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  • Writer's pictureAnna Leigh

Community Theatre- Get Invovled

Some questions you may have wanted to know the answer to....

What to expect from community theatre

Community theatre (or amateur theatre) is a great hobby for people of all ages and you’re never too old to get started! Not only will you have the chance to have so much fun and meet new people but there is always an opportunity to learn new skills such as singing, dancing and acting and you’ll always be building confidence. There are a few different types of ‘show’ circulating locally such as musicals, plays and pantomimes.

How much does it cost?

A common question my friends always ask me when they know I’m involved in a show is, “Do you get paid to do that?”. The short answer is no. It’s important to note that you will not get paid, in fact there is usually a fee to be a part of a society and involved with a show.

It depends on the society and what kind of show it is. I know that with some societies, there is even an audition fee or rehearsal fee. This is because even though they aren’t professional, shows cost a lot of money to put on. Don’t let this dishearten you from joining however as with every hobby there is usually a cost. You can’t go iceskating without paying for your ice-skates or go fishing without buying all the right gear first.

Do I have to audition?

Every society varies but from my experience you usually have to audition to be apart of the society. This is usually just a song and so the society can see if you can hold a tune. To find out if or when you can audition for the society, send them a message and they will give you all the details in preparation.

In some societies, yes. Again, this will normally be a small section of a song so they can hear your voice. More often than not though, there is no audition to be in the chorus. Being in the chorus is just as much fun as having a principle role! You don’t always have the pressure of learning lots of dialogue, you will probably get lots of different costumes to change into and you’ll have as much fun off stage as you will onstage.

More on auditions in a later blog…

When are rehearsals?

This depends on the company but it is usually 2 evenings a week and it’s not uncommon that a month or so before the show that rehearsals will take place on a Sunday afternoon. All of your rehearsal dates and times will be explained within the first get together to discuss the show.

Being involved in a show is a big commitment. It may be that you are not required to attend every rehearsal but it’s important to attend all rehearsals that you’re called to, you may not be needed much but it’s hard for the cast and director when other people are missing.

How do I get involved?

First place I suggest you look is a Facebook group called North East Theatre Practitioners UK. It’s a group where people who are interested in being involved in theatre can see upcoming auditions and adverts for upcoming shows. Add or follow the societies that post in there to keep up to date with what they are doing.

The next thing I suggest is that you go and support local theatre by watching their show before you audition for the next one. By supporting the society you will be helping towards their next production and you can see what kind of thing they do on stage! Adverts for the show they’re doing next are usually in their programme so don’t forget to buy one.

If being in the spotlight isn’t for you, then there are plenty of other opportunities to help behind the scenes from helping with costumes, make-up and props to lighting, sound and being a part of the stage crew.

Emma Ward


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