My Top Six New Year’s Theater Resolutions

Happy New Year!

I know. I know. Every year we all set resolutions that are going to make us healthier, stronger, better. And by the time a week has passed most of us have broken them and at the end of the first month we’ve forgotten them completely. So maybe me setting them a week too late will help me keep them a little longer!

  1. Show more appreciation for all involved. Theatre is a TEAM effort. Many people are involved to create a perfect show. Many more people are involved to perform all the tasks to RUN a theater. I try, honestly I do. I want to give credit and be thankful for all the amazing people who make Overshadowed what it is. So this year will be dedicated to giving more credit to all those who work so hard. Here is a list that you might not think about: Tech crew, stage manager, costume designers plus sewers, ushers, box office, house manager, set designer and builders, advisory board and executive board members and that is just a start. Theater is an ENSEMBLE effort. I won’t ever forget that.
  2. Establish the next step of our business plan. One of the best pieces of advice I received when Overshadowed began is to establish a five-year business plan. I had no idea what that meant, but thankfully I had a few men in my life that really tackled that and asked me hard questions that honestly I had never given any thought to. Looking back I can see that the business plan helped me set goals and even though I thought they were crazy at the time. (I just wanted to produce plays!) I know that was a very important aspect of establishing a company that I hope will last long after I’m gone. This year, the next phase of that business play will start to take  shape. Overshadowed will begin to offer classes. No longer will this be just a shot in the dark, but we will have consistency and variety in our offerings.  Check out what we are starting with here: http://www.overshadowed.org/classes/
  3. Have a stronger social media presence. Marketing isn’t what it used to be. We spend so much time on our phones and all the places that we connect with each other. To grow Overshadowed to the next level I believe we need to up our visibility in those areas. I will admit I have learned a lot over the past couple of years, but there is sooooo much more to learn. My daughter convinced me over Christmas that we need to create a social media position. I’m happy to announce that we now have two! Brad Wendt and  Stephanie Schmidt will be our new Social Media managers. I’m positive that I will learn from them, but more importantly that they will be able to share all that is going on at the theatre so that our audiences will never say….”I didn’t even know…..”
  4. Be better organized. Attack projects sooner. That may look like two, but it’s really combined. Maybe if I’m better organized, our team be able to start projects sooner. Then they can complete them sooner so that the actors and crew can rehearse with all the tools sooner. It all works to make the experience for all involved less stressful and in the end will make our performances even better. I have never been a good planner. I have a tendency to believe things aren’t going to take as long to do so I procrastinate. For about a year and half I have been using a system called, “The Happy Planner.” I subscribe to Scarlet Lime–which is a subscription  which sends me a kit every other month full of paper, a pen, stickers and washi tape. It makes me tap into my creative side in a different way and relaxes me. At the same time I am now challenged to check things off and get things done. It is very motivating for me. I tell people that I love my happy planner, because it makes me happy! Maybe it makes other people happy too if I get things to them faster! It’s a win-win!
  5. Share my process and expectations up front. I think that I expect that people understand that when a director speaks that they shouldn’t be communicating. I then get frustrated when cast members are not listening during that time. In hindsight, I think I expect that people have the same values as mine and that just isn’t true. I haven’t decided if I’ll write them or just speak them, but here are some I’m going to take the time to express at the beginning of our production process.

a)  Important dates. (Off-book.Strike etc.)

b) No cell phones in rehearsal room. That would be a new one for us, but I believe it     will help keep everyone focused. It is so important for the concentration in the rehearsal room to be high and completely engaged in the process.

c) No talking in the rehearsal room or during cast meeting. If they aren’t involved in a scene they should wait outside if they want to talk. Who knows? Maybe it will help us all get in the habit of not talking backstage!

d) Start on time. Give announcements at the end of rehearsal instead of the start. I think sometimes people know I’m going to talk for a while so they think it’s ok to be a little late.

6.  Be off book sooner. Once an actor begins to have his part memorized he really begins to “act.” I’m going to try something new this year! Instead of requiring a date of being off-book out in the future–I’m going to ask that after we block a scene that  the actor needs to be off book on that scene the next time we rehearse it. I can’t wait to see how much of a difference that makes in my directing, but also in the actor’s process!

Wow! Here’s hoping 2019 will be another year of growth for me!

I’d love to hear your thoughts about these goals! Please share and comment! And follow me!

Until next time!

Overshadowed by His love,

Reba

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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