Conversations with Creators: Jason Mehmel
What does the Stepping Stone program mean to you?
It means a lot of things for me.
It's a chance for Sage Theatre to help develop a production directly. Outside of IGNITE!, new work is something we only do occasionally, and this allows us to have a continuing investment in building work inside our local community.
It's also a chance for us to enhance the mentorship goals that we foster in IGNITE! Along with providing creative mentorship in directing and dramaturgy, we are working with DIY Theatre to share our experience in theatre production. This helps our community and the artists within it grow. (And we're learning a lot from DIY Theatre too! They are on point!)
What is the key component of successful mentorship?
Communication. The mentors need to communicate what they can provide, and when it comes time to provide feedback, how best to transmit it so that it has the strongest impact. For the mentees, it's about learning to ask for what they need or feel concerned about, so that the mentor knows the area to focus their attention.
How is this different from other plays you have produced?
This is the first time I've actually mentored as a producer as well as a director or dramaturge! It's been interesting, and I feel like I'm learning as much as I'm providing.