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February 21, 2007

Letting Go...

Mornings_at_seven_cast I just wrote in my post yesterday that "faith requires leaving". Interestingly enough, last night was the final dress rehearsal for Morning's at Seven. I've learned, in directing theatre, that there's a point at which you have to let go and let a show be. The point may be at different places for different shows, but for this show it was last night.

At the end of rehearsal I gave the handful of notes I'd written during rehearsal, and then told the cast that I was done. I handed the show to them. No more notes. No more nagging about lines, projection, concentration or opening up (for which, I know they're all grateful!). It's all on them. Time for them to spread their wings and make this show fly.

Community theatre is a funny thing. You work with an all volunteer cast and crew. These amazing people are doing this because they love to do it. As a director you get actors and crew from all levels of experience and knowledge. Of course, I want to put a good show on stage for the audience - but my real goal as a director is to help actors and crew to go above and beyond what they thought they could do. I want the crew to walk away feeling proud that they were a part of making something special happen on stage. I want the actors to walk away saying, "I think that was my best performance, and I'm a better actor for having been in this show".

I don't know if they will all say that, but I was overjoyed at the dress rehearsal last night. I saw performances that I would have scarce thought possible six weeks ago when I assembled the cast list. This incredible group of actors did a lot of work, they took their roles seriously, and the audience will be blessed to experience the results.

So, while the show opens tomorrow night - I've got no nerves - my stomach will do no flip-flops - I will sleep easy. I'll let the actors and the crew have the nerves.

Faith requires leaving...and so I'll leave this show to them - I know that they'll put on a great show.

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