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Why Theatre is the Most Collaborative Artform

Posted by Matt Humphrey & John Schwab on 26 Mar, 2018

Curtain Call's founders on the important of collaboration in theatre, and how it motivated them to start a company dedicated to connecting everyone who works in the industry

Scottsboro Boys - collaborative theatre

First and foremost, it must be said that the theatre community is like no other – it brings people together in a way that no other business or industry can.  When you walk in the door for the first day of rehearsal, you are instantly a part of a new family. Everyone in the room is striving for the same thing – to create art and tell a story...something unique and memorable.

For some, the journey starts long before rehearsals though. From an idea, a script is written (no mean feat in itself), and then cautiously presented to others. The script may go through several iterations, involving re-writes, workshops, test readings, possibly even a performance along the journey to a final working piece.

It is this story that bonds the whole team together – from the writer to the producer, the creative team and production manager who assembles the technical backstage team to bring that story to life. Each designer adds an aesthetic layer that nuances the script, and the talent who get through the rounds of auditions and casting calls  become the ‘players’ of that story.

deathofasalesman-collaborative

The analogy of an iceberg is not out of place when it comes to describing the full collaborative team behind a production – what you see onstage is really just the tip of it. The length of time that the audience spends watching the production is similarly analogous to the amount of time put into the creative and technical process that precedes it.

Theatre creates some of the strongest bonds in a workplace. It is the ephemeral nature of theatre that makes the connections within company members so strong.  If you know that your time is limited on a production, you make sure that every day is a day you’re learning something – whether you are the automation operator, a member of cast, or part of the stage management team.

We love theatre because theatre, in every form of the word, is a fantastically effective education for whatever life can throw at you.  Whether you work in theatre or simply take in a play every now and then, that darkened room can wash away the stresses of the day and be just the tonic you need.  Each night as the building fills up – with cast members, stage management, musicians, the audience – we all enter into a contract to commune in the telling of that story, and all the emotions, smoke and mirrors and lessons that come with it.

We love that theatre has everything.  It can make you want to laugh out loud (Play That Goes Wrong), cry uncontrollably (Di & Viv & Rose), exalt in life (Everybody’s Talking about Jamie), dance in the aisles (42nd Street), explore your own politics (Julius Caesar), identify with mental illness (Dust), brush up on your history (Hamilton)… You name it, theatre has it, and it’s always on tap.

And with each round of applause, each standing ovation, each curtain call on every stage we visit, surrounded by a thousand strangers, we are reminded why we love theatre…because we belong there.

Theatre is our home.

 

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Other content you may find interesting:

The Curtain Call Theatre Podcast on iTunes

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