YOUR THEATRE NEEDS YOU!
Our Great Little Theatre Company Can’t Exist Without Great Team Work
Over the years, there seems to have been a falling-off of people willing to do the usual jobs: Stage Manager, Props, Prompt, Costume, Lights and Sound. That has also led to some of our directors deciding that they cannot direct a play at the moment, as they feel they are being asked to take on too much of the work themselves that should fall to the jobs listed above. I think to a certain degree this has been exacerbated by the fact we have some great backstage workers who have come along and only wanted to do those jobs and not be on stage; but they can only do so much without burning out.
In the past, we would hold auditions and would recruit for technical roles from those who came along and didn’t get cast. Normally, we have assumed that if people have time to put aside to rehearse, they would definitely have time to spare to take on a backstage role. It had been suggested in the past that people might not audition at all if we said to them that they should be expected to take on a backstage role if not cast- but it never did.
BUT – we do feel that as a member, even if your main interest is being on stage, we would like you to take on at least one backstage job. With the number of active members we have, it won’t even be every year, as I suspect there are many of you who only want to work backstage and so some of those roles will get filled. With that in mind, and knowing that many of you haven’t done these jobs, we will be running a number of workshops to give you guidance and help you feel more comfortable when taking on the roles. We also thought that with the roles mentioned above, you could in effect arrange a job share, so you don’t have to attend every rehearsal and performance.
We asked people at the AGM to sign up to agree to take on or have a go at some of the tasks backstage, so now I am asking those of you not already signed up to consider at least one of the roles listed below and let me know via email, lisa.harrington2@btinternet.
We also talked about the thorny issue of set builders and painting the set.
In the past, we had some great set builders who were willing to come in during the day and work on the set but like all things, most have moved on. Before that, we used to hold sessions once a week whilst the set was being constructed and ask people to come along and help out. If they weren’t needed for set building, they would do some general clearing and cleaning. We would then adjourn to the pub for a bit of a social; it’s a great way to get to know fellow members!
We would still like to get people who may be interested in overseeing the projects but supported with the help of the membership, and so to that end, we will be actively doing a recruitment drive by contacting the wider membership to see if they are interested, or indeed if they know anyone who may be. Do you know anyone, a parent, grandparent or a friend or relative who has just retired and looking for a new hobby?
But we feel it is an activity that all NEPs could get to grips with, with guidance. If you can wield a paintbrush, hammer some nails or even just be there to take things from people up ladders, hold ladders or wood while someone is sawing, you can easily come along to the set building/painting sessions. To that end, there will be some sessions once Behind The Masque is over, where we would like you to come along and help.
Thank you for taking the time to read this missive, but it’s an important issue that must be addressed before we lose the ability to put on four plays a year due to a lack of support in these roles.