Creating a Theatre Company

 

A Good Attitude is Everything.

I’ve worked with talented people who can destroy a play faster than you can say “flop”. Some people take an in-ordinate amount of space and time up, stealing valuable rehearsal time and require constant attention. I worked with several actors who could not stop asking me about their costume. I understand it was important to them but these two felt it should be my MOST important concern along with any other thing that entered their head. In other words, they needed constant attention. yes they were good actors but really? Never again! They made it next to impossible to think about the play or anyone else but taking care of them.

A Central Theme, Vision or Motivation

Making fun of an actor who wants to know what their motivation is, is stupid. Motivation is EVERYTHING but not just for the character but for the actor as well. Make sure you gather people who share similar motives. If one wants the company or play to be their big break, another is just filling time and another wants the show to change the world, there’s gonna be trouble. Be very, very clear up front about your motives, visions and goals with your potential company members.

Be prepared to Give Up

Theatre takes a village and sheer will and determination of a single individual can not force a play to happen. Trying to do so can kill you and I’ve got personal experience on this one.  I’ve had the good fortune to know that creating theatre is really a beautiful and special undertaking. Even as I write this and remember some of those rare but sublime moments when everything came together just so, I get a little lump in my throat. But when I tried to force it and ram things and guilt people. When my eye on the final product made me forget the delicate nature of art when produced live by real people, I often created a little portion of hell. Theatre is not worth hurting others or oneself over, you can work your ass on but you can’t deny the fact that you are absolutely at the mercy of luck, serendipity, and human complexity. As the leader of any production, you might be the leader but you aren’t actually in control.

Whenever you are pushing so hard and not getting anywhere by to Misery Avenue, time to stop and be willing to give up the dream, for now… sometimes, when you stop fighting, the answer will come. Sometimes it wont.

Do Give Up Your Vision

You have to be willing to give up your vision and all you know to allow the other people in the company to have a say, to add their own specialness to the work. If it is your way or the highway, you’ll find yourself hitchhiking alone with no one going your way or willing to pick you up.

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