Collaborating the night away

There are a lot of arts organizations in North Adams.  A lot.  Three theatre companies.  2 mills full of artists.  Dancers.  Writers.  Performance artists.  Photographers. Sculptors. Painters.  How does one survive?

Being a theatre artist, I smugly believe the answer lies in my own particular poison: collaboration.  One of my favorite musicians, Amanda Palmer, said that she ended up doing music rather than theatre because to do theatre she has to organize 20 people and with music she just needs a piano and an audience.

I’m not saying anything new here, but I am seeing things from a new perspective.  You see, I have this baby now.  And Lex will have a baby in the next couple of weeks.  Having me away from home at bedtime simply doesn’t work for my son. However, bedtime is prime theatre time.  How do I run a Redroom and rehearsals for a Redroom when I need to be home at 7:30?  It’s an exercise in problem solving, no doubt.

But it’s not just people with babies, people with jobs and lives need to find a way to fit in volunteer theatre.  The show we’ve planned for September is going to be broken up between two directors to fit in a couple of summer vacations.  It all works out for the best–each director will work with his/her strength.  And, as I am one of the directors, we also have to figure out the best way to make sure my baby is happy.  We have been a highly collaborative theatre company for the past several years, but the upcoming months are going to put it to the test.

One person will cast the show, another begin the rehearsal period and a third will bring it all together for the end.  We are on the verge, as it were….

One Response to “Collaborating the night away”

  1. esedarbaum Says:

    Howard had the same history and thought process as Amanda. He studied theater but eventually went back to cartooning, partly because all he needed to organize was himself and his drawing tools. It turned out, by the way, that many of his early comics revealed Howard’s theatrical orientation. His panels often looked just like a stage, with the character’s feet standing on the floorboards.

    — Ed