“We can observe the story, which is mental; feel the story, which is physical; let the story go, which is emotional; then forgive the story, which is spiritual, after which we use the materials of it to build a house of knowledge.”
― Joy Harjo, Poet Warrior: A Memoir, Norton & Company, NYC 2021
The enchanting complexity of storytelling unfolds in myriad layers. Amidst the structured intricacies of the Production phase—embracing tight schedules, meticulous budgeting, and constant management—we carve out space for the narrative to evolve and mature. Expert hands and discerning eyes guide this process, ensuring that our vision and intended impact remain at the heart of production, allowing our stories to resonate profoundly.
As we enter this transformative journey of refinement, theatrical design and staging culminate in their final, exquisite forms through meticulous rehearsals and exhilarating previews. The grand unveiling to the world marks a climatic moment, with promises of future productions adorning the horizon. As this stage concludes, our fully realized vision becomes a beacon, accessible to our primary audience, communities, and the eager public, echoing the spirit of Joy Harjo's wisdom – building a house of knowledge from the rich materials of our stories.
Let’s explore three types of productions that will bring your vision to the public!
Workshop Productions: Elevating Ideas
Workshop Productions serve as a platform for the creative and production team to elevate ideas from the early stages of development to full production. It's a time for conclusive experiments and tests, ensuring that the theatrical language, physical elements, and script coalesce to express the artistic vision impactfully. This phase fosters collaboration within the team and connection with audiences.
Workshop Productions require significant effort and resources, yet they are pivotal in breathing life into a show. What fruits does a Workshop Production bear?
Aesthetic worlds are not just conceived; they are meticulously defined and refined.
A rich collection of photos and videos tailored for future project storytelling.
A profound understanding of how the material resonates in front of a live audience.
An audience that is not just present but actively engaged and eagerly anticipating the next iteration.
Robust support propelling you towards realizing the full spectrum of your vision!
Delve into the media gallery showcasing CTC Workshop Productions from DARGER, From the Realm of the Shadow, and Shameless.
Festival Productions: Shared Experiences
Festival Productions provide the creative team with an opportunity to test material in a low-tech, shared production experience alongside other shows. This setting allows for a valuable audience interaction without the pressure or expense of an independent production. CTC projects have participated in various festivals, such as ATHE Micro Fringe Festival, Boulder International Fringe Festival, Estrogenius Festival, and the United Solo Theatre Festival, enriching the artistic journey.
Festivals bring their distinct challenges, including limited technical capabilities and shared performance spaces. However, they serve as an excellent platform to fine-tune production details without the financial burden or pressure of a workshop production. Additionally, festivals provide opportunities to meet fellow artists, connect with diverse audiences, and forge relationships that support the realization of your complete vision!
In 2016, CTC organized our own festival-- Winter Performance Suite -- during the APAP international festival, featuring a workshop production of BABEL, The Woman Who Was Me, and the premiere of A Mexican Affair.
Producing our own festival was quite the endeavor, but the results were truly worth the effort! The festival served as a fantastic springboard for each project, propelling them forward:
Following its premiere, A Mexican Affair scored a spot at The Metropolitan Room in Manhattan. From there, it continued to captivate audiences in various NYC venues across Manhattan, Queens, and The Bronx. The show even hit the road, touring to Little Rock, AR, and enchanting audiences in Mexico with sold-out performances in Guadalajara and Cordoba, Vera Cruz!
In a blink, just under a month post-festival, BABEL snagged an invitation to grace the stage in 2017 at the Theater at the 14th ST Y in NYC, marking its Off-Broadway Premiere!
As for The Woman Who Was Me, it geared up for a tour to Boulder later in the year and made a triumphant return to TheaterLab for the premiere of the full production in 2017! Talk about festival success stories unfolding into theatrical adventures!
The Premiere: Unveiling Artistic Mastery
The Premiere is the zenith, the moment when the artistic vision is unveiled to the public, including the press. While future productions will follow, there's only one premiere. Post-premiere, the production undergoes minimal changes, adapting to different venues and production scales. We move into this phase when the production is available to the public, ready to receive critical reviews, and eligible for awards.
CTC proudly led three projects to full production, culminating in their premieres. Witness the evolution of these incredible projects through videos from CTC’s 10 Year Anniversary (2018).
The Horizon: Envisioning Beyond
And then what? Our visions extend far beyond a single premiere. At CTC, our artistic visions and intended impact transcend the present, envisioning future productions and cultivating a vast audience. We imagine projects evolving across various stages and storytelling forms, including podcasts, film and video, immersive audio, online experiences, and numerous other platforms, ensuring our creative legacy resonates for years to come.
As we bring this journey to a close, let's reflect on the profound wisdom of Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche:
“The basic problem in artistic endeavor is the tendency to split the artist from the audience and then try to send a message from one to the other… In meditative art, the artist embodies the viewer as well as the creator of the works. Vision is not separate from operation, and there is no fear of being clumsy or failing to achieve his aspiration.”
At CTC, we've embraced this profound insight, understanding that the synergy between artists and audiences is at the heart of true artistic expression. Inviting the audience into our creative process from its inception, we recognize them as integral participants, not mere spectators. This inclusive approach ensures that our projects, like a grand symphony, reach their world premieres with a resounding harmony, filling the venue with engaged audience members and their interconnected communities. Vision and operation are key collaborators for successful production.
In the collaborative dance between creators and viewers, we transcend the barriers that often separate us in the experience of art. Let the curtain rise, the lights shine, and the profound connection between artists and audience continue to unfold, creating an everlasting tapestry of shared stories. Together, we not only craft performances but also cultivate an enduring relationship that enriches the essence of meditative art within the American Theatre.
Support Proceeds Movement
In our creative journey at CTC, we live by the mantra: "Support Proceeds Movement." This means that we must ensure we have the right support in place before advancing to the next step. Enjoy the path you're creating, and remember, the creative process is as much about the journey as it is about the destination.
We can always expand and contract a development process. Production, on the other hand, takes the time that is available, with fixed schedules and limited room for change. Changes at the production stage can be expensive. It is essential to know where you are in your process and where you're heading!
Before advancing into the next step or phase, we always return to our central questions:
What is our vision and intended impact?
Where are we in the development process?
What do we need to advance to the next step?
CTC's Developmental Pathway to Production is a process that answers these questions and provides tools for artists and makers to design their unique developmental pathway to production, along with tools for audience building and financial planning. Your vision can become a reality, one step at a time, and we're here to help you on your journey!
“At the end of the day, give up your worries and give thanks for the journey.”
– Ben Vereen, Actor, Dancer & Singer
Elevate your craft, amplify your vision, strengthen your leadership capacity – your creative odyssey awaits!
Our Developmental Pathway to Production provides a framework for you and your team to journey from idea through full production. Receive tools that will revolutionize your creative producing process!
Learn how to create your own Developmental Pathway to Production in our upcoming online workshop, part of our 2024 workshop series, Artists Supporting Artists. Upon workshop completion, you'll emerge:
Empowered with the skills to design a developmental pathway for production
Inspired to explore innovative activities with your audience
With newly acquired tools & resources to effectively lead a creative process
Explore insightful and applicable themes in each session!
Session 1: The 3 Phases of Development & Production (02/12)
Session 2: Activities with Your Audience (02/19)
Session 3: Resource Planning (02/26)
Designed for maximum flexibility, our workshops fit seamlessly into your bustling artist schedule. Whether live on Zoom or OnDemand, materials remain accessible for a year post-workshop. Full series participants enjoy extended access through 2025!