Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Asking for Direction: Theatre Thursday

When I lived in Los Angeles I interviewed/auditioned for a film. I don't remember anything about what the film was about, but I remember talking with the interviewer about the process. The idea behind the creation of the film was that there would be no director... that it would basically be the cast and crew working together to create the film, without a director overseeing the process. I remember the guy asking me if I hadn't always dreamed of working that way.

No, I hadn't.

I decided this project was not for me, and I left.

I value a good director. A good director has a vision for the production and a love for the writing. A good director works with the other artists - actors, designers, etc - listening to their ideas, encouraging new directions, shaping the work. A good director asks tough question. A good director is willing to try something new and different. A good director is not afraid to tell you that something isn't working, and look for something else. A good director is willing to let go of her idea in favor of a better one. A good director provides encouragement and focus.

In my many years on stage I've worked with a wide range of directors. Unfortunately I would say that a large majority of the directors I've worked with are largely benign. They have little insight to give beyond telling the actors when and where to move, and the movement is often uninspired. The success of their production depends largely on casting talented actors who work well together in a piece that is well written. A decent show can come from this, but never a great one.

When I work on a show I want to have input. I want to have room to create and play and explore. I want to be part of a team.

But I don't want to be part of something that is directed "by committee." I want a director with a vision to help shape the piece. I want someone looking on who can make sure that we are telling the story, and who cares enough to make sure that we work hard to tell it the best way that we can.


flutter said...

You are such a fascinating chick, you know that, right?

thailandchani said...

I agree with you completely. Anything without a director.. in the literal or figurative sense.. is usually called "chaos".


Mary G said...

Yes, indeed. Don't we all; would that, perhaps, be a benificent God?

kaye said...

I agree completely--and with Mary G

No Mother Earth said...

I would never want to do a show without a director either. The problem with most local theatre, however, is that most directors don't direct, they just cast well. And if they don't cast well, then the show is lost. I'm itching to work with a director who directs.

Louise said...

Not ever having been in more than a school play, I have to think this makes sense. It seems to me chaos would ensue from "direction by committee." I love that you walked away from a film opportunity.

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