Hello, this is ELICA MIWA, the theatrist.
Theatre is made by a team.
I have been having a great time in making many stage performances these days.
Today, I’d like to share the secret of my success on a musical I directed. It would help you who is in need of making a great team, or you who is a member of a ship called “family”.
The other day, a musical “Cinderella; the Princess of Rats” closed with huge applause from the full house audience. I thank you very much for each member of the warm audience, great staff members, and the cast.
The success was wholly dependent on Supervisor System.
It is a great system which vocal professional and movement professional supervise their covered field in accordance with the theatre director. They must have the highly professional skills and experiences, and fully understand the intention of the director, and be able to speak for the director.
In a musical, a musical supervisor is especially important.
In an opera, the conductor who is called “Maestro” may be the boss of the production traditionally. However, in a musical, musical supervisor takes care of the whole production from vocal and verbal expressions. Especially when the conductor be novice, inexperienced, or without his/her apprentice, it would be difficult to overview the whole production.
In this Cinderella the musical, both the composer and the conductor wanted a musical supervisor who was able to watch from classical singing to jazz/pops style, and articulation and verbal expression of both singing and dialogue.
We were very fortunate to use Mr Luther Hiroshi Ichimura, a Japanese professional opera singer to supervise the production. And he took care of singing lessons and choral rehearsal of the scenes outside the main rehearsal room, for the production has a huge cast.
We were also lucky to have a movement supervisor Ms Yumi Fukasawa a classical ballet teacher and choreographer. And she watched not only the dance scenes she choreographed but also each performer’s walking, posture, arm movement and so on. She also gave me useful advice on stage movement and crowd arrangement on stage.
This reminds of me a ballet Snow White which I wrote for The New National Theatre Japan. The rehersal went on with many and varied teachers and professionals from wide area, from music, book, design, and of course ballet.
I take this supervisor system as an ideal style of rehearsal and making a great art.
In Japanese proverb, it says
Too many captains bring the ship sits on a mountain.
However, this supervisor system does not means “too many captains; the captain is the director (in this case, me) and the supervisors are the members of the cabinet of the ship.
It won’t work if the director be the dictator; it won’t work if the director could not take the leadership. One needs to steer carefully so that the supervisors can use their knowledge and talent wholly and fully. Then the outcome of the work will bring a wonderful success.
Many years ago, when I started my career as the theatre director, and did everything from translation, direction, music composing, to set designing, the artistic director of the theatre company I belong then used to tell me,
“Give other people the jobs, and be able to use their talent in coordination.”
Now I understand what he meant.
A team shows the utmost power when each member of it shows its talent for a shared aim.
Of course I have had a great experiences all the time with staff members and the cast in my directing history, this musical Cinderella showed me a new possibility by using the supervisor system. I got more than I expected.
Think about it.
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【Today’s Live Interaction】
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Live Interaction®︎ is an acting and directing system which ELICA MIWA has wove and produced from world theatre skills.