Director as traffic cop: the administration part of the job

So I’m directing the play I just wrote. Or at least I was.

I spent a week going over my own script to determine how best to bring it alive in the reading we’re doing to show the board of directors of my community theatre an idea of what the play would be like should they chose to produce it.

But what a disaster! The readers theatre group… Continue reading

Directing: whose bright idea was this?

I’m in the “Be careful of what you wish” mode. I’ve been invited to give the board of directors of my community theatre a reading of the play I’ve written so they can decide whether to produce it. Great opportunity, hey?

Yes, just great.

What is my problem? Why

Now what do I do?

I have been working on a play and for the first time ever, it is getting read, workshopped really, and hearing actors reading the lines has been a huge help to the writing process. Terrifying, but so necessary. Maybe because I am older, now, or that I am finally evolving, I no longer feel like a failure when some of the lines fall flat. Instead, I cringe a little, but… Continue reading

Taking criticism

The very minute your work of art is read, or hung or built or whatever, and brought to public attention, it is no longer just your work of art. It is quickly taken over by criticism. Opinion. It may take different forms, but each person who views the work of art has an opinion.

Some criticism will be considered, with training and experience behind it. Some, not so much… Continue reading

Playwright as a work in progress

The Princess Place Preserve in Flagler County, Florida, is the oldest standing structure in the county, built in 1889 by Henry Cutting and his wife Angela (who later became the Princess of this country hunting lodge. It is visited by locals and eco-tourists alike. Watching park rangers and long-time residents talk about the history of this place and this area in a DVD that serves as an introduction to your… Continue reading

Playwriting workshop at the community theatre – back to the future

Let me throw a few names around: Eugene O’Neill, George S. Kaufman, Elmer Rice, Maxwell Anderson, Robert E. Sherwood, Susan Glaspell. What do they have in common? They all got their playwriting chops at local, community-run Little Theatres.

While New York’s Theatre Syndicate were touring lots of money-making shows that were fresh hits on Broadway, these playwrights were able to make their mark in theatre history. These people found… Continue reading

What is site-specific theatre?

In a nutshell, and nutshells work just fine for me, a site-specific performance of any kind—be it performance art called Happenings (1950s-60s) or flash mobs (2000s), or Stephan Koplowitz’s beautiful compositions that show dance at its most dynamic, or Punchdrunk’s production of Sleep No More—is a dynamic production that takes place, not in a conventional theatre, but at a location that has in some way inspired that production. It means… Continue reading

2: The Hull House Theatre: Is Little Theatre local or global? Or something else?

Theatre is and it isn’t globalized. And it is and it isn’t all economics and trade. (See “Theatre globalized.”) Mostly through touring and immigration, forced or chosen, cultures from different parts of the world began to have a real impact on other cultures it came in contact with it. There have been migrations, like the massive ones to America at the end of the nineteenth century that brought people… Continue reading

Future for theatre?

I have been thinking about how some of us think that art, and therefore theatre, has changed with digital technology. We have heard that any of us who can access a computer and the internet can become content producers and artists in our own right. This is true, even though most of the videos my friends send me are meant to be cute and entertaining and morale boosting, but I… Continue reading