So, we lost the ship.
But we haven’t lost faith. With five days to make something happen, we feel confident that we can adapt WRECKED to our now locale. In lieu of our dear Galeb, we have resolved to use some unconventional locations within the centuries-old labyrinth that is the National Theatre Ivan pl. Zajc. The concept now is completely different. But…
…there are worse fates.
If there’s one thing we’ve learned from working here, it’s how to be aggressive in asking for what we need. It’s an incredible honor to work under the auspices of a government-funded arts institution. But as everyone here knows, government funds often come with innumerable strings attached. Here, the main managerial issue we find ourselves combating is complacency. Our immediate collaborators and supervisors are hard-working and committed, but the lines of communication between them and the folks who make stuff happen easily break down. We show up on time for meetings, and no one is there to meet us–maybe a crisis came up, or maybe they forgot–either way, no one bothers to let us know or reschedule. We are told we will have actors for twelve days; it turns out we only really get them for six. We plan for months to do a piece aboard a ship; one week before the show, we lose the ship. And when we complain, people just shrug their shoulders and say “Yep. Welcome to Croatia.”
Fortunately for us, the people directly involved with WRECKED–Marin; our company manger, Ana; Alan, our technical director; Nataša, our dramaturg; and of course all of our marvelous actors–have been bending over backwards to set us up for success.
Perhaps the greatest problem, though, has been our own attitude. We’ve been training in New York for the past two years. And, being the overly-neurotic perfectionists we are, we seem to have come into this process placing too much pressure on ourselves to succeed.
So, having realized this too late, we’ve decided to revamp our concept around the themes of failure and transformation.
We are now trying to find a way to incorporate our loss of the ship as a critical element. Instead of using theatre to activate a space that would otherwise be off-limits to the public, how might we use it to tap into the frustration that the public feels toward the Kafka-esque nature of its own impenetrable bureaucracy? We plan to have the audience meet us at the gate near Galeb, and to be extremely frank with them that what they are about to see was intended to take place there. We will simply explain that, due to an embarrassing fumble on the part of the local government, this view is as close as we will be able to get. It might come off as a curtain speech, but technically the show will have already begun.
What happens next must remain a secret for now, as there will surely be some folks in the audience who are tracking our progress. Suffice it to say that the event will be full of surprises, and that there will still be plenty of opportunity for the audience to explore. Who knows? Maybe this version will turn out to be even better than it would have been on Galeb.
There’s still a good chance that all of this could blow up in our faces. Then again, if the piece does turn out to be a true failure, we’ll have succeeded all the more.