Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name





Vera Mowry Roberts

Committee Members

Albert Bermel

Stanley Kauffmann

Subject Categories

Theatre and Performance Studies


The topic of this study is the American stage director, Adrian Hall, who has been the artistic director of the Trinity Repertory Company in Providence, Rhode Island, since 1964 and who has held the same position concurrently at the Dallas Theater Center in Texas since 1983.

Part 1 presents an historical overview of Hall's career, beginning with his first professional productions in Texas, continuing through his work Off-Broadway in New York in the 1950s, and covering his quarter-century at Trinity Rep and six seasons at Dallas. This segment of the study traces how Hall developed the principles that inform his process as a director, especially his premise that the theatre event is a confrontation between the actor and the audience.

Part 2 examines Hall's process in the rehearsal room in each of four functional areas to assess how his emphasis on the confrontation between the actor and the spectator shapes his day-to-day directing technique. One major production is analyzed in each area to demonstrate (1) how this director perceives and utilizes the dramatic text, (2) how he manipulates the actor-audience relationship in the theatrical space, (3) how he works with his permanent acting ensembles to interpret the text through the style of performance and (4) how he collaborates with designers to incorporate the elements of lighting, costumes, properties and set pieces, sound, music and special effects. The productions selected for study include All the King's Men (text), Cathedral of Ice (space), Mensch Meier (actors), and Brother to Dragons (production values). Secondary examples are cited from numerous other productions. A case study of Hall's production of The Tempest at the Dallas Theater Center demonstrates Hall's whole process during a single production.

The research into Hall's career is supported by direct observation of Hall's rehearsals and by personal interviews the author had with Hall and with the actors, designers and other colleagues who have worked with him throughout his career. The appendix provides a comprehensive history of Hall's professional productions, including dates, theatres and designers.


Digital reproduction from the UMI microform.