of the cast. Many of your actors will have no dance experience.

The costumer is responsible for making and fitting the costumes for the show. They may also be involved in the design of the costumes. They work during the performances to help dress the actors and make any last-minute repairs.

The stage manager is responsible for cueing the actors, the light person, the music, the stage hands and anyone else involved in the actual performance. They usually prepare a script with all the cues for everyone written into the script. The actual performance of the show is dependent on having a well organized stage manager.