Today was the Shadowlands play polishing.
For those of you who’ve never participated in one of these, the short version of “what is a play polishing” is when a production brings in another set of eyes, usually a mentor or otherwise experienced director, to come and see the production prior to the final weeks of rehearsal to give the cast & director feedback on the way the show is coming together.
It isn’t about redoing the play. It is, in my experience, best described with the metaphor in the name. It is a way to add a final polish to the show. With a foundation that’s solid, polish adds luster that makes the whole thing more enjoyable.
Today, Karen’s mentor, Philip Akin of the Obsidian Theatre Company in Toronto, was in to do the play polish. Speaking as an actor & a director, I was excited & really appreciated the exercise. Listening to someone who knows exactly what to say to get the point across (40 years of experience will do that) make the process really easy to see. Speaking as the artistic director of TenBareToes, I have to thank Philip for his time & effort today because I know Karen’s show will benefit from it.
The show I saw today was really good (and moved me to tears more often than I care to admit it). When the cast has had a chance to incorporate Philip’s suggestions today during the coming 2 weeks, it will only up their game.
I realise I was only there today as the producer for Shadowlands, however I have a very full brain now because there was so many opportunities for learning.
That tomorrow night I go teach the final class of the workshop on directing prep is not lost on me. I just hope I am doing my karmic turn & providing my experience to them in turn.