By Hanna Akerfelt
I’ve been thinking about feedback lately. About the fact that there are a lot of different feedback situations and constellations. We’re all very different, both as givers and receivers of feedback. I’ve been given some tips about different feedback models and as soon as I have the time I’m going to read about them. However, at the moment I find that I need to sort out my own thoughts on the subject. So that’s what I’m doing here. All of this is about theatre and playwriting. That’s the context.
Feedback can come at different points on the writing process:
A. While you are writing, but before there’s a production.
B. During the production process, so during the planning stage or during rehearsals.
C. After the run of the play is over. This might include the run itself. I’m having trouble placing that part of the process at the moment.
At all these different points the premise and the reception of feedback are different. That’s what I’d like to write about now, but I realise that I haven’t really thought this through yet:
Feedback can happen between two people, one-on-one, or in a group.
D. One-on-one with someone who isn’t directly involved in a production of the play.
E. One-on-one with someone who is directly involved in the production of the play, like the director.
F. In a group of people who aren’t directly involved in a production of the play, like a writers’ group.
G. In a group of people who are directly involved in a production of the play, like the ensemble who are going to perform it.
The relationship between the person, or persons, giving the feedback and the text matters. If it’s a designated feedback talk or a casual conversation.
Yet another aspect of this is on the basis of what feedback is given:
H. A completed full draft of the play.
I. Parts of the play (which might not be written in full yet).
J. The playwright’s presentation of the play, or their idea for the play.
This is important too. Important because it represents different phases of the writing process.
So, this are my thoughts at the moment. I’ll keep thinking about them. At times like these I notice that I find it easier to think if there’s some sort of framework for me to think in, or through.
If there is already somebody else out there that have thoughts about these things and written a brilliant article, or dissertation or book – please tell me! I want to read them!
Hanna is a playwright, translator and dramaturg living and working in Swedish in Finland. Current projects include an opera libretto based on a children's book, a series for radio and a stage play.
Hanna has two websites:http://hannaheartfelt.blogspot.fi/