We performing artists generally spend a lot of time making each new work. We generally invest a lot of energy into finding an audience for that new work. We often lie awake nights wondering if – and worrying that – we’ll get press coverage of that new work. Then, it’s over. Everyone moves on and all that’s left (if we’re “lucky”) is a couple of paragraphs in a paper somewhere (and perhaps a video on YouTube).
I’m not satisfied with this state of affairs. For audiences who may have missed the performance, a review can provide some insight, but it certainly shouldn’t be the only thoughtful, recorded response to what occurred onstage. For artists, allowing a review to define the outcome of one’s process, rather than simply viewing it as an informational response from one person, gives away too much power. It’s important for us artists to look back on our works, once the opening-night jitters have worn off, to deeply explore what it was in fact we were trying to do, and whether or not we did it.
In an attempt to foster this important self-reflection, and expand the cannon of recorded responses to performance to include more thoughts from us artists ourselves, I’ve started an archival, dramaturgical interview project. I’m interviewing artists about their recent works, long after closing night. I hope to provide artists with an opportunity to look back, even as they look forward toward the next project, and provide audiences with further insight to these artists and their processes.
The first of these interviews will be posted here soon, and others will follow. Stay tuned!