What To Do When Your Drama Team Doesn't Care Anymore!
Rehearsals, performances, retreats, tours, talent showcases. All aspects of a flourishing drama ministry, right? You'd like to think that your drama team still got excited to perform, but maybe you've started to see that passion die within some of your members. Interest is waning, and you're at a loss of what to do. So what do you do when your drama team just doesn't care anymore?
1. Consider stretching them.
Take them to a new level of drama they have never experienced before. In this day, surroundings and entertainment for youth and aged alike are constantly changing. If your actors know that every Thursday at 7:30 p.m. they will be doing the same routine at drama practice, they're bound to get bored. Don't just change it around a bit; change it around A LOT! You, as director, should know their weaknesses and strengths; take them to the heights of those strengths and then push them to go a bit little farther.
2. Take them on a retreat.
Do something out of the norm. Take them to a new place and have extensive drama games and exercises prepared. Introduce new technical and improvisational games that will help them become more confident with their ability to act. New games should be new to everyone on the team, which evens out the level of difficulty for just about everyone. There will be some that catch on a little faster than others, which is okay. Be sure not to linger in one spot too long in case that causes others to feel less adequate.
Our team goes on a drama retreat every February. Our program is such that our drama year runs from September to August, and we hold auditions in September for new team members. Scheduling the retreat in February has allowed the team to become comfortable enough with each other that most of their inhibitions have dissipated by then, which allows the training exercises and introduction of new techniques and theatrical games to become clear and aid in the progression much more quickly. In other words, they're not doing the "same ole thing."
3. If all else fails, shut down completely and start over.
No team is ever good enough that "when they just don't care anymore" you keep it going. "Don't try to keep a dead horse alive." Sometimes it is better to bury it and buy a new one. Re-audition. Even make the "old" team members repeat the audition process. Let them know that you would rather have four people on the team who care to do their best than twenty-six who don't care at all.
I recently did this with my team. They were to perform a MAJOR production at our summer youth camp, and for some reason they felt they didn't need to learn the script that was given to them. They were having a difficult time remembering that they needed to show up at rehearsals, and when they did, what time they actually began. One week before the performance, actors were still missing cues and entrances, and walking around with scripts in hand. At that moment, I shut the entire thing down! They not only disappointed me, but their parents (for which some were dealt with quite severely), their youth pastor and their friends. As a result, they were not permitted to participate in the grand opening of our recently renovated theatre, and they had to re-audition for the team the following year. They knew I was serious when I said, "I would rather have four people on the team who care to do their best than twenty-six who don't care at all." Simply stated, shut down and revamp.
Somewhere in the midst of your surroundings is a team that cares to do its very best for the God who has gifted its members with the talent of acting. Find them; push them to their limits and beyond. Above all, help them achieve the highest calling of Jesus Christ, which is living for him and ACCEPTING that highest call.