Liam Castellan, Communicating Doors director
As I write this, Opening Night is less than five hours away. When I sit in the back and watch the actors and the audience collaborate on telling this story, I will finish saying goodbye to it. Oh, I’ll visit once or twice to check on things, but it won’t be my show anymore. It will be the cast’s show, the stage manager’s show and, yes, the audience’s show. I will be merely visiting.
Typically, once tech rehearsals start, the stage manager is running the rehearsal almost completely. The director, while still a leader, is less and less the person to take questions or information to. The stage is no longer “my” space, it belongs to Rosy and Joel. My job is to stay on and give everyone a strong enough vision of this thing they’re in the middle of to sustain them through a five-week run.
The end of rehearsals is a process of planned obsolescence for the director. Each dress rehearsal, each preview, I am less and less important. This is as it should be. It happens with every show, but there’s still a small part of me each time that feels sad at the loss. Actors and crew celebrate and/or mourn a show after the closing performance, but my time of celebration/mourning is now.
Some directors deal with this by throwing themselves into preparations for their next project. Some obsess over reviews, some ignore them. Catching up on dishes, laundry, and chores can help “re-set” one’s life. Reconnecting with friends can help. I generally do a mix of these, and will already be in the middle of it by the time you read this.
Thank you to my hard-working cast, crew and design team. Enjoy your wine and cheese and applause tonight, for you have earned it.
Thank you to Hedgerow, which has been an important artistic home for me since high school. I am grateful to you for the opportunities, the wisdom, and the kinship that I find here.
And finally, thank you to the audience who makes what we do possible, and to the readers of this blog. We theatre artists spend a great deal of time talking to each other about our craft, and it’s been useful to write about my work for an audience not of my colleagues.