Category Archives: Agile in Theatre-making

Agile and Scrum in Directing a Play

Before learning about and working within an Agile framework, I was a theatre arts professor, and directed countless play productions, large and small, modern and classical. I believe I took to the way of Agile quite naturally because it aligned with so much of my creative processes as a theatre-maker.

Recently, I had the opportunity to direct a newly-written script of a play called AfterWhys, which was commissioned by the Suicide Awareness Council of Wellington Dufferin. My BERTEIG colleagues supported me taking this on amidst my regular responsibilities.

After a five-year hiatus from theatre-directing work, I became extremely conscious of the natural alignment between Agile and Scrum principles and practices, and my style of directing. Here’s some of the principles and processes I used:

  • Cast actors that you can determine to have the capacity to play a variety roles – in other words, they have “cross-functional” skills as actors.
  • At first rehearsal, behave like a Scrum Master with a “team” – the director’s role is to encourage, support, and remove obstacles that may prevent them from doing their best.
  • At the first rehearsal, be vulnerable about who I am and how I work, and invite them to share their experiences and hopes as well, as in “individuals and interactions over processes and tools.”
  • In the first read-through of the script, invite the actors not to act – to just feel their way through the text and the scenes without pre-judging how they should be. Many directors pre-plan every movement and how every character should behave, sound and look before even starting rehearsals – I don’t, as in “responding to change over following a plan.”
  • Give them “the tools they need” to realize the truth of their characters and embody them – “teach if necessary,” ie. I taught the cast a new way to analyze their scenes which they found was very helpful.
  • Create the space and the environment necessary for experimentation, i.e. an environment of trust and safety, of failing fast, and learning and discovering.
  • Direct the scenes, scene changes, and costumes in response to the expressed needs of the stakeholders; in this case, the play would tour and be performed in a variety of venues, therefore simplicity of props, costumes and scene changes was a necessity.
  • Use the days and weeks of rehearsals as “sprints;” what is the desired outcome of each sprint? Rehearsals were time-boxed, and we had a four-week “delivery” goal.
  • Be transparent about progress – what’s working, what’s not, and how can I help each and all work better?
  • Hold a time of reflection (retrospective) at the end of each week or sprint – allow for the expression of feelings, concerns, questions, needs, etc. This created greater transparency, trust and unity in the “team.”
  • When actors change a direction or try something new that is not in the script (plan) and it works to enliven the play and make it more meaningful, I encourage them to keep that, as in “responding to change.”
  • The stakeholders (those who commissioned the play and organized their performances) came into the rehearsals twice to give their feedback on what we were creating. They were extremely pleased with the “product.”

To sum up, although this was clearly not a technical situation or a business, many of the Agile principles were used to create a finished product – a social issue play on elder suicide that went before appreciative audiences!

When I think about so many realms of life that we all work in, it is clear that Agile principles can be used in a variety of scenarios and endeavours to ensure a positive outcome.

What endeavours have you been involved in where Agile and Scrum were useful?

 


Affiliated Promotions:

Try our automated online Scrum coach: Scrum Insight - free scores and basic advice, upgrade to get in-depth insight for your team. It takes between 8 and 11 minutes for each team member to fill in the survey, and your results are available immediately. Try it in your next retrospective.

Please share!
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail
Berteig
Upcoming Courses
View Full Course Schedule
Certified ScrumMaster® (CSM) [Virtual Learning]
Online
C$1595.00
Sep 22
2020
Details
Team Kanban Practitioner® (TKP) [Virtual Learning]
Online
C$1195.00
Sep 24
2020
Details
Certified Scrum Product Owner® (CSPO) [Virtual Learning]
Online
C$1795.00
Sep 29
2020
Details
Kanban System Design® (KMP I) [Virtual Learning]
Online
C$1795.00
Sep 30
2020
Details
Certified ScrumMaster® (CSM) [Virtual Learning]
Online
C$1595.00
Oct 6
2020
Details
Agile for Leaders (AFL) with Fanshawe Global - PORTUGUESE
Online
C$78.00
Oct 6
2020
Details
Team Kanban Practitioner® (TKP)
Online
C$1195.00
Oct 8
2020
Details
Kanban Systems Improvement® (KMP II) [WEEKEND Course]
Online
C$1795.00
Oct 10
2020
Details
Agile for Leaders (AFL) with Fanshawe Global - SPANISH
Online
C$78.00
Oct 13
2020
Details
Kanban System Design® (KMP I) with Okaloa Flowlab
Online
C$1795.00
Oct 13
2020
Details
Advanced Certified ScrumMaster® (A-CSM) [1-Day Accelerated]
Online
C$1695.00
Oct 14
2020
Details
Certified ScrumMaster® (CSM) [Virtual Learning]
Online
C$1355.75
Oct 20
2020
Details
Certified Scrum Product Owner® (CSPO) [Virtual Learning]
Online
C$1525.75
Oct 27
2020
Details
Team Kanban Practitioner® (TKP) [Virtual Learning]
Online
C$1015.75
Nov 2
2020
Details
Certified ScrumMaster® (CSM) [Virtual Learning]
Online
C$1355.75
Nov 3
2020
Details
Advanced Certified ScrumMaster® (A-CSM) [1-Day Accelerated]
Online
C$1440.75
Nov 10
2020
Details
Kanban Systems Improvement® (KMP II)
Online
C$1525.75
Nov 10
2020
Details
Certified ScrumMaster® (CSM) [Virtual Learning]
Online
C$1355.75
Nov 17
2020
Details
Kanban System Design® (KMPI) [Virtual Learning]
Online
C$1525.75
Nov 19
2020
Details
Team Kanban Practitioner® (TKP)
Online
C$1015.75
Nov 19
2020
Details
Certified Scrum Product Owner® (CSPO) [Virtual Learning]
Online
C$1525.75
Nov 24
2020
Details
Kanban Systems Improvement® (KMPII) [Virtual Learning]
Online
C$1525.75
Nov 26
2020
Details
Kanban Maturity Model (KMM)
Online
C$2120.75
Dec 7
2020
Details
Certified ScrumMaster® (CSM) [Virtual Learning]
Online
C$1355.75
Dec 8
2020
Details
Team Kanban Practitioner® (TKP) [Virtual Learning]
Online
C$1015.75
Dec 10
2020
Details
Advanced Certified ScrumMaster® (A-CSM) [1-Day Accelerated]
Online
C$1440.75
Dec 10
2020
Details
Kanban Coaching Practices (KCP)
Online
C$2120.75
Dec 10
2020
Details
Certified Scrum Product Owner® (CSPO) [Virtual Learning]
Online
C$1525.75
Dec 15
2020
Details