From the Flickr Commons
I’m in the midst of tech week for the show I’m directing for Impact, or “hell week” as it is often called. Directing an improv show and a scripted show back-to-back has been a stark reminder to me about the differences in the two processes. Over all, both are easier and more difficult at the same time. There really is no equivalent to hell week for an improv show, or at least it’s not on the same scale.
I also learned a lot doing these two shows back-to-back, or perhaps I learned more from simply directing for the first time in 4 years or more. The main lesson I’ve learned about directing an improv show is that it’s more like teaching a class than putting a show together. As a result it requires a much more well thought out curriculum from the very beginning, well before the first rehearsal or even the auditions. Un-Scripted: unscripted, being a show that did not require an obvious set of specific skills to perform, in retrospect I should have picked a set of skills that I wanted to work on and constructed the rehearsals around that larger purpose. That seems so obvious now, I’m surprised I didn’t think of it originally, but alas I did not.
As for what I’ve learned about directing a scripted play, I’ve learned I need to communicate better with my designers, push them and the actors harder, and generally trust my instincts. Perhaps it’s less trusting my instincts and learning to recognize my instincts. If something doesn’t seem right, it’s probably wrong.