There was a debate that I used to have with my friends at school: is theatre a process or a product? Obviously there is no right or wrong answer to the question despite heated arguments and opinions to the contrary. I firmly believe that theatre can be either a product or a process and more frequently than not falls into that gray area of overlap. We’re at a point in the Yinzerspielen rehearsal process where the threat of tech rehearsals and opening night is breathing down our necks and the pressure to produce a beautiful, clean, and masterful final product is almost unbearable. It is frequently in times like these where you have to step back and really take stock of the things that have been accomplished thus far as opposed to what has yet to come. It’s time to really look at the process before stressing out over the product.
Yinzerspielen is like Frankenstein’s monster: a group of international actors and designers seeing what happens when a potentially volatile mixture of different techniques, approaches, and schools of thought are applied to a single theatrical goal. We hope that it has a far happier ending than Mary Shelley’s novel, but there is no guarantee. What we do know is that everyone involved along the way has learned new means of adapting, communicating, and rehearsing. The product of Yinzerspielen is not only the performance that audiences will see on September 9th, but also the new frame of mind found in each member of the Yinzerspielen team. Next week, we’ll present our product for better or for worse, but for right now I believe that the best thing to do is to revel in the enjoyable and occasionally chaotic process that is Yinzerspielen.