Taylor and Francis Group is part of the Academic Publishing Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 3099067.


Directing in Musical Theatre

Welcome to the companion website for Directing in Musical Theatre!

“The perfect book for aspiring and experienced directors alike. As Joe masterfully tells it, with thoughtful insight, extraordinary detail and great passion, the director’s role becomes vividly clear.”
Marcia Milgrom Dodge, Tony Award Nominated Director & Choreographer, RAGTIME
“This will be an essential handbook for anyone faced with the challenge of directing a musical. Deer writes from a wealth of experience in directing, and a thorough knowledge of the musical theatre repertoire.”
Dominic Symonds, University of Portsmouth, UK
“A terrific analysis of how to mount a musical. From reading the script, right up to opening night, Joe Deer’s insights are practical and inspiring.”
Walter Bobbie, Tony Award Winning Director, CHICAGO
“A splendid text for anyone wishing to explore directing for the musical stage. It deals with every essential aspect of this daunting task, and explains each with singular clarity and intelligence … Finally, here is a book that gets to the heart of this art.”
Gregory Lehane, Professor – Former Head of Directing, Drama and Music, Carnegie Mellon University

This comprehensive guide, from the author of Acting in Musical Theatre, will equip aspiring directors with all of the skills that they will need in order to guide a production from beginning to end. From the very first conception and collaborations with crew and cast, through rehearsals and technical production, all the way to the final performance, Joe Deer covers the full range.

Deer’s accessible and compellingly practical approach uses proven, repeatable methods for addressing all aspects of a production. The focus at every stage is on working with others, using insights from experienced, successful directors to tackle common problems and devise solutions. Each section uses the same structure, to stimulate creative thinking:

  • Timetables: detailed instructions on what to do and when, to provide a flexible organization template
  • Prompts and investigations: addressing conceptual questions about style, characterization and design
  • Skills workshops: exercises and “how-to” guides to essential skills
  • Essential forms and formats: including staging notation, script annotation and rehearsal checklists
  • Case studies: well-known productions show how to apply each chapter’s ideas

Directing in Musical Theatre not only provides all of the essential skills, but explains when and how to put them to use – how to think like a director.