When creative teams earn their stripes . . .

It’s not in the two years prior to the first preview.

It’s in the two weeks prior to the opening night.

When choosing your team, especially your director, make sure you have a set that can deliver within the choking restrictions of that 3-4 week period known as “previews”.

Limited rehearsal hours, stagehand schedules that don’t mesh with actor schedules, prohibitive overtime costs, miniscule lead time to build new scenery or costumes, and immediate audience feedback, are just a few of the things that a creative team has to juggle with when fine or not-so-fine tuning their show before opening night.

It requires a different set of muscles to run this obstacle course as compared to the marathon of pre-performance development.

But your team needs both sets of muscles if your show is going to run.

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  • Laura says:

    I know it’s been some years since you wrote this, and maybe I’m too newbie-ish to be here!! lol!!

    The theater I co-own is within a month of opening night and next week we, as the producers (and costumers, prop master, set person, etc) will sit down for a full run-through. We’ll take notes for our departments as well as for the director that we’ll prioritize from Change This to Noticed This But Fix If You Want To.

    As none on the production team is from a professional theater background, I always wonder if we are missing something at this point in the production.

    If you have any thoughts on what you would do at this point of you were us I would so totally appreciate it!!! 🙂

    Thank you so much for your site!! I’ve been reading your articles and learning!! 🙂

  • This is a good take on things! I am a designer and I find that when it comes down to performance in crunch time that many people fold.

    It is difficult for some teams to handle the pressure, it’s the same in sports. You will have one basketball player that shines above everyone; simply because he handles the pressure better than the other players.

    When I am putting together a creative team I always test the limits by repetition and practicing urgency.

    The last 2 weeks in theater are extremely important for the shows creative communication and promotion.

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