My very first car was a 1968 Volkswagen Beetle. Eloise had her quirks, but one of the things I loved most was I could usually fix her myself – I actually once used duct tape and a rubber band! Sometimes I’d have to give the gas pedal a couple extra pumps to get her started, and other times she’d grumble and groan for no apparent reason. Usually though, she pretty much did what she was meant to – get me from point A to point B. I miss Eloise’s simplicity. Today’s high-tech cars leave me cold…I’ve never named a newer car.
While thinking about the development of theatre productions, I remembered Eloise. My kiddos have been involved in over fifteen shows and each production develops differently. Some have run as smoothly as a brand new Porsche. Others have sputtered along like Eloise.
Then the show opens and the real magic happens – the duct tape and rubber bands hold – and it all comes together the way it’s supposed to. The cast remembers their lines, the lighting and sound work and the audience responds with cheer. The director, whose hair started turning grey during Tech Week, begins to feel it will all be ok! Sure, there may be a bump or two in the road, but the energy drawn from the live performance is a natural shock absorber.
The moral here is that as complicated it may be to get from the point A of rehearsals to point B of performance, when everyone does what they’re meant to, the result will often be miraculous and entertaining. Oh yes, and always keep the duct tape and rubber bands handy!