Shows grow and evolve. Growth is a very good thing but it’s important to not stray from the integrity of the director’s vision.
So how do you maintain the director’s vision while continuing to grow? Here’s what I do.
I keep every single note I’m given from tech week through to opening night. (See here for a post on note taking.) No matter how obvious, no matter how trivial, I keep all the notes together in one place. This time around I transcribed them into my Evernote account so I could review them whenever/wherever.
Notes given that this critical time in the rehearsal process are a great resource to help remember what was happening as the show was being solidified. What choices were important? What did the director feel was vital to the show?
For the first half-dozen performances or so I make sure to review each and every note no matter what. After we’ve been running for awhile I look at them less and less. But I do review them once a week after our day off. I also scan through the script to run it over in my mind. This helps me to visualize the show and get focused on the week ahead.
The stage manager is also a great resource for maintaining the director’s vision. It’s one of her many responsibilities. If you get too far off, she’ll tell you. But if you sense the show is drifting in a certain direction, it’s fine to ask her for her opinion.
On the flip side, it’s equally important to keep the show fresh and alive. I’ll talk more about that on Friday.