This week I'm reading Art/Work by Heather Darcy Bhandari (Author), Jonathan Melber (Author). This book is geared more to visual artists. It takes you through hanging, packaging, and billing 2D and 3D pieces. So, if your a visual artist, its a must read.
There are few nuggets of information for those of us who work in the theatre. Social media, networking and opening up your studio to the general public.
Opening up your studio may seem daunting. For the performer, the studio is a safe place to explore an create. It requires a level of trust in your fellow performers and a willingness to be vulnerable. Bringing an unknown person into this space can (although not always) affect the process.
More and more often I have witnessed “works in progress” shows. They serve the same purpose as an open studio but get rid of the potential uncomfortableness for the performer. A work in progress show allows for conversation around the piece, especially if the piece in more inaccessible. This serves the same purpose as an open visual arts studio. I see this type of approach with Fredericton's Solo Chicken Productions and St. Johns Connection Dance Works the most.
Conversation is one of the driving forces behind the theatre. The audience likes to discuss what they've witnessed. What a scene reminded them of. How they felt. Usually, those audience members wanting to discuss the work would wait outside after the show to talk to the director or hang back for a talkback session with the team. Those people are also your biggest supporters in the community.
Now, what if these same people were able to witness each step of the creation with “work in progress” showings. Feel like they were a part of the process. They could converse with their friends about what discovered. They would be interested in the next showing, and converse with their friends about the next piece, generating more interest in the performance and possibly more informed reviews.
This method may not be great for everyone. I doubt “Cinderella” needs a work in progress showing, or some behind the scenes media to drum up an informed conversation on the subject matter. I say this for the more inaccessible shows. The things unknown to the region. The experimental.
If painters can open up their studio and show the unfinished to drum up interest, then so can we.