The show has been on hiatus since last Tuesday night when we completed our working rehearsals. Nothing is happening – no rehearsals, no work on the set – only planning (and the actors learning their lines). Planning what to do first, building wise. What order to do the long list of tasks that I have been holding off doing, while I wait for the theatre’s ambitious schedule to allow me some time (finally) onstage without any other shows to worry about. Tomorrow is the day to get started.

But………today I get an email from my producer saying that the Prine show is going great and that the stage will be cleared of everything except the large rug they use, and if I would not mind working around that until next Sunday when they are done (with the second weekend of Prine shows)…..the second weekend of Prine shows….the SECOND WEEKEND of Prine shows?!? I had never been talked to or asked about or consulted for a SECOND WEEKEND of Prine shows by anyone!

This was a big problem. I have to have the 2 1/2 weeks that I figured on and (graciously, I thought) agreed to (see blog entitled – Issues) for my set building and the cast’s working with the set, plus any further changes to things that I discover along the way. What kind of decision is this that allows for an extra weekend to be gobbled up by this visiting show – while a season show waits in the wings to get going – finally?

Needless to say – I was rather agitated by this news. I tried to call my producer, but had to leave a message. I looked online and saw the ads saying that the show WAS in fact scheduled for a second weekend (!) thus dispelling any notion of a mistake in the email. I looked at the theatre website for a number to call the board president, but none was listed. I looked up and called another board member’s cell and it went unanswered. I called my producer again (!) and this time got ahold of her and told her about the dilemna. She was shocked I didn’t know about the change but, to her credit, said it was her fault for not alerting me. No one had alerted me. No one even thought to, I guess.

Is this the way to run a theatre? I know that this group is dollar hungry and needs the budget money to get their bills paid and all – but to so mindlessly set their focus on this traveling show at the obvious expense of their season – and to not even have a thought to alert the person heading that current show? It makes me think twice about having much to do with this group in the future.

I have been a solid supporter of this group – I have been directing shows here since 2002, have won awards for my efforts there, have attended, reviewed and publicized their shows regularly over the past years, but I have never felt such disregard from them. I am really put-off by this.

But more than being about my being put off – there is a real problem here. A show needs time to develop; not just the action on stage, but the physical parts of the show as well. And these parts need to be in place for enough time to become familiar to the actors. I have given up my schedule of building and rehearsing and stepped aside so that 15 occasions (performances, auditions, rehearsals) could take over the room. Mostly it has not been a problem. This latest one will be lived with too, as I WILL start building as planned , but also WILL lose another scheduled rehearsal which I am as yet not sure can be made up and WILL lose a building day as well.

Theatre magic will happen and the actors, who have been brilliant through-out all the necessary shortages and changes, will prevail. But this is not a good way to run a theatre.

Advertisements