Communication Studies


Master of Arts (MA)


Cecil Kramer


Communication, Systems Theory, Theatre, Theatrical Director


Communication | Fine Arts | Interpersonal and Small Group Communication | Organizational Communication | Theatre and Performance Studies


This qualitative study was undertaken to examine the processes by which theatrical directors determine the theme for a production and communicate their unifying artistic visions to the agents who, in turn, relay it to the audience. The research revealed that the director's message is formed through comprehensive study of the text, the artifact around which the system is formed, as well as information which provides context for the work of the playwright; consideration of the theatrical organization's missional objectives (the environment in which the system exists); and concerns of artistic leadership. Communication of the concept to stakeholders, and ultimately to the audience, is accomplished by clear communication of the artistic vision (the system's goal) and strategy which mediate collaboration among the artists. The collaborative process reflects Systems Theory in its circularity of process, co-causality and synergy. Theories emerging from the research are that the theatrical production company functions as a centralized, temporary system; that theatrical directing can be taught from a systems perspective; that the objectives and orientation of the system are formed in the director's process of preparation; that effective communication is necessary for leadership of the system; and that transformational leadership is effective for facilitation of the creative collaboration.