Going back to Ottawa to rehearse Concord Floral, a Suburban Beast production that premiered in Toronto back in 2014 and recently played at the National Arts Centre in March/April of this year. It was created by Erin Brubacher, Cara Spooner and Jordan Tannerhill over many years with a dedicated group of teenagers who were at the core of the creation process. Instead of adults writing plays about teenagers, the teenagers created the work themselves under the guidance and leadership of the lead artists. Jordan ended up writing the play version of the piece but it really comes alive again with each new incarnation of the cast.
I was the Stage Manager for the NAC version and am now returning for the Magnetic North Festival remount that will be in Whitehorse, Yukon in a week and a half. In March/April I was able to be a part of a very special process where 10 teenagers came together to offer their own version of Concord Floral under the direction of Erin Brubacher and Cara Spooner. I got to witness the excitment, fear, confusion, commitment, exhaustion, vunerability, and pure joy of creation. I often see Stage Management as the middle person between the director, performers and designers, the one attempting to bring it together and provide the organization needed to keep it going forward. What I don’t always get to do is part of a team, a group of individuals being together in the most committed ways possible, through trust, care, and hard work. I don’t always get to be a part of truely healthy process where there is true professionalism, that almost impossible balance between having fun, working your butt off and bring a a fantastic show together.
We don’t have nay control over people’s reaction to a show but we have control over how we make that show. How we treat each other, how we treat ourselves, how we treat those around us during that process and this directly effects the product. Focused, caring and demanding can happen at the same time, it is not easy but carefully planned and a result of wisdom and experience.
Know what you need, ask for what you want, except what you get.