Now that I’ve returned from the summer Fringe circuit, there’s time to reflect on the summer. Â I saw a lot of plays at the various Fringe Festivals, and I learned a lot. Â I’ll talk about the shows I saw in a later post. Â First I’d like to talk about two lessons learned from the Fringe tour.
- If your play is over 60 minutes, you had better have earned it. You had better have something to say that is worth the extra time. Some of the worst plays I saw this summer, were 75 to 90 minutes in length. Mostly, they were bad because the play felt drawn out in order to fill the time. In every case, the play could have been cut down to 60 minutes without losing anything.
- If you get a bad review, deal with it. Don’t complain about how unfair the reviewer was, that they came on a bad night, or that they shouldn’t come to the opening because the show needs time to find its feet. If you are charging money for the show, then its fair game for reviewers. If you get a bad review, that means that you are going to have to work that much harder to get your audience out. Its not the end of the world, but you do have to put in the work. Even more important, if you get a bad reviewÂ do not post aÂ rebuttal. Don’t try to be clever and suggest that the reviewer must have been confused. Don’t try and take down their review point by point. You’ll look like an asshole. Just accept the bad review and move on. Its the only way to come out of the situation with any grace at all. Oh, and if you are getting audience feedback that is bad, just ignore it.Â Do not post it on your poster with a comment calling the commenter an assholeÂ (I actually saw this done by one show). Â Honestly, there’s only one asshole in that scenario, and its not the audience member.