December 5, 2011

Walking the talk on moneyballing theatre

As my plans for the 2012 production of Tulpa, or Anne&Me start coming together, I'm in a pretty good position to apply some of the ideas I brought up in my "What If . . . Theatres Played Moneyball?" post. As I'm researching venues and running the IndieGoGo campaign (which you should contribute to if you haven't already), I'm also thinking of ways to describe what I'm looking for in various members of the cast and crew.

Being that the director is the keystone person in all this, I created a job ad for a director that lays out, in simple terms, what I need that person to do. When writing it, I gave myself a few "rules" to work with, such as:

  1. Must be written as "can do," not "must have"
  2. No less than 3 but no more than 7 requirements
  3. Directly mention the people I want to apply

What I came up with was:

This play needs a DIRECTOR who can:

  • apply anti-racist principles and practices to all aspects of production
  • create an amazing theatrical experience with limited tech and budget
  • work within the guidelines of the AEA showcase code
  • respect the playwright's voice and vision
  • collaborate with the playwright to select cast and crew
  • schedule and attend all rehearsals
  • maintain a healthy working environment

Although education and experience are definitely helpful, what matters most is your passion, vision, and commitment - and how easy you are to work with. Because of the play's subject matter and my personal interest in giving opportunities to underrepresented theatre artists, queer women of color are strongly encouraged to reach out.

I am seeking to make my final decision by January 15. 

Please send all inquiries and supporting materials (if any) to [my personal info].

Hopefully, this will draw people who would be the biggest assets to the production and not just those who interview well. I'm sure that some experienced theatre artists may look at my requirements and go, "Well, duh!" But I've heard a lot of stories about people who get involved in projects without being solid on the "Well, duh" parts and wind up creating a complete clusterfuck. As time goes on, I've learned to give myself credit for the fact that, while I make mistakes, I don't have to make ALL the mistakes ALL by myself to learn.

I hope that, should I find a director this way, I can apply the same thing to the rest of the cast an crew.

What about you? Do you have any experiences with "moneyballin" theatre? How did it turn out?