This past summer was incredibly busy and productive, but it wasn't one in which I got to show a lot of work. Instead my team and I hunkered down to collaboratively revise Welcome to the Doll Den, the devised musical we've been working on for the last year and a half. It was a unique way of working that was new to all of us, and ended up being a wonderful and thought provoking experience.
Here's how it worked: We got together as a group once a week to work on different aspects of the piece. This meant actors, designers, writers - everybody. Sometimes there were more people available to meet and sometimes there were less, but always we had a sense of community and a shared goal - we were working together to make this the best script it could possibly be.
We called these our Collaboration Meetings ("Collab Meetings" for short), and they focused on topics such as Memphis Speech Patterns, Civil Rights, Character Development, and of course Music. They were an opportunity for us to crowd source the intense amount of research and work that had to go into the development of the show, and support one another in making new discoveries.
By the end of the process we came out with a full-length show complete with 6 new songs, which we presented at a reading in late August. The collaborative revision process had a huge effect on what we presented and it is a way of creating that I will carry forward with me in all of my future work. If you'd like to read some blog posts from other people on the team about this unique collaboration process you can check out the Welcome to the Doll Den Blog.
Based on the great feedback we got at the reading we are now entering another round of revisions in preparation for a major production in the spring. To get updates about that and all of my work with Electric Eye Ensemble, join our mailing list!