Chautauqua process paper. Being the writer is the best job in Chautauqua. I got to meet my director, and sit and watch rehearsals, and relax. The best part was that my director worked so well with me. I think that choosing the directors is a large part of the process, and being able to find a director was really crucial. I was fortunate that the director I was paired with understood my piece, and my sense of humor. Otherwise I think that it would have not turned out so well. *I think that because I went into the whole writer's position with the belief that the director could do what ever he/she wanted really allowed me to relax during the rehearsal process, because I have a habit of being controlling, and if I didn't stop myself at the beginning, I could easily see myself getting upset at the directorial choices of someone else. Of course, the Director interpreted the script practically exactly the same as I had in my head, so even if I had not given 100% directorial control, I would have had little to be upset about. I was lucky enough to have some say in whom was to become my director, but other people felt as though they did not. Personally, I believe that the directors should be made to write a proposal, but then the writer should be able to read through all the proposals and meet with directors if they choose to. Obviously this would add to the time/stress allocation given to Chautauqua during winter quarter, but I think that the pay off is big enough to justify it. Personally I found reading the director's proposals extremely helpful in deciding who I wanted to direct my show. It's too bad not all the writers were afforded that luxury.
The audition/casting process was long, but it wasn't really difficult, at least not for the Crystal Valley team. We agreed on who would be good for what role pretty readily, and compromised easily. For example, I thought that Jude would be the best Galvin, and she thought that Allison would be a better Mr. Coolhead than who ever I thought. And in the end those decisions proved excellent. I felt bad for the people who had a tough time in the casting circle. I don't really have a better way to do that in mind, so that means that I thought it went well.
The rehearsal process was (for me) nice and easy and fun. I think that It would have been nice to have more time in the Xbox, but doesn't everyone.
I found the website (once it was up) was pretty useful, as far as schedules and such were concerned. Although I thought it would have been nice if they were implemented sooner, and if as Chautauqua went on they were updated more frequently.
My tech job was the amazing task of the light hang. That totally rocked! A large amount of fun was had by me in B100 on that Sunday day. I learned a lot about the lights and how they are hung that I didn't know before. (In my 10 years of theatre, I've done a pretty good job of not being able to do tech jobs so that no one would make me do anything.) I would love to do light hang again (in theory) and I am very glad that I was forced to do it. Last year I operated the soundboard, and that was very fun as well. I was pretty sad that I was not able to do a booth-esq job again this year, due to my sister's wedding in Michigan.
As for the shows, I thought they were pretty good, but mine was the best. Actually my favorite part of Chautauqua was the communions. Not because they were the best pieces, but because by re-using actors, they added a feeling of connection between the various programs. So as you're watching program D, you're immersed in this special little universe of math and such, and then you see the communion, and it's like "whoah! It's those people from program C!" and it turns into a more festival kinda feeling. (I think that the GI Joe movies helped with this cohesive feeling as well) my interpretation of an Ideal Chautauqua is one much like the Ren Faire. Where you are immersed in this overall world of Theatre, but as you walk around the theatre arts complex, you encounter individual stories. Like, the people outside of the Xbox should have a story, or a show or at least characters, and as you wander around you can keep coming back to them and see how their story is progressing through the day. And then you can wander to the concessions stand, and see if they've sold the $3000 rock that they're hawking in addition to the Pepsi and candy bars. Then you could go back to b100 or whatever, and watch the show in there. Oh, I just remembered more ideas! First I want to thank whoever came up with the idea to rotate the schedules, and put Crystal Valley first on Friday and Saturday. That was totally rocking! HUZZAH! Now for the idea: so, instead of having 4-hour groups of shows, you could give each show its own timeslot. Initially you might think that this wouldn't work, because there wouldn't be enough seats or logistic stuff, blah blah, but you don't have to limit the spaces used to B100 and the xbox. You could have little pieces all over, like where the C program communion preformed, or in that space between second stage and J building, or on the loading dock, or in the little drive way by the loading dock. Or anywhere! These could easily be little solo performances, or laurel and Hardy Vaudeville style banter. I think that most of the shows that were done this year could be adapted to these spaces, or snippets could be used for various things. So, then the "big shows" would be scheduled in the b100 and black box and maybe even the other indoor stages, just like classes are scheduled. Like there's a class, and then there's a like 10 minute break for the people to come in for the next class. And if there's not room because too many people are remaining from the previous show, there will be several other things for the people who can't find seating to see outside. They could even go and buy that rock the concessions people are trying to sell for $3000. You could have a big sign somewhere (like by a map) telling people what was performing where and when. There could also be one big program with all the times and locations and credits listed in it. It wouldn't take more material than giving out four different programs like we did this year. This whole scenario would last from maybe 1 to 10 or 12 at night or whatever. And, of course it would take more money and planning, but think of this: if people are watching stuff outside, they are more likely to buy concessions/merchandise (a Chautauqua CD! Yes!) And since they will be outside, they can actually eat it, and then
Find the secret confession in this entry!
buy more. This increased demand means that more expensive/ messy items could be sold, such as popcorn, and rotisserie chicken! It would turn Chautauqua into a festival thingy, instead of "the college theatre marathon" that it is earning the reputation to be. All these "extra," "outside" pieces wouldn't require all the work of the indoor ones, because they wouldn't need lighting, or sounds, or sets, or other crazy stuff, like talking brooms. I think that this idea would totally rock, and allow more shows to be accepted next time. And if there aren't any directors for the extra pieces, the writer could direct them. Oooo I'm getting excited by this amazing idea in my head. And I really want rotisserie chicken now. I think that's what I want to write for next years Chautauqua; scripts/ outlines for acts to go before and between and after the shows. I was unimpressed with the movies, but the GI Joe things were very funny. I can't be too critical about the movies, because I didn't actually submit anything, but that was the fault of my roommate and the computers, because I had actually made stuff for Chautauqua. http://urbanpirates.net/cmh/media/movies/zangiefrm.htm Personally, I believe that I would do Chautauqua again next year. I really enjoyed the writer position mostly because it's the most glory for the least amount of work. Well, maybe not the most glory� but relative to the amount of work I did during the actual quarter compared to the rewards, I feel it was worth it. Of course, when I acted in Chautauqua last year the play was only ok. Of course, people remember my performance, so that's good. Um� yes. I will write stuff, and then maybe I will do other things. If I had time, I would also like to design stuff. I like art and making stuff. HUZZAH!