Developing the Piece in Front of an Audience

We never sit and decide, "This piece is ready now." What we do is, we get to the point where we arbitrarily decide a time to set it up and put it in front of an audience. We'll put it up at P.S. 122, or at the Knitting Factory or at any space. The criterion is you decide that you have an hour's worth of work that you're ready to have seen. We make it clear to our audience at that time that this is a work in progress. The first workshops are just the embryos. You might see some characters, some ideas. But as the workshops continue in the course of a few months, you'll see them grow. Some characters might drop out completely; others may suddenly appear.

Sometimes I'll see something in one piece, then something in another that isn't quite there. But if you put the two pieces together you can create a more complex character. The way you know when it's set is that the character is satisfying to you, the show has the shape and the arc that you want it to o x

have, the piece has the right rhythms from the beginning to the end. You just have to trust your instincts.

The beginning and end, characters are often quite tricky to decide on because you're trying to find what dynamic you start and finish on. You also want to make sure that whatever you lead with really sets your audience's mind in a particular place. In Danny's show, Jails, Hospitals & Hip-Hop, there's a rap piece that used to be at the end, but then we finally decided that it should be at the beginning. We realized that its message was too heavy, that it was more interesting at the top of the show.

0 0

Post a comment