You have a good show. Now make it great.

I’ve been working real hard with my drama group, getting ready for our Christmas show coming up the first week of December. We’ve spent a lot of hours working the 10 different scripts we’ll be performing that night, and I’ve been really happy with how they are coming together. It’s going to be an enjoyable evening of drama and music. The audience is going to laugh and cry.

But today, as I was starting to see the entire show coming together, I finally had time to start looking at the little details of the show which could make it even more memorable and enjoyable for the audience.

I thought of a between-sketch one-minute dance number which could be added to help introduce one of the sketches. The actor of the sketch, who loves to dance, loved the  idea and is now working on the choreography. A minute minute dance bridge which will keep the audience enthralled.

I thought of other things as well: light dustings of snow in some of the sketches to help with the visuals. A painted stage which will have two red and green triangles which will look like the outline of a Christmas tree. Candy or gifts for the audience. I’m simply at the beginning  of ideas now; I’m sure many more are to come.

I firmly believe it’s these little touches which will add tremendous depth and enjoyment for the audience. So if you’re producing a show, perfect the script, but then dig deeper. Where else can value be added without breaking the bank or without taking too much time?

This will help make a good production into a great production. If you come to our show, be looking for these little touches. I hope everyone enjoys them.

Rlt christmas poster 4 sizeA5

Thank (or hug) a Drama Director

If you’ve ever enjoyed a theatrical production, take a minute and thank a drama director today. Now I’m not saying this so someone will thank me, but there is a tremendous amount of work that goes into a show, 99% of it is never seen. But the laughter you enjoy, the poignant moments that send tears down your cheek, don’t just happen. They are created out of months of work and hundreds of hours of dedication.

This topic hit me as I was planning out my week ahead of me. Now please understand, drama directing is not my full-time job. I volunteer to do it because I love it. But all of these items I’m planning to do this week – 5 weeks before the show – is what I’m currently working on as we prepare. Every director or producer will have their  own list of crazy busy-ness. Here’s mine:

Spent hours yesterday creating our show’s first flyer.

Spent many more hours yesterday and today creating individual fact  sheets for each of the 10 sketches which will be part of our show.

Coordinating our first flyer print.

Sending questions to actors for their informational sheets.

By the way, the program isn’t finished yet.

Rehearsal from 3pm to 6 pm tomorrow.

Have to schedule special rehearsals this week for 3 other sketches.

Contacting the box office about our first poster.

Meeting with tech on Monday to print cue sheets.

Coordinating sound tracks with composers.

Beginning to create the actor informational sheets.

Putting posters around campus and town.

Planning on staging. (Lights, stage painting)

Trying to track down the lost shipment of Christmas hats from the supplier.

Having impromptu photo-session for one actor who missed our regular session.

Photoshop has become a permanent part of my fingertips.

These are the items I’m working on 5 weeks out from the show. Imagine how crazy it will be when show week arrives.

All producers and directors feel this. And on top of all of this, we  worry whether anyone will show up and whether or not we will meet all our costs. Nothing is guaranteed.

Oh, and by the way, we also hope we have a good show to put on!

Lots of moving parts. Lots of sleepless nights.

Thank a director today. Or better yet, hug a director.