This is the first part in a series of articles designed to take you through all of the steps of production. Hopefully you will find this interesting and maybe even discover some areas where you might want to participate. The main thing to remember is that while it is a lot of work, it is both fun and rewarding. Also, remember that in every step, there are people at the Owen ready and willing to drop whatever they are doing and help you to get involved. So, let’s start our journey.
Prior to any show being produced, there is a lengthy process required to select and schedule the season.
As you might imagine, the options are virtually endless. Originally, plays were categorized as being comedies or tragedies. However, today there are over 20 recognized genres of theatre. While we do want to present some variety during our theatrical season, many of the recognized genre are neither appropriate nor possible at the Owen.
So, the artistic committee works over a series of months reviewing plays that are appropriate for our audience and that “fit” with our venue. They then develop a candidate list of plays for further analysis.
Consideration must be given to the theatrical history, local history, public perception and acceptance, controversial content, cost (royalties, costumes, etc.), technical demands, acting demands, directing demands, availability of rights and artistic growth of each candidate. Basically, we will not do plays that are not appropriate for our audience, cannot be licensed, are too expensive or would not be popular. Once the plays are thoroughly evaluated, the top seven are selected for the upcoming season. The directors are then assigned based upon their best fit with the season line up.
Finally, the season of plays and directors is announced along with audition and performance dates.
In the next installment, we will explore the director’s responsibilities relative to designing the plays and casting.