How do you get to the show?

How do you get to the show? After weeks spent doing fieldwork, ride outs, and shadowing Middletown’s Water & Sewer employees, we are not about a month out from our “show”, and my students are having to take important next steps. Yesterday, they presented initial ideas for their final projects. They have all chosen a focus area, and now they have to move towards creating the projects themselves. My reflections after hearing their (many great!) ideas yesterday:

  • Keep your vision wide…stay detached from the exact look of the final project because things will change.
  • At the same time, get specific about what would happen in your project. Think about the steps of the performance or exactly what the audience is experiencing. Write or draw it out as clearly as you can.
  • Get the employees thinking this is their idea- or better yet, use their ideas! For many reasons, you have to get the employees collaborating with you at this point in the process. Describe your idea in broad strokes and then see where it lands with them. See where they get excited and head in that direction.
  • Feasibility. Can you really do that? That is a big question to begin to examine. Ask the employees- what about your idea is or is not possible? Then brainstorm through the problems together.
  • Return to your high level goals. Remember what you said you wanted to accomplish with this project? Go back and review that. Stay in tune with those high level goals to help check yourself so you don’t head way off course.
  • Keep it simple. Really. Simple is good. What is the most important idea you want to communicate? Can you search for that nugget or essence of your ideas?
  • Problems as opportunities in disguise. You will encounter problems. Your idea will not manifest exactly as you think it will right now. It will actually get BETTER and RICHER because you will work through problems with the employees and your fellow students.
  • Dive into the problems, and use the minds of the employees to help you solve them. Problems do not mean something is going wrong. Problems are opportunities to get your minds together to figure something out- and that means being in the creative process together which is really what we are after!

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