This got me thinking.
If you're a theatre maker how open are you willing to let your rehearsal process be or get? Blogging, whilst great, perhaps doesn't go deep enough. Chris Goode & Co's Open House invites the audience into the heart of the making process - with the audience invited to come to rehearsals and shape the piece. Work-in-progress events often ask an audience to feedback - shaping and melding the process as it develops.
In the recent WalesLab summercamp, we had a diary room where the participants could talk about what they were up to and share their problems. Some videos were poignant, some silly, some dull but all of them were watched by strangers.
It wasn't till the last day, that one of the ladies who'd cooked our meals said how nice it had been to be able to watch the videos we'd been making, as she understood a bit more about what we were up to that we knew they were working as a way of communicating what we were doing.
But there's another side to this - quite often people are terrified of the sanctity of the rehearsal room being breached and that it will cease to be a safe space where people can experiment & play freely. I experienced this myself a few years ago; I was directing a show and started a rehearsal blog, which all the team were encouraged to contribute to, but by the end of the first week the level of discomfort about what might be revealed resulted in me scrapping it. I privileged the safety of the rehearsal room over the dialogue with an audience, or a potential one.
Writing this made me think of the preface to Charles Ladbeater's We think, where he discusses publishing the draft of the manuscript online. Of course there's the fear of being ridiculed, of revealing too much, losing competitive advantage - but at the end of the day sharing and collaboration make us stronger - don't they? Isn't that the point of a community like this?
Which leads me to what I was really writing about. As plan our next year of productions, and they get rehearsed, built, tech'd and performed - how much insight do you want. Do you want to know what will happen in the pieces, the difficulties of making a piece of work, or follow the putting together of a marketing campaign? Do you want streamed rehearsals, weekly online Q&A's, or to see the model-box in advance? Or would you rather not know anything until you arrive at the performance space (which may or may not be a theatre) - and be completely taken by surprise?
Let us know what you want and we'll try and make it happen.
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