Monday, August 19, 2013

No Shame: A Mini Theatre Production School

So one of the greatest theatre movements that I've ever seen is something that was started by my grad program director Todd Ristau. It's called No Shame. What is No Shame you ask? It's only a mini theatre management school, open mic night on steroids, and theatre revolution all wrapped up in one.  Imagine having a night of theatre that only had to follow three rules and those three rules are...

The Three Rules Of No Shame

The first 15 people that give $5 get to do a piece onstage as long as they...

  1. Are completely original.
  2. They are less than 5 minutes long.
  3. They don't break anything (the law, the space, the performers, etc.)
So why is that so great? Here's why. Say you want to start a theatre company. Don't know how to do it? Start running a No Shame every Friday night in your home town. All you need are three people to help you out. In doing so you're going to learn how to get a venue, how to promote your company, and how to take money and budget it. And what better way to make connections with performers, artists, and audiences in town. If you ran a No Shame just for a summer you would know what's the minimum required skills to run a theatre company in your town and if it's right for you.

Borrowed from the Hollins Playwright's Lab Facebook
Taken by Todd Ristau
It also helps you become a better artist. Attending and Performing at No Shames is my favorite extra curricular event at my summers at grad school. If you try to have a piece performed every week it teaches you how you work as an artist. You'll find what works great for you in a hands on learning environment. You can experiment with your style. What if it stinks? No worries, just do something different next week. I haven't come out of a No Shame yet without learning something about myself.

Borrowed from the Hollins Playwright's Lab Facebook
Taken by Chad Runyon
So do you want to start your own No Shame up in your own town? Do you want to have your own hands on environment where you can dare to fail? Then try the No Shame website. Get the manual and try to find a No Shame near you to see what it's all about. Go do it and dare to fail!

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