Last week I touched upon an interesting anomaly in the first of two pieces reflecting on rehearsal processes in theatre. This week I have another.
As one of three lead producers for this NYMF production of The Mapmaker’s Opera I have to switch hats several times a day (or, sometimes, an hour) between the roles of overall management responsibility for the show on the ground in New York on the one hand, whilst simultaneously being one of the two writers of this piece with Victor Kazan (Book/Lyrics).
Business and Creativity are not adjunct to each other. So why is it that we’re increasingly placing that burden on creatives – the outcome of which is entirely detrimental to commercial and non-commercial Arts practice in both the short and long-term.
One moment I am saying “No” to a request for an increase to a budget line, and in the next altering an underscore cue for the choreographer to make his musical staging more effective. It can be an invidious position in which one finds oneself! Fortunately, I have acquired over many years experience of artistically directing and curating major multi-million dollar music and theatre festivals (apart from my work as a musical director/songwriter) that much of this is ‘water off a duck’s back’ to me. Nonetheless, I have tremendous sympathies for other creative writing teams in this Festival who, similarly, have to carry the burden of being all things to all people. My view: creative people should be allowed to create – that’s what we do! They shouldn’t have to be financiers, para-legal paperwork filers, marketeers, Press Relationship (PR) experts, or the myriad other duties that have been devolved to people whose expertise is in an entirely different milieu. Creativity is ultimately denuded, once stripped of it critical function and focus.
OK, enough of that now. Let’s talk about the cast of very excellent men in The Mapmaker’s Opera!