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The curtains just closed on your latest production. That’s where the work ends, right? Not quite. Planning and executing a post-mortem process should follow. You might be wondering what, exactly, a post-mortem is, when it should take place and, most importantly, how to plan it. Don’t worry – On The Stage has you covered.
Much like a locker room breakdown after a game or a conference call after a big pitch, a post-mortem is a deep-dive analysis into a production to create a growth mindset for the future, mixing celebration with evaluation. This gives everyone involved – from the lead of the show to the tech team, producers, director and administration – a chance to reflect on anything and everything surrounding the show.
Things addressed in a post-mortem may include:
There’s no right answer here, except to say as soon after your production as possible. This way, the show is fresh in everyone’s minds – all the way from the major high notes to the smallest of mistakes.
On The Stage suggests a few different meetings for your post-mortem. This way, you get maximum value by addressing different topics in different ways with your key players.
The first meeting is what OTS calls an “all-company meeting,” which, as the name suggests, includes everyone involved. In general, the all-company meeting should be kept lighter to keep students feeling accomplished about their hard work.
In the all-company meeting, you can discuss:
After this, you should conduct a more serious production meeting with the key members on the team. Here, you can speak with total candor surrounding the following elements:
Lastly, conduct an administrative recap to round-out your post-mortem process. Described as “part housekeeping and part self-promotion,” this is a time to meet with your administration to relay everything you’ve learned in your most recent production and position your department for greater opportunities (including a better budget) for the future. Here, you should discuss:
While the post-mortem process might seem complicated, it offers a variety of benefits – from general reflection to better positioning in future works. Luckily, On The Stage presents a complete breakdown of the post-mortem process: The School Theatre Post-Mortem Demystified. Download it now to get started!