Funny you should ask... I've never been a director (yet!) but I want to. During various community theater shows, I started a list of things to do or not do when I am a director. I'll try to edit them to make them clearer:
Things to do or not to do when I am a director:
Multi-task- when chorus is learning dances/songs, go through lines/blocking/character development with leads
Cast by talent! Looks are highly alterable on stage. Talent and voices aren’t easily changeable in six weeks of rehearsal.
Organize rehearsals into days off for both principals and ensemble.
Organize each rehearsal into most people----> least people, so no one has to stay all night for twenty minutes of rehearsing. Even if it's out of order.
Have realistic expectations for memorizing lines and music/lyrics. No one has extra time to practice outside of the theater for hours and hours.
Knowing blocking helps people learn both the lines and the blocking. Do blocking early. Plan early.
Try to make as few changes to blocking as possible (with early planning and visioning)
ALWAYS have potentials sing for the part, from the show- a difficult part. And test range.
Do not pigeonhole during auditions, or go by previous performances.
Mix things up to give people a chance to expand and loosen up. [ I can't really remember what this is in reference to, but I think maybe it was when a director had people do wacky readings, like gender bending and obviously out of type, just to make it fun and interesting and see what people did with it]
Always do a stretching/ movement/warm-up/ something silly before auditions to loosen things up and help everyone feel comfortable.
Develop a reliable scoring/record keeping/remembering system to fairly judge ability at auditions.
Take pictures at auditions
Have understudies for leads.
Educate on vocal health/technique/endurance.
Be able to clearly state what your ‘vision’ is. It is no one else's job to translate you/what is in your brain to others; it is YOUR job.
Always go over/give handouts on backstage etiquette/ respect for crew, orchestra, costumer, etc. (so new people know the "rules")
Emphasize responsibility to the production as a whole, and to the cast mates regarding learning lines, not the fact that the director will be angry. Guilt and compassion, not fear.
Clearly explain what kind of stage makeup is to be used, and educate men if needed.
Do not leave women to makeup men at the last minute because they don’t know how. Make sure men know how.
Give a lesson on what stage makeup needs to be worn and what levels of it look like under lights. Have examples, of yourself and maybe some others.
Clearly explain how light or heavy makeup has to be for each person, each scene. No clowns.
Never waste people’s time. If you waste time, they will resent being there. If they resent being there, they will be in a bad mood, and get everyone around them in a bad mood too.
Always cast from auditions, unless absolutely necessary (e.g. not enough people came to auditions). Always try to make the people who cared enough to show up work for the show.
State objectives at beginning of auditions. “I’m looking for sparkle tonight. These leads need to shine and I need to see that you can sparkle” Or whatever.
Give people a second chance to read, if they want. Give direction on what they can improve on the second time around. [or do this at callbacks]
Be available in person or over e-mail to explain casting choices, and have clear reasoning for casting choices.
Have a reliable, talented accompanist.
I hope some of these helped.