by Steve Stettler
The glorious and frightening thing about theatre is that it is a deeply collaborative art. I remember my early experience as a director, fresh out of grad school. After a few days of rehearsal, one brave cast member asked, "Are you ever going to get out of my way and let me do my work?" It was liberating to learn how to encourage the unique contributions of all the artists involved, resulting in a far richer production than anything I could have accomplished on my own.Collaboration is even trickier when one is developing new work, particularly musicals which may have a separate book writer, lyricist and composer who must collaborate long before a show moves into production. The creators usually have day jobs, many have families, and they often live in different locations. One of the greatest gifts they can receive is the time and a place to get away and work together with nothing and no one to distract them.