The Herald-Dispatch |

Tri-State Theater
Let's discuss upcoming shows, secrets behind the scenes, things you never knew about the theater and why live theater is so darn entertaining.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

So You Want to Put on a Show... (Part 3)

So you’ve lined up some money and decided which show you want to do. Here’s the most important advice ever for tackling a community theatre show: get help.

Putting on a show is a monstrous task, and the only way to accomplish it is by getting lots of help. The theatre bone yard is littered with the broken dreams of those who thought they could handle everything on their own. But one of the many dirty little secrets about theatre is that it’s actually a team sport. You gather talented people, and each person is assigned a job. As long as everyone does their part, you’ll end up with a successful performance.

So you need to assemble a team. Jobs tend to vary according to each team, and sometimes more than one person combines efforts to manage a single job, but here’s a rough division of labor. You’ll need: a Director to deal with the actors, set up rehearsals and generally guide the production from beginning to end; and a Producer to handle the behind-the-scenes jobs, including coordinating costume and set construction, organizing volunteers and tech people and a few thousand other details.

Assuming you’re doing a musical, you’ll need a Music Director to teach the music to the cast and guide the musicians who will accompany the performance, and you’ll need a Choreographer to design and teach the dancing involved.

That’s the core of the team you’ll need, although there are lots of other people you’ll need, including a costume designer, someone to manage set construction, a stage manager to organize the tech crew during performances, and many more.

Once you have you team assembled, then it’s time for the fun to start, and every show kicks off the same way: with auditions.

Next: Looking for talent.