Coming to the end of a show’s run is an incredibly emotional experience. You’ve put hours and hours of work into a project that, in the end, has ceased to exist. Yes, you have the memories you’ve created and the friendships you’ve grown, and maybe some mementos (backstage photos, posters with autographs from the cast and crew, show shirts, etc.). But the creation process of a show is truly intangible. It’s not like painting a picture and then having the finished canvas to display, or creating a musical composition and having sheet music to share with other musicians. You’ve created an experience. Once the show is complete, the costumes are put away, the set is stripped, and you’re left with an empty theatre and a group of students who have post-show blues.
Whether you’ve completed an extracurricular production or a classroom show project, it is important to take a step back and reflect on the process. This is an important step of the process because it provides closure–the final steps of your theatrical journey!
Reflecting on your experience lets you re-visit your successes and failures, your areas for improvement, and what you’ve learned. It can also help you look towards the future–what worked really well and what you would do differently next time.
The following series of questions can help you and your students reflect on your experiences and process of the show. Be sure to focus on YOUR experiences and process. While things like selling out a show and positive reviews are great things to celebrate, they aren’t something you have control over. Go deeper and focus on your journey–where you started and where the process has taken you.
The purpose of these questions is for you and your students to reflect on the process of the show, but feel free to adapt them for weekly logbooks or journal entries, as well!
Kerry Hishon is a director, actor, writer, and stage combatant from London, Ontario, Canada. Check out her blog at www.kerryhishon.com.