I would never have thought that in my perusal of the business and success oriented blogs that I frequent, I would find a piece that would tie in so nicely with my theatre writings. I guess I should not have been surprised, though, given that the rules (or shall I say, the "anti-rules") of creativity apply to any creative endeavor, theatre included.
In this piece, Mark McGuinness discusses the importance of letting go or pre-conceived notions one may have about what one is creating. He tells the story of a lost horse who, when permitted, found his own way home.
If only more directors would approach the creation of a production from this perspective. So many of them seem intent of creating a precise, detailed vision, and making sure that all of the actors in it are in some way serving that vision. This isn't the way to produce great theatre. It's a way to produce either theatrical robots, or a bunch of pissed off actors.
McGuinness doesn't suggest we abandon discipline or structure, and neither do I, especially in the theatre. But I wish more directors understood, (or just allowed themselves to understand) that the best productions are those that they guide as opposed to control.
This is how I try to do it when I direct, and some of my best theatre experiences were with directors who tired to do the same.
How do you direct a show? Have you ever been in a show that was allowed to find its own way home, like the horse in this story?