Monday, November 10, 2008

Too many chiefs, not enough...

For the most part, Bloo, I agree with your assertion of what collaboration means. There is one line, though, that gives me pause: "Everybody wants the same thing and are willing to compromise, listens to everybody’s ideas and work harmoniously for the betterment of the show to make it the best it can be." It doesn't give me pause because I disagree with it; rather, I wonder if everyone can actually want the same thing.

As of late, the notion of what collaboration is for me has been put to the test. I've come to the realization that director-less collaborations are extremely difficult, and ultimately come down to fights over vision. The best theatre is that which follows a singular vision; what makes it interesting is knowing that different opinions are allowing for a multi-faceted view of that vision. When dealing with a director-less collaboration (what, previous to now, was my only perception of TRUE collaboration), you have a group of people creating a theme or concept. In my experience, I find this muddles the idea because there isn't one streamlined idea to get behind.

Ultimately, I want to believe that true collaboration does exist. However, I feel like the best way for everyone to make a harmonious creation is to start with the strongest foundation possible. If the opinions coming forth from the ensemble are varied and disjointed, it does not serve the production well to try to compromise and get everyone's ideas in the melting pot. Although the starting point should be something like a general concept statement from which to get more specific, I do also believe that the concept shouldn't be something so wide-ranging that ANYTHING can fit under it.

That's why, to me, working from one person's concept is a better way to try to achieve collaboration in the entire process. If there is a director (or a spearheader or some other such word if the collaborators don't want an actual director), it helps smooth out the process so that there aren't too many egos flying around.

To be honest, I have a lot of opinions on this subject, but my head is so jumbled and frustrated when it comes to collaboration right now, I can't quite articulate them. Let's just leave it at this: my heart believes in true collaboration, but my mind is quite doubtful.

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