Choosing a Season: A Diary (part 2)

Now that One Flea Spare has closed, the focus of the company has returned to what we’ll do next season. We continue with our series of posts on choosing a season that started with part 1. Again, Artistic Director, Michael Dove:

OK. So, first an apology for going a few months in-between these posts. I did the last one on December 7th, and here it is mid-March, and not only have we not announced our season (after hoping to do so a few weeks ago), but I haven’t even been checking in and reporting on the process. The Forum Transparency Police have given me a swift slap on the wrist and we are moving on.

What we have been doing over these past few weeks and months is reading. Reading. Reading. Then discussing. Then cutting down the “shortlist” and reading and discussing again. What started as a list of about 50 plays made its way down to 7-8.

Now, in certain years, we’ve had two solid choices and then some time where it didn’t look like we’d find a third only to have an 11th hour surprise that excited us all and made the season complete–both numerically and spiritually.

This year, we really love more than three. Some have returned to the list after not quite making it, for one reason or another, in seasons’ past. They include those “dream projects” that didn’t fit in previous line-ups, plays that have literally been developing over the years and keep getting better and better, and a few completely new ones that just came onto our radars and have us seriously jazzed about the prospects of producing them.

This past Sunday, we gathered to talk about the list and discuss what excited us most about each project. What themes seem to be surfacing, what the stories say about us, in this present moment, and what questions these plays pose to our audience. Many came with some fears, too: “Can we really afford that? Will this story speak to audiences in the way we think the playwright intended? Are we the right group to tell it?”

We then take all of these factors and see how they stack up against one another. It’s not quite alchemy, an I still don’t exactly understand how it all comes together, but it’s a beautiful and challenging experience.

So why haven’t we just come up with a season and told you all about it? Well, for many reasons. In essence, we’ve confirmed some choices, but we are throwing a few unconventional ideas into how we produce, next season, and that takes a bit more planning. Some possible collaborations to confirm, a few different scheduling ideas. So, at the risk of going on and on in this uber-cryptic manner, I’ll just say that we are playing with a few really exciting plans that go beyond our typical three-show/four week run way of producing and that takes a bit more time than usual. (tease! tease!)

Stay tuned….I promise you’ll hear from me sooner than later…..

–Michael

 

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