Wednesday, August 16, 2017

OTW 2017 – Breakout Sessions; Collaboration: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

OTW 2017 is just around the corner, and we are getting our travel plans in order and putting our conference schedules together.  There are some really exciting Breakout Sessions we’ll be offering this year, and we asked our Breakout Session facilitators to share a little more about their workshops. Learn more at OTW2017.ORG.

 

Collaboration: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly, with Playwright Jahanna Beecham and Composer, Malcolm Hillgartner

The OTW theme Innovate/Activate inspires artists to come up with a fresh new idea and make it happen.  This generally requires collaboration, which is what theatre is all about. However, some collaborations are easier than others and have established rules for how they function. When a theatre produces a play, the director casts it, the director shares his/her vision with the designers and actors, and they work together to bring that vision to life. There is a certain hierarchy in place that puts the director at the top of the final decision pyramid, and everyone (generally) falls into place behind that decision.

Working with a partner or partners to write a play or musical doesn’t always have such a clear-cut system or specific rules. The big question that Malcolm and I will be exploring during our break-out session is How can writers and other artists find a system for collaborating on a new work that can create the most successful and satisfying partnership and outcome? To that end we will be exploring what artists should ask themselves when they consider partnering with another artists. How will they determine the value of what each artist contributes? What should they do if they reach an impasse and can’t agree? How to avoid some pitfalls by having a clear agreement from the start.

Malcolm and I have collaborated together and with others on musicals, plays, books, commercials, and CD-ROM games. We’ve had both successful and disastrous partnerships and will offer some tips on how to avoid the disastrous. We know many of you have a story to tell about a successful or failed collaboration ––we’re excited to have you join us and share your stories and wisdom.

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