by Lindsay Joy · April 30, 2014
When I first had the idea of blogging throughout the process of the college collaboration I imagined that it would be a journal of the experience of creating and developing a play. I realized in the beginning stages there wouldn't be much to write, so maybe we would post weekly about the process or possibly what the emotional, physiological experience is of being expected to write. Or about the things in life that keep one from writing. Having been commissioned before, I thought I might have something to write on that subject. Also, knowing that I am going to be part of the development process and will have a birds' eye view of the experience, I am looking forward to writing about that.
However, I find myself in a new role. I am an administrator in the process. And in that role I am learning a lot. The most important thing that I have discovered is that a great deal of faith is involved with putting on a commissioned play. You identify the playwright, in this case Lindsay Joy who I have known for almost a decade, and you have faith that a play will appear by the deadline to do a reading, workshop, and begin the process of bringing it to fruition through three productions.
This past week the phrase "the play is the thing" keeps coming to mind.
As a playwright and a director I have always thought of the play as the most important thing. It is at the center of what we are doing. We are putting this particular play on for a vital reason for this audience today. It is the most important play in the world at this moment. In my new role I am realizing that the play is the thing at the center - it is the thing that creates all of the opportunities for creativity, collaboration, and learning.
Everyone is working hard on preparing for the process. I have had incredible discussions with each of the colleges over these past few months about scheduling, partnering, publicity, and a number of other topics. They have begun talking with each other, finding ways the schools can work together, and sharing strategies for incorporating more departments into the process. One of the schools has committed their entire winter session to the production of the play. Another has partnered with the journalism department to blog about the rehearsal process. We've included the play to be workshopped during The Farm Theater's Training Camp, our summer education program. The college collaboration program is growing and exceeding my initial expectations.
Another phrase that comes to my mind lately is: "Faith without works is dead".
In the past, when I have been a guest artist at an institution, I believed one of my roles was to inspire the staff that were there year round to invest in our project. To identify why it was special and how all of us are vital in bringing this important play to life. And in part it is. The job of a director of a particular production is to clarify the purpose and import of the play. To connect everyone to it. However, the first three months of this project has given me a greater understanding and appreciation for all of the producers, programmers, administrators, and staff of programs and institutions, that do the day to day work to prepare for the production. They have a deep commitment and faith in the theater. They believe and are committed to the process. It is their work that clears the path and lays the foundation for everyone to create, collaborate, and learn.
I am excited and grateful to be working with all of you.