What does a director do after opening?
A reader recently dropped me an email asking what a Broadway or Off-Broadway Director’s responsibilities are, after a show officially opens.
While it may seem like a Director’s job would end as soon as that opening night party kicks into high gear, in actuality, the gig just morphs into something different.
There are replacements to cast, and understudies to train, and Tony Award numbers to plan and stage. There is (hopefully) talk of a tour or two. There is press to do.
But one of the most important jobs a Director has after opening is making sure the cast keeps delivering their opening night performance night after night after year after year.
Because over time, without anyone even noticing, things have a way of shifting ever so slightly from where they started, whether you’re talking about a cast’s performances or a mountain range! It’s no one’s fault. It may not be on purpose. It just happens naturally, whenever the same thing is done night after night after year after year.
Think about it like this . . .
In the morning, you put on a pair of shoes, and lace them up good and tight. If you walk around in those shoes all day long, by the end of the day, those laces are going to loosen up some. It just happens.
And at some point, before they become untied, you’re going to have to bend down and lace them up super tight again, right?
That’s what a Director does after opening.
He tightens up a show’s laces.