3 a : to regulate the activities or course of · directs a staff of over 200 employees
b : to carry out the organizing, energizing, and supervising of · direct a project · directed a call center
c : to train and lead performances of · direct a movie · directing a famous actor
d : to dominate and determine the course of
2 : to point out, prescribe, or determine a course or procedure
The word seems more natural and specific to me than orchestrated or even manipulated.
She assigns roles involving actions and dialogue to the toys and has them play their parts (along with props, costumes, and sets)—just as an actual director would do with actors.
She directed the dolls conversation about their day.