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bison
12-19-2006, 12:52 AM
I've just finished working as a volunteer for a production of "Once Upon A Mattress" producted by our principal local theatre group.
The talent is astounding, the work tiring and the fun endless.
Our next production is "Hair". I want to get involved with coustuming in this one (wink, wink).
I advise any of you aspiring playwrights to get involved with your local groups, if you're not already.
The education on treading the boards is fantastic.

bison
02-10-2007, 12:23 AM
I'm really shocked there have been no responses to this posting.
Does it mean none of you guys are involved with your local theatre
groups in some fashion?
If so, I'm shocked, shocked I tell you, shocked.

Doug B
02-10-2007, 08:30 PM
I run our local alternative theater. Actually run sounds too fancy. I produce 100% of our shows, direct 90% of them and act in 10% of them. I also sell tickets, mop the floors and scrub the bathroom.

A couple of years ago we let the public in to see the last night of a training program for actors. People loved the short format (ten minute scenes). The actors loved them too because they don't take the big time commitment of a full production (although we continue to do them). It didn't take long until we got tired of doing public domain stuff so we decided to generate our own material.

We had a ten minute play festival for local writers and got lots of material to do. Of all the submission we had, I can only think of one that had any connection to the theater. There were several that I don't think had ever even seen a play. We worked with each playwright to polish their play and picked eight to present. We averaged 64 people in out little 60 seat theater. With the exception of The Vagina Monologues, it was the most successful production we ever had.

Here is an interesting sidelight: When we started our play festival, we were afraid that we wouldn't get enough submissions so a friend and I agreed to write two each to fill in if necessary. We also used the opportunity to explore the genre. Since I am a compulsive person, I ended up writing over 50 ten minute plays that first year. I produced and directed eight of my plays last August and we had to extend the run another to get all the people in that wanted to see them. We averaged 75 for those shows and there were lots of repeat attendees.

We are currently accepting ten minute play scripts from those who live in our community. I've received several submissions from people outside our community. We probably won't use them in our current ten minute play festival since our goal is to develop local writers but maybe there is something so special that we'll just have to produce it. We'll respect your copyright and tell you if we use them in a training program and we'll pay you if we produce them. So far, the quantity of plays I've received is not overwhelming so I do read them all.

The short form plays have really made our theater.

Not really a response to your posting but it is what it made me think of and I HATE to post something and never get a response.

Doug

ComicBent
02-11-2007, 04:11 AM
A very good response, too, Doug. :)

Mandy-Jane
02-11-2007, 03:42 PM
I'm involved in local theatre. My husband and I run our own theatre group, and we have about 20 members. He produces and acts, and this year he's directing the show that we're doing. My involvement tends to be more "administrative" I guess, due to the fact that I'm generally housebound with two young kids. I write the monthly newsletter that goes out to the group, and I help to organise advertising and promotion of our shows. At the moment I'm working on a program for our upcoming production. We also run a theatre festival every year, full of performances and workshops in all aspects of theatre. This year we're running a writer's competition for local writers to submit one act plays. The winner's play will be workshopped and given a public reading. Very exciting (except that I can't enter of course!) I agree with you Bison, and I did intend to respond, but of course I never did get around to it until now! Local theatre is very exciting, and almost compulsory for people like us wanting to improve our playwriting skills.

Cat Scratch
02-12-2007, 03:39 AM
I would assume that most of us are involved in local (or even professional) theatre. I didn't have much to add to your OP!

Chumplet
02-12-2007, 04:24 AM
Not everyone is on Broadway. Local theatre is the living, breathing centre of the stage world. Many quality productions spring from local theatre, and talent shines in most of them.

I'm not involved in theatre, so my opinion isn't backed up by real facts. But my sister and her partner are both musical playwrights (I must get them to join this forum).

They get excellent media coverage from both local and national newspapers here in Canada and in the States. Actors who have performed on Broadway frequent their stages.

Local theatre embraces them, but they can't make a living at it here in Canada. The big city stages prefer to run 'safe' productions - the same stuff over and over again.

My SIL Leslie Arden had received rave reviews south of the border, and her plays have been performed on the big stage in Chicago, New York and London, but not on King Street in Toronto (the last major production was ten years ago).

Local theatre, under the title 'Summer Stock' once had the stigma of being second rate, but it's not. Quality stuff is being performed on your local stage, and everyone should buy season tickets every summer. You will be entertained.

Support your local theatre!

bison
02-12-2007, 10:33 PM
My faith is restored!
It seems to me too many wannabe writers are ONLY interested in being
a huge commercial success. Yes, that would be nice, but in our case
(playwrights) there is so much wonderful return in being involved with
local theatre. Those who are not should not think for a second that
becasue it is not Broadway it is second rate. Most local groups are
very professional and the level of talent is mind boggling.
Tread those boards!

bison
02-16-2007, 01:54 AM
I want to sneak in a direct response to Mandy-Jane's icon.

No, it is never too early for wine (good wine). I'm working hard to become
a wine snob. My motive is the emergence of Texas wines on the international scene and I'm surrounded by wineries here in the hill country of Texas. I've visited a couple and plan to make some more. God, what an education!
They say you should spit out what you taste. Are they nuts, I'm swallowing!
Yes, it distorts the taste of the next one, but, who cares? gurgle, gurgle...

Mandy-Jane
02-17-2007, 10:35 AM
Hi bison,

I'm working hard to become a wine snob too. I know people who take a sip of wine and instantly reel off various adjectives, with other people nodding in agreement. I'm like "yeah well, I like the taste."

I agree with you about the not spitting too. I'm not wasting a drop!

bison
02-17-2007, 09:27 PM
I'm like "yeah well, I like the taste."

I'm more like "Huh???????" But, I'm learning.