There’s nothing else quite like the thrill of performing on stage in a darkened theatre, with bright stage lights beaming down on you. It’s a joy that is accessible to nearly everyone, not just trained professional actors. The abundance of community theatre companies in the UK is a testament to that fact. There’s a great chance that someone in your family or circle of friends has taken part in a production by an amateur drama society at some point in their life. These societies are generally made up of volunteers with a passion for the stage, but who work normal day jobs during the weekdays.
It’s easier to stage your own play than you think, but there are a few things you need to know before you embark on the road to theatrical glory. The role of the producer is a lot different — and a lot harder — than that of a performer, so if you intend to perform in your own production, you should be aware that you will effectively be doing two entirely different jobs. So, aspiring impresario, here’s a quick list of steps to get from planning to opening night.
- Choose a show: If you’re going to spend months working on a show, make sure it’s the one you love. Also, make sure it’s easy enough for performers with no or limited training.
- Pick your team: You need help. Assemble your creative and technical teams to share the workload.
- Find a venue: You need to have a venue before you can proceed.
- Design your show: Your staging, set and lighting design, and costumes needs planning, and lots of meetings. Get cracking!
- Production calendar: You need to know when things need to happen.
- Auditions: You need to find talented people to put on stage.
- Rehearsals: Practise makes a man perfect, they say.
- Sell tickets: People need to see your show and help you offset your budget.