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TOP-12 must-read books for theatre directors

This is a good time to take some book and find out something interesting or simply refresh the knowledge about directing, acting techniques, plot analysis, etc.

Here we collected the most important literature that directors should read to grow in their skills, knowledge and career.

Yes, we know that all, or at least majority of libraries are closed now due to the Corona virus. But!

There are a lot of online sources where you can register and borrow a book for a certain period of time. Two weeks pretty enough to read one book, yes?

Here are a couple of examples of such websites:

And here is the list of the key text for theatre directors:

  1. Meyerhold V. "Meyerhold on theatre"

  2. Stanislavsky K. "An Actor Prepares,"

  3. Stanislavsky K. "Building a Character"

  4. Stanislavsky K. "Creating a Role"

  5. Stanislavski, K. "An Actors Work"

  6. Chekhov, M. "To the Actor: On the technique of Acting"

  7. Chekhov, M.: "The Path of the Actor"

  8. Grotowski, J. "Towards a Poor Theatre"

  9. Barba, E. "The Paper Canoe"

  10. Barba, E. "The Secret Art of the Performer"

  11. Lecoq, J. "The Moving Body (Le Corps Poétique)"

  12. Brook, P. "The Empty Space"

If you wish to read something on a specific topic, check this out:


Baugh, C (2005) Theatre, Performance And Technology, Palgrave MacMillan.

Carter, P (2004) Material Thinking, Melbourne University Press.

Collins, C (2010) Theatre and Performance Design: a Reader in Scenography, Routledge

Crary, J (2001) Suspensions Of Perception: Attention, Spectacle… MIT Press.

Garner, S (1994) Bodied Spaces, Cornell University Press.

Giannachi,G (2004) Virtual Theatres; an Introduction, Routledge

Albertova, H. (2008) Josef Svoboda, Scenographer, Theatre Institute Pragues.

Voice Studies

Borden, G. Harris (1994), Wilkins. Speech Science Primer (3rd edition).

Bunch, M (2005) The Performers’ Voice: Realising your Vocal Potential.

Bunch, M. (1997) Dynamics of the Singing Voice (4th edition).

Perkins, W. & Kent, R. (1986) Textbook of Functional Anatomy of Speech, Language and Hearing.

Seikel, A. King, D. & Drumright, D. (1997) Anatomy and Physiology for Speech, Language and Hearing

Berry C. (1992) Voice and the Actor

Houseman, B (2008) Tacking Text [and Subtext]

Houseman, B. (2002) Finding Your Voice

Linklater, K. (2006) Freeing the Natural Voice, Rev Ed, New York, Drama Pub.

Lessac, A. (1960) The Use and Training of the Human Voice: A Bio-Dynamic Approach to Vocal Life (3rd edition)

Rodenburg, P. (1992) The Right to Speak

The Creative Entrepreneur

Clark, J & Osterwalder, A (2012) Business Model You, John Wiley & Sons Inc

Goossen R & Stevens R (2013 ) Entrepreneurial Leadership: Finding Your Calling, Making a Difference,


Green, J (2012) How to Produce a West End Show, Oberon Books.

Seabright, J (2010) So You Want To Be A Producer, Nick Hern Books: London.

Johnson G, Scholes K and Whittington R (2015), Fundamentals of Strategy (3rd edition), Pearson.

Kaiser,M (2008) The Art of the Turnaround – Creating and maintaining healthy arts organisations.

Brandeis University Press.

Kaiser, M (2013) ‘ The Cycle: A Practical Approach to Managing Arts Organizations’ University Press of

New England.

Pink, D (2013) ‘To sell is human: the surprising truth about persuading, convincing and influencing


S, Sarasvathy ‘Effectual Entrepreneurship’ (2016) Routledge.

J. Bessant, J. (2013). Managing Innovation: Integrating Technological, Market and Organizational Change (5th edn).

Walmsley , B (2011) ‘Key Issues in the Arts & Entertainment Industry’

Walter, C (2015) ‘Arts Management’, Routledge

Critical Contexts: Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies

Auslander, P. (2008) Liveness: Performance in a Mediatized Culture, London, Routledge

Barthes, R. (1993) Image, Music, Text Fontana Press

Carlson, M. (2003) Performance: A Critical Introduction, London, Routledge.

Derrida, J. (1997) Of Grammatology Baltimore, John Hopkins University Press

Derrida, J. (1988) Limited Inc. Northwestern University Press

Lefebvre, H. (2000), The Production of Space, Massachusetts, Blackwell

Lehmann, H. (2006) Postdramatic Theatre, London, Routledge.

Ridout, N. (2006) Stage Fright, Animals, and Other Theatrical Problems, Cambridge, Cambridge

University Press

These are some of our suggestions, however there is more to read.... There are so many books to read that it is possible to spend your whole life in reading ... BUT! Instead of reading, you can experience it in practice in professional and creative settings with group of like-minded professionals at the NIPAI Courses>

As a NIPAI student you get access to the library with dozens of books collected specially for directors and an access to the Online Academy with fascinating articles and video lectures to master your craft of directing!


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