There’s never enough for anything in the theatre.  Everything is a rush.  Nothing is sacred.  Covenants are daily broken.

In order to get anything done in the theatre, you must set a drop-dead date that cannot and will not change.

If time is never of the essence and if the pressure to perform live is always extended — nothing good or kind or fortunate will ever happen in production.

There will always be the temptation to delay — but one delay only leads to a postponement which always leads to a time out.

With the drop-dead date in place, panic will — and must — always set
in as “the show must go on” begins to gleam a whole new meaning in your

If you decide to produce a live show you, you must set the date and stick to
it even when money, The Gods and everyone around you wants to push back
the date.

You win the day by pushing back their fear and their misbegotten belief that more time means a better production. 

The best live shows are born in tension and high drama with complete
and total failure a real possibility.  If a show is never tested in
that tight squeeze between expectation and reality, the production will
never have a life of its own and a new path to glory will never be

Hot steel is tempered by cool water; the live theatre is tempered by salty tears.


  1. Sometimes it’s best to just set deadlines and say firmly, if you’re not prepared to meet them, find another play. When I did a director’s workshop program at Rutgers that seemed like the best way to get everyone on board! ūüôā

  2. Deadlines are important in the theatre, Gordon, and most people do not know that a show only really fully comes together in the final 24 hours before opening night. It is a mad scramble to go live and many amateurs will get cold feet in that final 24 and either give up without pressing forward or postpone the inevitable chaos and never fulfill the promise of the show.

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