By Alec Harding, performance writer
Throughout our work on The Cleverest Thief/Gone Missing project, we had set up an incomparable environment which contributed itself towards our creative process. We had, in a sense, purposely designed a “creative incubator” to maximize our potential as storytellers, actors, writers, designers, and inventors.
The first step to creating the essential facilitating environment was gathering the group of participating individuals. Although one of the main goals of this project was a script, we did not just want writers creating The Cleverest Thief. At the same time, a group of actors would have been no better for devising the piece. A bunch of techies who could theatrically mediate the project would have not have suited either. Instead of getting one homogenous collection of similar individuals, we used the whole spectrum to construct our team. We did have our handful of writers, our defined actors, our theatrical
designers, and then a handful of odd individuals who likewise added their talents and capabilities to the project. The first step we did to create the correct creative environment was get together the right team of unique and skilled people to do the job.
Once the vehicle was together, our engine roared and we cruised. The next essential factor of our creative success was the open door to all creative ideas—a door to fit an airliner hanger. Every time the group met, everyone took their new collection of ideas, interviews, and moments gathered since our last meeting and gave them to the team without reservation. Everything, even if it wasn’t used, was never blindly rejected. The door was never slammed shut. Every idea, suggestion, and interview was taken objectively considered, no matter how big or small, no matter who presented it, and no matter if
it was thought to be of any use. Every idea was given its due chance, which kept the doors of creativity, collaboration, and progression wide open.
The third great factor to incubating the creative might of The Cleverest Thief project was the fusion and chemical solution of each of the different interviews, moments, and ideas gathered. Individual and isolated interviews were combined into their ingenious moments which created something greater than each of the two separately. Elements were tested together, swapped between combinations, and reimagined and reimagined and rearranged and rearranged again and again. At it’s root, that’s what creativity is.
We had the team of divers, skilled individuals and we had an unrestrained, unfiltered inflow of new ideas. The finishing piece of our creative process was the building and collaborations of interviews, moments, and ideas unto the creating of the remarkable play we now know as The Cleverest Thief.