IN ANTICIPATION OF OUR UPCOMING PROJECTS, THE HOLLOW AND UNDERSTOOD, WE’VE CREATED A Q&A ON THIS INTEGRAL PART OF OUR VISION.
WHAT’S A WORK-IN-PROGRESS SHOWING OR READING?
We like to think of a work-in-progress presentation as an exploration, the first time trying out our ideas and concepts in front of a live audience. In a traditional reading, you are likely to see a full read-through of the script or show; here we are looking to share a smattering of scenes or songs to give the audience a taste of certain aspects of the project. For instance, in THE HOLLOW, where music and physical storytelling are the primary mediums, you’ll see scenes with dynamic movement and hear a few songs simply sung by the band without staging. And with UNDERSTOOD, you’ll see a rough shape of a full story with actors behind music stands. You can think of it as a test run of the overall ideas and themes.
WHY IS THIS STEP IMPORTANT FOR YOUR PROCESS?
Doing these types of presentations helps us find what is working within a project and more importantly, what isn’t. The development process is paramount in creating new work. Engaging and sharing with the audience is an integral part of that. We also want to give ourselves the opportunity to try things without the need for them to be “perfect” at such an early stage. In the rehearsal room it’s easy to say, “Does this work?”, and run away from an idea. It’s essential that we give artists the opportunity and permission to explore those ideas in front of an audience, where they can truly feel the impact. This often leads to better discoveries in the end!
WHAT DO YOU HOPE YOUR AUDIENCES WILL GET OUT OF A WORK-IN-PROGRESS EVENT?
We hope our audiences are able to follow THE HOLLOW, UNDERSTOOD, and future projects along their creative lifespan: from conception all the way to world premiere, whether that takes one year or five. We want people to get invested in new work and the artists creating them. We want to open up a dialogue about how and why the work is being created and get real in-the-moment feedback about what is and isn’t resonating with our community. And we hope people get excited! Creating new work is all about making discoveries, and we want our community right there with us as we make them. Who wants to make a bunch of new work behind closed doors? We’re inviting people in! Let’s explore the unknown together!
WHAT ABOUT THOSE WHO ARE ONLY INTERESTED IN SEEING THE FINAL PRODUCT?
That’s totally fair. We do hope those folks take a chance to come and be a part of the creation of these new works. It really is a thrilling experience to see actors behind a music stand, then a year later see them on a full set with lights and costumes. In most cases you end up enjoying the production more because you know where it started. You had a voice in helping it get to that final stage! We are playing the long game you could say, and we hope people give the long game a try.