Directing Exercise: The Sound of Music

Directing Exercise: The Sound of Music

This is a great group exercise for advanced high school students or college students. The exercise refers to each group creating a set. The elements used are whatever happens to be handy such as rehearsal blocks, chairs, benches, some hand props, etc.

The Sound of Music

This group exercise requires that you utilize music to create a dynamic scene.


  1. Instrumental music 60-120 seconds
  2. 3 to 4 actors
  3. Acting space with 3 defined areas
  4. Scene must have a beginning, middle and end
  5. No dialogue
  6. Make the scene realistic

Group Created/Directed


Day 1:

  1. Choose music
  2. Outline scenario
  3. Discuss set

Day 2:

  1. Create set
  2. Direct piece
  3. Set piece
  4. Group discusses piece—changes etc.

Day 3:

  1. Adjust and review piece (15 minutes)
  2. Present
  3. Discuss piece

The point of the exercise is to bring together some of the elements and techniques with which you’ve been working the first few weeks in class. This exercise is a next step in investigating how music can influence creativity, emotion and structure. It also represents advanced collaboration.

Have fun!

Exercise Contributed by Paul Mroczka

Paul is Director of Educational Resources for and serves as Director of Theatre at Plymouth State University, Plymouth, NH.

  • Author Spotlight

    Paul Mroczka

    Paul Mroczka has served Theatre By the Sea as associate director and playwright-in-residence. He has directed for companies including North Country Center for the Arts, Pontine Movement Theatre, The Theatre of Newburyport and the Palace Theatre. A former National Endowment for the Arts fellow in playwriting, he has also garnered a Shubert Fellowship, the Jason Miller Award and has received grants from the New Hampshire Council for the Humanities. His plays have been performed at New York’s La MaMa La Galleria, Nat Horne Theatre, and Manhattan Punchline Theatre, among others. His interactive planetarium show, Pathfinders, is running at the Christa McAuliffe Planetarium in Concord, NH. Recent directorial assignments include Good People, Steel Magnolias, and The Complete World of Sports (Abridged) at The Barnstormers Playhouse in New Hampshire, and Rumors, Orpheus in the Underworld, and The Glass Menagerie at PSU. This summer Paul finished an initial draft of his new play, Smart Money and is working on numerous other projects. Read Full
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