How to ru(i)n a MS/HS Theater Production

These are the things I recently learned:

  1. Be defensive about every comment and suggestion made.
  2. Kiss the tushies of your favorites and let them get away with everything.
  3. Be an apologist for all misguided behavior, because you “love them.”
  4. Bring back cast members who are disruptive and never show up; throw out ones who are there and care.
  5. Never be on time yourself, but be pissy about others who aren’t.
  6. Never follow through on anything, or only do it days after it was needed.
  7. Work on the same project for two years, that should have been a few months,  and think that is a good thing.
  8. Bring in someone with years of experience, but fight them on everything.
  9. Demean what the person with experience says to the cast right after it’s said.
  10. Never attend a conference to talk.
  11. Never return a phone call or an email…then say you never get those.
  12. Write a script with the cast and then call it your own.
  13. Decide you are the director, but constantly throw it back to the professional, who you made a line coach (but was hired to be the director because it was taking two years and nothing was happening).
  14. In a four month period, revise the script seven times, and still don’t have a closing scene.
  15. Introduce characters in the beginning who are never seen again; have new characters appear out of no where in the second act, and also disappear again. (The beginning is the set up for “all” the characters, or so it was said).
  16. Hand out only scenes to the cast and get pissy when they lose said scenes.
  17. Be inconsistent.
  18. Scream like a banshee, with fire coming out of every orifice, eyes bulging, and spittle flying around.
  19. Rip a teen girl a new one and send her into a crying breakdown.
  20. Scream at the professional for doing their job and not loving “your kids” the way you do.
  21. Scream at the professional for leaving when the cast was almost two hours late for call…and then excusing the cast.
  22. Try to do everything, but then cry about all the work you have to do.
  23. Blow off four other professional theater people who try to talk to you with defensive non-listening skills.
  24. Disappear from the theater on opening night-TWICE-without telling anyone.
  25. Sit in the audience on opening night without checking anything, not saying a word to the cast, bring in another adult without talking to them about why they are there, and then take all the credit for the work done that day. And two years.

So..I did learn a lot.


I’m glad this is over. I learned a lot. Really, and there were some great kids, but…even the best were not consistent. That was a shame. Sorry for the rant, but this venting…I had to do. It was a four and a half month build up of frustrations.

13 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Sharon Holzscherer
    Jun 08, 2011 @ 20:26:07

    All I can say is don’t blame the kids. They are just children and they copy the behaviour of the adults around them. If consistency is not demonstrated then they will not display it. The responsible adult should be removed or reprimanded, although I doubt that will happen. It rarely does. Those same children in a different situation will display many of the qualities that we would like to see. I have seen it. The children are not pulling a Jekyl and Hyde, they are mirroring what they are seeing. They respect those who genuinely respect them.


  2. Trackback: How to ru(i)n a MS/HS Theater Production | Γονείς σε Δράση
  3. Elizabeth Gaucher
    Jun 09, 2011 @ 08:18:10

    NIGHTMARE. Nice documentation, though……


  4. InJensMind
    Jun 09, 2011 @ 14:52:39

    Looks like you have learned everything you need to be a Broadway director. Bravoooo…. Sounds like every single school play I was ever in. Yep, I think that is what’s wrong with school’s as well. lol


  5. Debra Elramey
    Jun 09, 2011 @ 15:51:04

    And here’s a recipe for success… for magic… Proud stage mom presents….


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