Every problem in OM has a theatrical element, and the heart of theater is telling a story. It’s very easy in OM to get sidetracked with funny bits or a really cool apparatus, but the best solutions are the ones that weave together the practical bits of the solution with a strong story.

The elements of the stage are a huge part of telling the story; Juliet had her balcony, Red riding hood has her cloak, and Harry Potter needs his wand. Part of good stagecraft is looking at each element and asking how it supports the story, or in OM, how it supports the solution.

In addition to that, it needs to be able to do the job. The balcony cannot collapse while Juliet is on it, and Red should not suffer ay wardrobe malfunctions. So paint should not run or flake, costumes should not fall off, and sets should not hit anybody on the head (and in case you’re wondering, all those things have happened to the teams I’ve coached during competition).

Elements of Theater - the story and the storyteller