“So we struggle and we stagger
Down the snakes and up the ladder
To the tower where the blessed hours chime
And I swear it happened just like this:
A sigh, a cry, a hungry kiss
The gates of love they budged an inch
I can’t say much has happened since
But closing time.” -Leonard Cohen, Closing Time
“Closing time, every new beginning
Comes from some other beginning’s end.” -Semisonic, Closing Time
When is it time to close the run of a show?
Assuming this is a passion project and that you’re acting and producing it, I’d say there are two things to think about: (And take it week by week if you can.)
(1) As the ACTOR…Have I fully mined everything from this character? Have I gone as deep as I can? Am I still willing to do the necessary hard work to stay sharp each week and fully invest myself in this character and play? Do I still feel joy?
(2) As the PRODUCER…Am I still willing to do the grinding work of getting people to see the show? Am I willing to continue putting myself out there? Keep risking my emotional energy that no one shows up? Also, how does everyone in the ensemble and crew feel? Are they still excited to show up each week?
If the answer to either of these categories and questions is no, it’s time to close. You’ll know. You’ll feel it.
And one last piece of advice, it’s always better to close a little early than a little late. Go out with a bang. Not a whimper.