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Soon all of these seats will be filled by audience members!

The cast and crew of TREASURE ISLAND were hard at work all weekend in tech rehearsals. It was a long but very productive process. I marveled at this group’s flexibility and skill as we refined elements of the show. In particular, there’s a battle sequence that we ran through dozens of times to get all of the details down – there’s stage combat, complex lighting and sound cues, and even explosions created using a little stage magic. Every member of the team contributes to this section of the show, to great effect. After all the effort, we are ready to move onto the next phase: we’re adding an audience.

On Thursday’s opening night, we will learn a lot about our show because there will be people watching it! For the actors, they will have to make slight adjustments to hold for laughter/applause/etc. For me, an audience’s response shows how clearly we’re telling the story. After a performance, I like to leave the theatre in the middle of the crowd so I can eavesdrop. Hearing about what people liked, didn’t like, or didn’t understand gives me an idea of where the strengths in our production lie.

For a student theatre show, we get the extra advantage in that some of our audiences come from local schools! I love student audiences, because they are not afraid to be vocal with their opinions about a show. When there are students in the audience, I always wonder about what they’ll learn from seeing the play. A show like TREASURE ISLAND offers many potential lessons. I hope our audiences are willing to ask questions and take away something new from the experience.

It’s hard to believe that we’re almost done with our TREASURE ISLAND journey. A question I often get is, “What do you do when a show is over?” Well, first of all, I’ll be teaching acting classes in local schools and as part of QCT’s fall semester. But as a director, I’m already working on the next show! I’m already doing research/production meetings for Shrek TYA, auditions are December 5-6, and the whole process begins again.

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