Three years ago, I wrote a long note on Facebook explaining I was going to be taking an extended absence from directing community theatre. I returned about a year ago to direct Boeing Boeing, which went up in September of 2013. This past weekend, I attended the theatre’s annual banquet, at which Boeing Boeing won the “Best Production” award.
It’s been surprisingly difficult for me to process this honor. I also received an award for “Best Set Design and Dressing,” but that caused me no similar problem. I’ve been designing sets for years now, become quite familiar with this theatre’s quirks, and… well, the set for this one kinda rocked:
Instead of enjoying this honor and sleeping the sound sleep of one who knows he’s done a job well, I spent half of Saturday night and Sunday morning lying awake, asking myself a myriad of questions like these. It also didn’t escape my notice that one of the reasons I’d backed away from directing was my displeasure with the theatre’s judging system… a system that was overhauled during my directing hiatus, and awarded me with “Best Production” on my first show back. Obviously a coincidence, but still one that made me lose sleep.
The reality hasn’t changed, though. I’ve always said that, while the awards are nice to get, none of us are doing this just to get an award to put on a shelf. It doesn’t really matter. In the end, I’ve realized exactly what this is: Acknowledgment for a job well done. It just means that the fates aligned, everything just went right with this show, and recognition of that was received.
It also doesn’t mean that everything didn’t go right with any of my other shows. Just because this one won “Best Production” doesn’t belittle any of my other work, or any of the work for any of the other shows this past season. I can allow myself to “woohoo!” without disparaging all the other efforts that have occurred on my and others’ past shows, or future shows.
So… yeah… woohoo!
And more importantly, thank you to everyone involved with this production, without whom it wouldn’t have even been worthy of “Good Production.” From Allen (who stepped in to fill the sizable shoes of both my usual lighting designer and master carpenter), to Scott (who stepped in wherever we needed him to step in), to the extremely talented costuming and hair/makeup mother-daughter team of Deb and Kelsey (who also received a well-deserved award for their work at ensuring the actors looked at least as good as the set), to Joey (who somehow managed to do everything I’d ask, before I knew I needed to ask), to the wonderful and fun and talented cast of Greg, Bryan, Taylor, Tessa, Laurie, and of course Stevie (who won an acting award of her own). And lest I forget, special nods to my long-suffering producer Carolyn, who’s always ready to do whatever I ask, even if I don’t ask… and my shorter-suffering wife Gina, who made a wonderful assistant director, even when she felt the need to clear the majority of her notes with me before giving them.
This was a fantastic group of people, who made me very happy I’d returned to directing… and that’s what’s truly important. This show was a lot of work… and a lot of fun. Trophy or no, the experience was plenty rewarding itself.
But still… woohoo!