Tonight we do our third Scratch night for you. We're getting into the swing of this way of working- essentially doing a new show every two weeks, working off outlines and games, seeing what happens on the night.
Can we thrive by behaving more like a band, doing regular lo-fi gigs rather than isolated seasons? Will you come back again? We've set up scratch nights to test this, and we've made them free so that we can take risks. Also so that you will come, because who has money?
Making and showing all the time has meant committing to rehearse three days a week, every week, on top of other get-togethers and planning for other shows. It's hard to be precious about our ideas when the turnover is fast. Much easier to say "yes" than when the process is six months long and the show has to be "perfect". We'll try that idea next week. We can have a new director every fortnight. It's early days yet, but this is how I've hoped we could work for as long as I can remember- with a spirit of recklessness and devotion. We're fucking up some, but we're learning fast and you seem to be enjoying yourselves.
As we go into re-development for This Rugged Beauty next week, I hope we'll take this spirit with us, you and us. I hope the shows feel more like gigs than plays to you, even if they are more crafted or have some real lights on them. Setting the bar high in terms of output this past six months has forced our company to think about the things that really matter to us as performance makers. We've had to decide how best to use our insanely limited resources. We can't spend forever (or anything) on set, lights or publicity.
We can, however, invest in the things that matter to us, and that we suspect matter most to you- the game, the idea, the leap of faith. We've found that when all we've got to worry about is a powerpoint and some sticky notes, or some cardboard fins, we can worry about the experience of the spectator instead. A few projects over past years have felt like giant unwieldy ships that cannot be steered. It's nice to feel like a speedboat again, running circles around the oil tankers.
Look at me, I'm getting all lyrical.
Hope you can come along tonight, it might be our last for a while while we work on Rugged Beauty.
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