Our second performance showed incredible progress for the ensemble. People had clearly been reviewing their lines, and the result was a more “accurate” and smoother performance.
The ensemble received another standing ovation, which was well deserved! Nearly everyone left feeling very good about what we had accomplished.
One member of the ensemble was very upset because her scenes hadn’t gone as well as others. After some encouragement from facilitators and one of our guests, she appeared to feel a bit better.
After an extended check in, we launched into a discussion about our second performance and the group in general.
One ensemble member shared that she had been upset following the first performance – lines were so all over the place that she hadn’t felt safe on stage. She then shared that she had not felt safe to share how upset she was with the group because we seemed opposed to any negative feedback. Everyone agreed that we need to do a better job of welcoming every viewpoint, and that people who do have negative feedback simply need to choose words that are respectful rather than inflammatory.
I had suggested that we work on some of the scenes that had been tripping us up, and an ensemble member shared that this was upsetting to her because we hadn’t worked on them last week. We then realized that the reason one of the scenes seemed more than a little messy to me was that everyone in the scene had met separately and made cuts which they’d forgotten to give to me. We made sure that everyone in the group had the cuts.
We then talked about the mixed reactions that the performances have been getting. Although both received enthusiastic applause at the end, some people have heard negative feedback; some people who saw last year’s show felt that this year’s wasn’t as good. Others thought it was our best yet. The ensemble feels that the second performance was definitely better, and, in the end, we are holding tight to the feeling that we’re doing good work together.
We then talked about our group dynamic. The messiness of these performances has a lot to do with absences and early departures from the group, and we concluded that we need to set a stricter attendance policy going forward. We also talked about how we handle confrontation – how we can learn from it even when it makes us uncomfortable.
Ultimately, everyone agreed that they are learning a lot and having a positive experience. We left things on a positive note, ready for our final performance next week.