Sunday afternoon, kicking back in a rehearsal for Colder, updating my blog. We are four weeks out from tech and I’m not panicking. Maybe I’m holding all of that in store for later. But then again, perhaps I have every reason to feel confident. The actors are bringing it. A real pleasure to watch as they grow into these roles. Michelle (our fearless director) is just so damn smart (no pressure) with a really clear vision for the work. The design is simple and visually grabbing.
A fair bit has happened since last time. Got a lighting sponsorship from the awesome Heath at FireFly Lighting. Our lighting designer Dan Anderson is licking his lips in anticipation, and I’m really interested to see who this comes together with the set. Poster art has come back from the printer and will go up around town in the next few days. Working on doing a little production preview video … production meetings blah blah … there’s a lot to do and strangely the last thing I think to do is sit in on a rehearsal. Check in on the art. See what demands they are facing. See what help they need.
Mostly being a producer is doing and communicating the doing. But before the doing (and the communicating the doing) comes the thinking and after comes the reflecting…. and perhaps it’s this thinking and reflecting which is the real task in the rehearsal room. Not thinking and reflecting on product, that is after all the director’s job, but thinking and reflecting on process. The point is to be helpful, to keep the challenge in focus, manageable, and resourced.
This is the first of a few reflections I’ll write about my experience co-producing Colder (by Lachlan Philpott) directed by the awesome Michelle Miall, which will be playing as part of the Indie season at La Boite Theatre.
As I write this we are a smidgen over six weeks from opening. I have just been to a rehearsal and had the joy of watching this beautiful cast work through some of the demands and complexities of the script.
There’s something special about getting to eavesdrop in on the creative process of theatre artists. Some might argue that this can detract from the experience of the finished work, but for me being able to share in the discoveries that artists are making as they are making them only serves to deepen my connection. That this “eavesdropping” is necessarily part of the role of a producer doesn’t by any extent diminish the feeling of joy I had tonight on my way home.
If it is true that Brisbane theatre audiences tend to buy their tickets in the same week that the show is on, then this presents a problem for the theatre producer looking for surety of audience and financial stability.