Tuesday, March 1, 2011

A Quick Thought on Theatre Collaboration

It's rare when I meet someone who practices a brand of collaborative diplomacy that is useful to the development of theatrical art. Mind you, I wholeheartedly identify with good intentions, and this thought is not to insult or expose any of the wonderful artists with whom I work regularly. If any of them lack collaborative diplomacy, most likely it isn't their fault.

I feel the real fault lies with our society. We live in a world that doesn't view specificity and precision as worthwhile practices. Our daily conversations are bloated with upward inflections at the ends of statements, the words "like" and "kinda" and "just-a" softening our declarations, and a passive aggression that pollutes verbal undercurrent as vocal fry.

These habits in communication breed sloppy, misshapen thoughts and ideas that prove more effective in handicapping conversation rather than improving it.

Since theatre is a collaborative art (though some would have us believe otherwise), this disconnect in communication is often the death knell of collective progression in the work. Until actors, directors, and designers are consistently able to translate their artistic impulses into precise and workable information for the rest of their company, the quality of theatre in America is in great peril.


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