Trust the process

Hi,

I am grateful for the trust of the schools in the upcoming College Collaboration Project with MACPACC (Carroll, Prince George, and Howard Community Colleges). Next week I’m going down to see the first production of Morgan McGuire’s play at Carroll Community College. I went online to look for a poster to include in this blog post. I realized there isn’t a poster for the show. The information online reads: The Farm Theater Project. The reason there is no poster is because until a month ago there was no play.  Morgan went down to Carroll Community College to work with the twelve actors cast and the director to develop an idea of a script January 12th. She had a full draft of the script 13 days later.

So in lieu of a poster: Here is an image of Philadelphia 76er basketball player Joel Embiid. 122016_joel-embiid_1200

The 76er’s General Manager said to their fans that they needed to ‘trust the process’ when it came to the rebuilding of the talent of their team.  In attending a 76ers game recently I was tickled to learn that they nicknamed Embiild “The Process” because he is the only one of four first round draft picks to pan out. It was good lesson on having a sense of humor, staying committed to the goal, and to trust the process because everyone involved wants it to be as successful as possible.

In this college collaboration project the first writer and script for the project presented challenges for the schools. It had roles they couldn’t cast and it excluded certain groups of students from participating. Not every first draft works out. I am learning a lot about trying to talk about race through collaboration. However, I am grateful and excited about Morgan taking the lead on the project.  I am impressed with her ability to capture many sides of people trying to address the issue on a college campus. The play is an exciting reflection of the need to address the issue in our society. However, the main thing I am learning is that the most valuable skill in collaboration is listening. And time. Successful collaboration takes time.

Since writing the draft Morgan has been down to rehearsals for two days and has done some rewriting. In absence of the three day workshop in NYC – her and I met for two hours in a coffee shop and she’s been in discussion with the schools. This coming week Morgan will see a dress rehearsal of the play. I will see a performance in front of an audience. And then she will have a month to do rewrites.

In absence of time to prepare for a workshop – The cast, production crews, design team, and Morgan are diving right in. They are sharing a first draft with the audience. The audience is being invited in to be part of the development process in a deeper way than has been explored through our program in any previous collaboration. Their response will be vital in our learning about the play because the play is so new – we really don’t know what it is yet. That is exciting. That is scary. Maybe not scary…but courageous of all to be willing to be fully in process in front of an audience.

The schools believe in the value of having the conversation on the issue of race with their students,  artistic partners, and audience. I am grateful for their trust in the process. And ultimately that is the most important element necessary in a successful collaboration – trust.

Talk with you soon.

Padraic

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