Printed From: Community Theater Green Room
Category: Producing Theater
Forum Name: Play Suggestions
Forum Discription: Need help finding a show that's right for your theater? Ask here.
Printed Date: 5/23/13 at 6:12am
Software Version: Web Wiz Forums 8.05 - http://www.webwizforums.com
Topic: Season Selection
Posted By: drose
Subject: Season Selection
Date Posted: 9/15/11 at 5:15pm
I am curious to know how many shows your theater produces in a season and how you go about the selection process.
Our theater has a 5 show season that consists of 2, sometimes 3 musicals and 2 (sometimes 1) non-musical. We generally try to restrict the titles to only 1 "risk" show per type (musical and non-musical) per season. A risk show for us would be a show that lacked name recognition, or had some major aspect to it (maybe adult themes, profanity) that might not appeal broadly to our core patron. We have a play reading committee that (suprise, suprise) reads plays and recommends a season (based on some specific, given criteria) that the ED and the Board then approve.
Posted By: edh915
Date Posted: 9/17/11 at 10:47pm
Our group does five shows a year: Feb, Apr, Jul, Sept and Dec. We don't particularly select the shows, we solicit directors who have a show they want to direct. We read their proposed show and decide yes or no. We also like to keep a good balance of shows; known vs unknown, comedy vs drama, modern vs classic. We have a string of directors standing in line. 2012 is booked, and 2013 is 40% full already. It's a system that works very well for us.
Posted By: MusicManD
Date Posted: 10/09/11 at 10:29am
I'm still in my first season as a Board member, so we're going through our first round of selecting the season (a process that won't be finalized until February or March). We do 8 or 9 productions a year, which means at least one (sometimes two) is constantly in production. We take suggestions from all board members and compile a huge list. Next we search for scripts to match the shows as a lot of the suggestions are generic (ie "Robin Hood") or simply pieces of literature that may not have one specific script associated with it ("Little House on the Prairie"). We do leave it up to the director to select the specific script, but we do want to make sure the script exists!
We then look at the list and cull it down into shows that compliment each other, something we may be doing this month in fact. Usually (I would imagine) these are hung around our bigger shows, specifically our mega-musical with 300+ cast members... Then fill in the gaps, trying to make an even balance that still hits our "standards" for each season- a couple of children's shows, a couple of classics, some comedies, usually 3-4 musicals...
One flaw in our system is that our straight plays are usually of a lesser quality because we don't select a specific script when we pick a show. A big part of that is that we are all community members who do love theatre, but just don't know a lot of straight plays. For example, our compiled list for the 2012-2013 season is probably 2/3 to 3/4 musicals. That means we can be extremely picky on our musical shows, but for the straight plays... I get the idea that the group struggles just to fill the spots.
If I was to improve our process, it would include reading a lot of scripts before selecting the shows rather than selecting the show THEN selecting the specific script, but I do understand the huge time and substantial financial commitment this would require. I know I don't have time to do it. :-)
Posted By: jonplaywright
Date Posted: 10/09/11 at 5:57pm
I'm curious about your comment that you select a show without selecting a specific script. Does this mean you're doing mostly/only public domain adaptations for your straight plays? In most cases, a show is a specific script. For example, there's only one Arsenic and Old Lace script, or one How I Learned to Drive. In fact, I can't think of any cases but PD adaptations where multiple versions of a play would be floating around.
Co-Chair, Alliance of Los Angeles Playwrights
Resident Playwright, Final Draft
YouthPLAYS, plays for young actors and audiences
http://www.youthplays.com - www.youthplays.com
Posted By: falstaff29
Date Posted: 10/12/11 at 6:54pm
Well, a fair number of plays do exist in multiple revisions, but generally only one is authorized for performance. Perhaps MusicManD means that straight plays are picked on the basis of Sam French or DPS' blurb in conjunction with practical considerations (cast size, set complexity, etc.) rather than by having board members actually read the script?