Director’s Notes ….
Plato wrote that necessity is the mother of invention. Back in March 2020 when COVID forced us to mask up and socially distance no one thought that theatre would still be shuttered 6 months later. And, yet, that’s exactly where we found ourselves in September of this year. We, as a theatre company, found ourselves having to decide if we were going to sit this one out or if we were going to try to salvage our 2020-2021 season. Well, you know every actor’s motto: The show must go on! So, the question became not if, but how?
We went looking for shows that we could adapt and found a whole new selection of plays meant to be done virtually. And, then we found this show which takes place via a series of Zoom calls and we had our ‘how.’ Most of us had used Zoom for meetings, but never for a whole show. Going in we knew we’d be virtual for the foreseeable future and that we’d need directors experienced in this new medium and that is how we ended up with so many directors.
That’s what we knew going in. What we didn’t know or conveniently chose to forget was how spotty the internet can be on any given day in this county and how a PSPS can happen at the most inopportune time. We didn’t know that Zoom sometimes has a mind of its own and that sometimes you gotta use the take that is more technically perfect that the one that is the best dramatically. What the actors (and parents of the actors) didn’t know, but quickly found out, was that they were not just actors, they were now (un-credited) members of the lighting and tech crew.
Yet, even with all of the challenges we faced, we found a way to overcome them all. We learned through trial and error. And, sometimes took the path that we wouldn’t have before and ended up with some really fun choices. Along the way, we found the creative process to be the same. We still had to focus on relationships, dialogue, cues, and how to best convey the story, we just had a close up view. And, even though we couldn’t be together in the same way we’d been before, the desire of the cast and crew to create collectively moved us forward. Plato was right. We need theatre and creativity. There may be a short delay, but theatre will always find a way.
Michele Chapman, Charise Reynolds, Larry Richardson, Marie Schrader