observe / assist / do #blogpost #theatre

26 Jun

Operating_theatre_pic

The job I do here as Artistic Director of Pilot Theatre has clearly been informed by my previous work. This came home to me at a recent meeting on our trip to Pilsen when a theatre company raised the spurious point that directors should only be allowed to direct once they reach the age of 35, as before that they couldn’t possibly have the right experience level… After hitting the roof and then coming back down to my chair I outlined my thoughts on this, and to what extent I disagreed with them.

For those of you who don’t know I have worked in theatre for quite some time. Only when I started out – when I said I am going into theatre it meant scrubbing up, wearing green and performing – only this time live operations. On people. In operating theatres… I trained as a dental surgeon and have worked and perfomed surgery in this way. During our training and subsequent working practice the schedule was – You Observe the first operation. You Assist on the second one, and on the third one You Do it yourself. Admittedly this was still in an environment with support and assistance should you need it. After all lives were at stake.

So as a result of this we entrust our lives into the hands of doctors, surgeons, and paramedics who are in their twenties. They are doing this now. How come many organisations don’t do this with their trainee directors? …Because this is what we still do at Pilot Theatre on our productions. Our Associates work as an observer, then assistant and the third show they make themselves. After all this is not a matter of life or death – and as we all know – the only way to learn.

Which is why in Pilsen, Tom Bellerby (23) made the show, he last assisted on Romeo and Juliet and prior to that he observed The Fever Chart in his final year at Central It is why he is directing Letter to the Man from the Boy at Edinburgh this year for Pilot Theatre too. He will also be staff director on tour for our Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner this autumn.

So I said this very calmly and then sat down.

Observe / Assist / Do …it doesn’t just work for theatre…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: