Sunday, November 22, 2009

How Do I Decide what to Direct/Produce with the Mammals?

I was asked the other day if I could ever conceive of directing plays other than my own. The answer was yes. "In fact, I did that this year, remember?"

He clarified, "I mean with your theatre company... the Mammals."

"Well, do adaptations of other's count? We did a production of Strindberg's Dream Play and adapted Emily Dickinson's Poetry into a American Vampire Gothic?"

He wasn't satisfied, "Not that, I mean plays by living playwrights. I just think it would very interesting for you and others to see how you would direct someone else's play."

Sure. However, if I have an odd half dozen projects I am currently striving to produce, then why would I suddenly bring that to a halt and instead directing my own work... direct someone else's?

I have limited time, energy, resource. I can only raise so much money specifically for projects that the Mammals do. I can't add onto that resource (at least not at this time) say another 2 thousand dollars to pay Sam Shepard for the rights to that production of Geography of a Horse Dreamer I have wanted to do since I was 19. It would be great, but now is not that time. If there is another company out there with folks who know and trust my style and abilities and are looking for a free lancer to direct their ensemble, well that would be wonderful.

But with the company that I founded, we have always been a DIY sort of company, and part of that DIY has been making/writing our own plays instead of paying outside artists to allow us access to their scripts.

Mostly I've done the writing in the past 7 years. One of the other co-founders has attempted a few projects that he then decided to table. Another co-founder (way back in the day) said that she wanted to the Mammals to do a musical (imagine a Mammals musical... well actually a Mammals musical would be cool, but I think she wanted us to do something else...something a little more BiC).

The company roster has changed a few times since then, and it will change again in the future. But to its current members and future members, I would say... if you have a project you are writing that fits our mission statement ...let's talk about it. If you have a published/royalty based play not in the public domain you want to produce under the Mammal banner, we can talk about that too (including how you plan to raise the extra money for the royalties). But, if you want to talk about me directing a published/royalty based show with the Mammals as well as me raising the funds for it... well understand that isn't really where I am at right now.

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