How to Put on a Show
Here's what you need to know:
Let’s get you on the way to putting up your own show! It couldn’t be easier!
Remember that the productions co-ordinator, Sebastian, is always ready to help you. Email him (sjjch) with any questions from the moment you decide to put on a show until the final night is over and budgets have been tallied…
1. Acknowledge the time and energy which directing will consume. It will be a wonderful experience, but make sure you can dedicate yourself to it!
2. Find a show which inspires you, and check that the performance rights are available for your chosen dates. If you’d like to chat to someone with experience directing both in St Andrews and for Mermaids at the Edinburgh Fringe, contact our Marketing Officer, Adelaide (awww2).
3. Find a producer. This person must excel at ‘getting things done’. The producer is responsible for making the show happen, and that includes everything from managing the budget to booking rehearsal space, and communicating with all members of the production. If you want to put an ad out in the Mermaids newsletters to find a producer just email firstname.lastname@example.org and your request will be included in the next Mermaids email. If you’re thinking about producing, again, it is very time consuming but always very rewarding. Past producer Natalie (ne22), is more than happy to talk about the experience.
4. Fill in a completed budget, proposal form and risk assessment, all downloaded from mermaidstheatre.com. For help with these, contact David (dtwp), Sebastian (sjjch) and Daniel (dap34). You might also want to consider applying for Antony Tudor Fund support for your production. Information on this can be found at http://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/students/money/Bursariesandscholarships/AntonyTudorfund/, and their application form can be downloaded either on this website, or from mermaidstheatre.com. Information on how to apply (this is done outside Mermaids) is within the form, and deadlines detailed must be observed. Email your proposal, budget, and operations plan forms to email@example.com at least 48 hours before the weekly committee meeting—which is set for 12:30pm on Mondays this semester.
5. Come along to a committee meeting (day and time publicised in Mermaids email and on the website), and propose your show. The committee will discuss your proposal, and may need you to explain some aspects, or give further details. After the meeting Cameron, the President, will either phone or email you with the committee’s decision. Sometimes we will recommend that you meet with particular members of the committee to iron out any kinks in your proposal, but we will always work with you to re-propose your show. Once your show is passed, a member of your production team must attend the weekly meetings to give feedback on the progress of your show.
6. Once the committee has passed your show, hold auditions. Publicise these on facebook, on Mermaids website – send details to Natalie (ne22) and in the Mermaids email – to be included in the email send a brief paragraph about auditions and a contact email to firstname.lastname@example.org the day before the next email goes out. The emails go out Tuesday and Friday mornings. For help with designing posters, contact Adelaide (awww2) You must hold public auditions, but the style in which you run them, how many you hold, and whether you use call-backs is entirely up to you.
7. Select your cast, and remember to inform everyone who attended your auditions of the outcome.
8. Rehearse your show (sticking to the rehearsal schedule drawn up by your producer who should also organise rehearsal space). Throughout the rehearsal process you should be using and completing an operations plan (available to download from the website or the tab below), in accordance with Technical Officer Dan’s (dap34) guidance.
9. Ensure that your tech, set, props and costume are all perfect – remember that there are dedicated people on the committee to help you with this.
10. Publicise your show – Facebook, mermaids email, website and posters will again be useful. Don’t hesitate to use original or inventive ideas as well though… All publicity must have the Mermaids logo and the charity number for the Students’ Association which is below it, available to download from the tab below or on the website.
11. Enjoy watching the show you have created!!
Remember that the committee are here to help you, and we want to create the best theatre we can.
Productions should always be fun, so if things are worrying you please contact Sebastian (sjjch), Cameron (ck425), or any other member of the committee.