Hire the Arden
The Committee offers support and assistance to directors wherever possible. Many of the points noted below can be carried out by, or in consultation with, the committee; please talk to them whenever you need to. A production producer, too, can take a load off a director’s shoulders.
The list of names and contact details at the end of this check list will be helpful.
First choose your play; if you have one in mind approach the committee or, preferably, attend the annual directors’ meeting with your proposal. A programme of planned dates is normally compiled by the committee and production slots are allocated. Audition dates need to be arranged, to be circulated to Arden members, posted on the website and facebook and published in local newspapers.
Copies of script to be obtained and a licence applied for (usually from Samuel French or Josef Weinburger).
Audition for and, hopefully, select your cast. It is Arden Theatre Group policy that its productions hold open auditions and that anyone be allowed to audition (obviously auditioning doesn’t imply being cast – this should be done on merit alone). Please make sure that everyone who attends or expresses interest is advised whether or not they have a part. If necessary contact any non-members who may be interested in joining the cast.
Please note that anyone attending an audition and accepting a part should either be or become a member of the Arden. This does not apply where insufficient people attend the audition, making it necessary to approach actors outside the group.
Bear in mind that a stage crew, set construction team, lighting team and – depending on the play – make-up team, will also be required.
Arrange rehearsal dates and book the dates into the Arden diary. Please do not assume that dates are free without checking. o book rehearsal slots into the diary you’ll need to speak to the bookings secretary.
Arrange and circulate a rehearsal schedule.
Obtain director’s key and be sure you know the theatre alarm number.
The committee would appreciate a breakdown of anticipated budget. We know that directors will always keep expenditure to a sensible, controlled level, bearing in mind likely ticket sales, but it is a good exercise to put figures together, taking licence fees, set expenses, costumes, incidentals, etc., into account.
The director may choose ticket prices as appropriate; as a guide we suggest £7.00 (adult) and £6.00 (concessionary) for a full length production. Variations come into play depending on the type of production and anticipated audience (such as a panto or play aimed at family audiences).
Box office is currently handled by Carter’s Newsagents, Market Place Faversham who take a block of tickets for each performance; in addition, on- line bookings are organised via the Arden website. The relative quantities are at the discretion of the director/producer.
Complimentary tickets may be distributed at the discretion of the director; the Pools staff always appreciate being offered, say, six or so tickets.
Publicity – as a general rule of thumb:
Posters need to be out about three weeks before production.
A4 posters are the usual size for distribution around the town.
The display boxes outside the theatre call for 1 x A1 size, and 1 x A2.
Leaflet distribution if desired, in the Market Place, etc., and to selected housing areas
The local press should be contacted. Photographs are always helpful in persuading papers to give us column-space.
The Production Publicity Form is a great place to start. Full information should be posted on the
Arden website (www.ardentheatre.co.uk) – send your completed Production Publicity Form (including photos and image of the poster) to firstname.lastname@example.org
Arden Facebook Page (c/o email@example.com)
Fans of the Arden Theatre Facebook Group
Email via mailchimp c/o firstname.lastname@example.org
Radio Kent is an option – 01892 670000
Anything else novel and appropriate that springs to mind
Programmes – please allow sufficient time for programmes to be produced, and provide accurate information to avoid guesswork on the part of the programme producer! A common outer cover with advertising is already in use, so only the inner pages are required for each production.
Set construction can begin as soon as the theatre is free of other activities and as agreed with the committee. Flats are available from the scenery store for use as required. The normal day-to-day set up is a black box set across the stage or black drapes, which will need to be removed before set-building can be started.
It would be appreciated if unnecessary ‘adaptation’ of existing flats and materials could be avoided.
An Arden account is held at M & J Supplies in St John’s Road for general paint/building materials. Anyone using the account should sign as requested, specifying that the purchases are for their particular production.
Please make sure that paint pot lids are securely fixed after use and that the paint store is kept in a tidy state. There is a sink stage right for washing brushes, trays, etc. The sink in the kitchen should on no account be used for this purpose.
Any expenditure/out of pocket expenses for which re-imbursement is required should be supported by the appropriate invoices and passed to the treasurer.
Arden costumes and props are stored in the costume store. The director/producer should contact Joan Sach or Kym Renny to discuss requirements and availability. Please do not involve unnecessary expenditure by purchasing items if we already have them – Joan or Kym will be happy to advise.
If it is necessary to use the access hatch from the floor, please make sure that use of the safety harness is understood and put into practice.
The lighting and sound effects team will need to know the lighting/effects plot and any special requirements well in advance of the technical and dress rehearsals. Detailed guide-lines regarding use of control room equipment are provided separately.
Front of house arrangements, i.e., staffing, bar management, etc., are made by the Arden’s foh team, and are not the responsibility of the director.
Ticket money and unsold tickets will be collected from the sales outlet in time for the performance by a member of the committee or appointee. The final ticket-take will be banked by a committee member or appointed person.
Production week and the week prior to it will be made over entirely to the production in hand.
Unless alternative arrangements are made and agreed for the get-out, at 10.00 am or thereabouts on the Sunday following the production the set should be struck, stage cleared and returned to the status-quo box-set, swept and re-painted; props and costumes returned to their source or store, dressing room tidied, the floor swept and washed if necessary. All members of the cast are expected to assist the crew with the get-out.
It is the responsibility of the director to ensure that all rubbish relating to the production is cleared from the theatre and garden and everything left ready for the next ‘company’ to take over.
Any props, furniture, costumes or other items belonging to the cast not cleared after one week will be disposed of.
Please make sure that any items borrowed from shops or individuals are returned promptly and in good order.
In the event of a dispute within the Company the Director has the final word, as long as his/her decision is in line with theatre policy.
PLEASE DON’T BE PUT OFF BY ALL THIS!
We’ve tried to put a working check list together, not to make it all sound too stringent and daunting (after all, we do it for fun!). Hopefully you will enjoy the overall experience, and know how much your contribution is appreciated by your cast and crew, the committee (who will always be there to help), the Arden and all the happy punters; and we hope you will come back for more!
Help with Publicity
Mary Caryer 01795 531600/533159 email@example.com
Website/online bookings/email circulation:
Jude Sach 01795 532880 firstname.lastname@example.org
Debbie Taylor 01795 886387 DebbieJaneTaylor@aol.com
Lesley Dines 01795 537522
Kym Renny & Joan Sach 01634 302190 email@example.com
Bev Cook 01795 536458
Faversham News: firstname.lastname@example.org
Faversham Times: Newsdesk@krnmedia.co.uk