The Faith and Trust Your Need in a Show

Jennifer Butler

I have written a number of blogs about the importance of communication in order to have a successful production, but I recently realized that another keyword for a successful production is trust. Trust is something that you need to have when it comes to working on a show. I have learned this by being both an actor and a production designer. Even more so when you are the director.

As an actor you have to trust that the light cues will work when they are supposed to, that when you step on stage at the top of the show everything will be where it needs to be.  As an actor you need to trust that the production team knows what is going on and that if something does go wrong, the team is able to step up and fix it quickly without anyone realizing that something went wrong.

The director has to have a cast that he or she trusts, that once there is an audience the cast will take everything they have learned over the past few months and pull it off just as they did in the tech rehearsal.

The designers of the show have to trust that actors have checked their props and that they appear on stage when it is their time to.  As someone who is mostly the props master for productions, I am one who will double and triple check the props pre-show and cringe at certain points until I am sure that the prop is working correctly.

I think the hardest part for most of us on opening night is knowing that we have enough trust in the cast that everything will go off without a hitch. Most of us on the design aspect of things have a hard time relinquishing control. It can be really hard for us to sit in the audience and let go. It was hard for some of us as designers to let go of the control during opening night of “Peter and the Starcatcher".  The show was now in the hands of the cast and with the stage manager. 

As they say in “Peter and the Starcatcher”, “To have faith, is to have wings.” So if you have faith and trust everyone involved in the production, you can sit in the audience and watch the show, knowing that it will all turn out okay.

Photo: Broadway Theatre of Pitman