I've just googled the difference, and the former is US usage, the latter UK, which I suppose explains my more comfortable reaching for the latter. But I also like the latter's implication of being at one further remove from the reference point around which the orienting/orientating is being attempted. It suggests 'articulating' or 'rotating' oneself in relation to the perceived 'orient-point' rather than (as 'orienting' seems to suggest) somehow fully melding with it.
But that extra syllable in 'orientating' - that 'remove', that 'at' in the 'ating' - can surely also productively stand for a key aspect of the theatre director's endeavour. Since (I would argue) directing is at its base a strategic and tactical hanging-back; the creation of very contained and calculated spaces for others to creatively inhabit: Maybe directing is in fact helping others to orientate, in order that they can then orient (verb) themselves with and to the fundamental orient (noun) of the project: namely the play or text or idea; the fictional density and singularity that is itself (either) incandescent or reflective, a sun or a moon. Of course the sun rises in the east (hence, from the Latin, the whole original senses of orient, orienting and orientating...) but then so does the moon.
The idea of this blog is to trace our orientating and orienting towards an orient Supermoon. I hope contributors will include both orienters and orientaters. As a current foundational orientator - the director of the project - I aim to start things off and see how we go.
All of the above is maybe just a bit of preliminary abstractive throat-clearing. More substantive and closer-to-home material next time. For example: ground rules and challenges, and who, what, where, when and why?