So you’re curious about what it might be like to be in a live theatrical production?
Maybe you want to just help out with selling tickets, working backstage or making costumes..
Perhaps you love singing, dancing or making silly faces, or perhaps you’re already a raging thespian!
Either way, you can get involved!
- Start by subscribing to our mailing list for updates of interest (top right form).
- Contact us if you have any specific questions.
- Download a membership form if you’d like to become a financial member and receive our monthly newsletter.
- If you are looking to direct a play for Gemco, please download our Guidelines for Directors form.
If you’re new to the world of theatre, read on…
The best way to be involved on stage with Gemco is to audition for one of our productions.
You can know when these are coming up by signing up for our free monthly newsletter. That way you’ll find out without any effort what show Gemco is performing next, when and what sort of parts there are to audition for.
Gemco performs every genre of theatre, so there are many different opportunities available over a year.
When we do a musical, there are the lead roles, support roles, and ensemble roles. You’re welcome to audition for any of these, and the skill level required to perform these roles are listed from the most skill required, to the least skill.
If you haven’t been in a musical before, it’s usually best to audition for the ensemble – if you’re an amazing talent, you might be asked to play a lead role! – but if you’re new to the musicals, being part of the ensemble is the best way to get experience (and have lots of fun!!)
To audition for musicals, you’ll typically be required to sing a song appropriate to the show, learn and perform a short dance routine in a group situation and read some dialogue from the script – All in a friendly situation.
The same would be required when auditioning for a pantomime, minus the dancing.
For your standard drama, comedy or Shakespeare, you may be required to learn a short one monologue appropriate to the text, or just simply have to read some lines from the script in a group situation – easy stuff.
The other crucial area of the theatre happens “behind the scenes”.
As Gemco is a community roots theatre, there is no room for big ego’s or snobby actors – everyone helps with all facets of a production – on and off stage. With many areas of theatre, the best way to get experience is to do so as an “apprentice” of sorts, by helping out someone who’s experienced in the area. The more shows you do, the more capable will become and before you know it, you’ll be the one in charge!
To start off with is the back stage crew. The back stage crew move sets and props onto and off the stage to create different “places” or settings, onstage.
They’re very much part of the action during the performances and can help make the difference between a smoothly running show, or a slow and clunky show.
If you want to be part of the excitement of being in a live production, but don’t want to be in the lights on the stage, you may consider being part of a back stage crew team to ensure smooth and efficient scene changes during a show.
Costumes can be the highlight of a production. Gemco has a number of costumes of different genres and time periods in storage from prior productions, but inevitably, either new costumes or alterations to existing costumes need to be made.
The design of what characters wear in a production can also be a facet of costuming. The director may have a clear vision of what they want, or they may ask you to come up with ideas that help convey a certain “feel” they’re after.
Creativity and resourcefulness are essential qualities for a costume person, as budgets may be tight and the more money saved in all areas means more money that can put back into the company.
Lighting. What would a production be without lighting??? A black comedy? But seriously, lighting has the power to totally change the mood or feeling created on stage. Lighting also can be used to split up the stage so you can change the set in the dark area. It can highlight characters emotions or moments in a play.
Practically speaking, there’s designing how the lighting will look and knowing where it is needed in a play. Then there’s rigging up the lights to create the desired effects. Then there’s operating the lights from a lighting board during the show.
Lighting is another area of theatre that can make or break a show. It’s a lot easier to cover up for saying the incorrect line on stage than accidently turning on a bright light during a sensitive moment on stage.
Lighting is a real craft, and also requires creatively and technical know-how. The technical aspects can be learnt at Gemco, so if you want to give lighting a shot – it’s entirely possible.
Sound is very similar to lighting in that moods can be set through the use of sound/music. Sound can also bring the theatre more alive and life-like through sound effects that help re-create the real world on stage.
Front of house does ticket sales, food/drink sales to audiences and the ushering of the audience to their seats. These people are the first part of a production that an audience sees, so it’s up to them to put the audience in good spirits. To be organised and calm in potentially stressful situations is a must.
Before any of the performances actually occur, a lot has already been happening to make sure people know about the show.
Posters get designed to advertise the show. People from within Gemco design all our posters. So if you’ve got a creative flair for graphic design, there is an awesome opportunity to design something that will be seen by hundreds of people, potentially thousands! There is usually a lot of creative freedom.
Without publicity, you’ll find it very awkward performing to an audience of zero. Newspapers get contacted to spread the good word and interviews with the media get organised.
The director has been running rehearsals with the actors for months before the show goes on, and liasing with the producer/production co-ordinator about what they require set, costume, lighting and sound wise.
The production co-ordinator recruits all of the above people and pulls all their energies and efforts together to realise the directors vision. Essentially, they are the master organiser.
Subscribing for free to our mailing list for updates of interest (top right form), contact us if you have any specific questions, download our Guidelines for Directors form if you are interested in directing a show for Gemco or download a membership form if you’d like to become a financial member and receive our monthly newsletter.