by Park Theatre
I did a workshop about a year ago with Jon from Unlimited, a company that was started from scratch by a group of graduate friends, and has since emerged as one of ACE's Portfolio jewels. One of the many excellent pieces of advice that he offered us was to have a reflective session with the company a couple of weeks after the final performance of a production. The aim of the meeting: to identify what went well, and what could have been done better.
A production of mine had its final performance on Saturday; by fringe standards we had had a successful run, and each of the actors was able to take home a few pennies in the back pocket. The feedback was positive, but it was was clear to both our reviewers and our audiences that there were flaws in the production - me. I'm being facetious, of course, but I was taught a long time ago that the director bears responsibility for everything that happens on stage and in the rehearsal room, whatever the imperfections of the other collaborators. With this in mind, we gathered as many people as we could before everyone fled the country (it was that kind of company).
I think, understandably, there was a fear that the meeting could descend into a mud slinging match. I'm no David, but show me a Goliath and I'll be the first to have my arm swinging! In fact it was a happy and very productive evening, full of constructive advice. It may be a weary cliché that every project is a learning opportunity, but it can be incredibly helpful to identify strengths and weaknesses.
Now to the small task of growing stronger for the next project.