A post mortem for the US version of DIRK by Scot Burklin

Published : 6th January 2007

Scot Burklin and Arvind Ethan David

Well, here we are… the show has officially closed. I’m a terribly sad that it had to come to an end and I’m tired beyond belief, yet totally satisfied with everything that our team has accomplished. I first wrote to James Goss to request a copy of the script in October of 2004, which should give you a little perspective on both how long these things can take to come to fruition and how much this project means to me.

Whenever I finish a project this big, I always like to write a post-mortem afterwards, just to document and clarify my feelings at the time on both what I was satisfied with and what I felt could have been improved upon. Right about the time I started gearing up to write said post-mortem, Nicloas e-mailed to ask how things were going. I took that as a sign from god, (or, at the very least, a slight nudge from a visually impaired atheist) and offered to share a copy with Mr. Botti, who is kind enough to post it here. Thank you again, from the bottom of my heart, for the support and encouragement that you have all provided. It is all of you who keep Mr. Adams’ work alive in the public consciousness, and that’s so incredibly cool it would flummox a vegan snow lizard. And now, if you would nurse, my chest spreader, it’s time to dissect this thing

> What I think we did well:

* Multimedia – Everyone who saw the show raved about this aspect and, quite frankly, it impressed the hell out of me as well. I can honestly say that we had the best technical team in the world.
* Cast – What can I say? Our cast rocked. It was fantastic working with each of them and they each gave everything they had to the characters. They were also incredibly cool people to hang out with, and what more can one ask for?
* Reviews – How often does one get a play review in Variety, let alone a favorable one?
* Arvind’s Review – Having one of the adapting authors give a hearty “thumbs up” was worth all the Variety reviews in the world to me. That was truly the moment where I felt the most satisfied with our work. And, he was a damned cool guy to meet and hang out with to boot!

> What I wish we could have spent more time with:

* Audience immersion in the world of “Dirk”– We had a lot of very grandiose ideas early on, such as having Janice have a desk in the theatre lobby so she could begin harassing audience members the moment they walked in. We had also talked about creating a museum featuring artifacts from Dirk’s previous cases, as our lobby area features art displays. We also wanted to do podcasts, video set tours, scripted phone messages for our reservation line, fan chats, etc. Unfortunately, we simply ran out of time to pursue these ideas.
* Greater pursuit of the sci-fi community – Our audience sizes were fantastic for Los Angeles, but in the world of theatre, they can always be larger. I feel that if we had pursued the local sci-fi communities and clubs more aggressively, we could have done even better. We also talked about aggressive leafleting of appropriate and relevant community “hang outs”, such as comic book stores and collectible shops. Again, we simply ran out of free time.
* Touring – I can’t tell you the amount of e-mails I received from people who were not in the Los Angeles area but desperately wanted to see the show and couldn’t. I truly wish we could have toured it around a bit, but such things are ungodly complicated to coordinate and require money that we simply don’t have. Although, none of this stopped one fan from traveling from Arizona simply to see the show and then immediately drive back home. Mad props and many thanks on that one!
* More time with the show – As with any successful and personally satisfying production, you always wish you had more time to spend in the world of the show. We would love to have extended the show or to have taken it to some other level, (DNA on Broadway!) but the fact of the matter is that you have to pull the plug at some point.

Anyhow, I’ll stop here before I bore you to tears with my “Dirktacular” ramblings. In closing, thanks once again to everyone in the DNA fan community. It was a true honor spending time with you and being able to contribute to the Adams legacy. Our best to everyone and we hope to see you somewhere down the road.

Scot M. Burklin

P.S. – If it means anything cosmically, (and god knows that Dirk himself would remind us that “all things are fundamentally interconnected”) the shuffle feature on my ipod just rolled over to Chapter 8 of Douglas’ “book on CD” reading of “Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency”. A fitting end to say the least. Thanks, Douglas.