Our cast is now assembled (the complete cast list can be found on the Durham Savoyards website, http://www.durhamsavoyards.org); and last night we gathered together to sing through the entire score for the first time. We started with introductions and announcements, then Alan took the conductor’s stand and ran the show for the rest of the evening. For me it is always a revelation to witness this first sing-through. It is a wonderful opportunity to sit back and listen to the entire score with a fresh attitude. Now that every character has a voice, the distinct quality of our production begins to come into view. It really doesn’t matter that I’ve heard the score a thousand times; that I’ve directed the piece before; that I’ve contemplated and imagined various concepts for staging this year’s production. Now a roomful of new voices, new perspectives, and new possibilities has been added to the mix. Theater, after all, is all about collaboration. Yes, my job demands artistic vision; adherence to that vision; and leadership toward achieving that vision. But it also demands an open eye and an open ear; an awareness of the talents and creative input each member of our ensemble brings to the table; and a constant openness to re-discovery.