Community spotlight

Community Spotlight – Natan Skop

Natan Skop is a producer who has been a part of the JET community since 2006 and produces with Theater in the Rough. We asked Natan a few questions and would like to share his answers with you. 

JET: Describe how you got into producing!

NS: When I was 20, while I was in the army, I wanted to put on a show and I had a lot of energy to devote to it 🙂

JET: How long have you been involved with the JET community?

NS: Since 2006 when I made aliyah with my family

JET: How has your past experience with the JET community and the Israel theater community been?

NS: The JET community – ultimately positive, it’s a great, motivated group of people who are all passionate about theater.

The Israel theater community is much more diverse, and I haven’t necessarily felt I’ve fit in, although I do work with a lot of artists in the professional sphere.

JET: What is the first show you produced and how has your style/process changed or stayed the same?

NS: Twelfth Night in 2010. Changed so much! I knew so little then. I feel I’ve learned a lot from experience, but also how to properly allocate resources where they’re needed and where to prioritize and delegate.

JET: What is your favorite part about producing and what are some of its challenges?

NS: I love putting things in order, breaking a task down to parts. The challenges are following through and getting it done! There aren’t enough hours in a day…

JET: Is there a dream show you would love to produce? How would you innovate it?

NS: I’d love to produce a musical theater production outside “in motion”, which would be a huge undertaking and I suppose that’s my innovation as well 🙂

JET: What is the best advice you’ve received in your career?

NS: “In your life, there are going to be people who tell you you’re not good enough. Ignore them, you’re good enough” – Crystal Skillman, playwright

JET: What is your next project and what challenges do you anticipate facing?

NS: We’re working on our summer 2023 Shakespeare project. We’d really like to try and do some things differently that have been bothering us for a few years, which can be difficult because you fall into habits over many years of doing shows.

JET: How have your experiences collaborating on projects been? What were the pros and cons?

NS: Collaboration can be amazing, but also very frusterating. It’s great to open up to new points of view, but it can be tough when there are disagreements.

JET: Describe a bit of your creative process! What helps keep you inspired and focused?

NS: I like to go see other shows when I can, I always find something I can learn from, whether or not the show is to my artistic taste. Focus…. that’s the hardest thing. Meditation helps. Making realistic task lists is key. Remembering you’re human and can only do one thing at a time.

JET: What was the most rewarding production you’ve done? What made it meaningful?

NS: I really enjoyed creating and producing our production of “Botanic Chorus” in May 2021. An incredibly talented group came together on and offstage and it had a kind of magical momentum coming out of the COVID-19 lockdown.

JET: Describe a time you had to creatively problem solve! What advice would you give someone working through difficulties in your field?

NS: Building a rehearsal schedule in a project with amateur actors can be tough. Everyone is dedicated but they can’t drop their day job and be at rehearsal all the time, and it often feels like playing a very hard game of tetris. My advice – communication is key! Make sure everyone knows the schedule as far in advance as possible and they understand the time committment they’re signing up for. Have clear expectations for arriving on time and notifying about conflicts.

JET: Feel free to share anything else about your experience with the JET community!

NS: It’s pretty crazy that all of these people want to do theater in English in Jerusalem. Makes me smile every time.

Photo by Merav Blum

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