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  • 1.  How to create a season (well, one way)

    Posted 12 days ago

    It's May!
              It's that time of year when we do one last show, look back at the year we've just had, give out some awards and congratulate ourselves for living through another impossible year. 
              But before you lock up for the summer – did you put together a season for next year yet?  If you have, good for you. Get the word out there. You can't have too much publicity. If you haven't done it yet, get on it. I am flummoxed when I see a facebook post that says something along the lines of "Help, we have auditions in two weeks – what show should we do?"
                Since different schools have different methods of scheduling activities, you might already be locked in, but for this article, I'll assume you are starting with a clean slate.
                The first step isn't choosing shows, it's the calendar.  The Calendar is Everything. Get a copy of next year's school calendar. Put in the un-moveable dates: holidays, breaks, grading periods, etc. Are there events that are essential to your school culture? Homecoming? Prom? Sports? (I'm hesitant to put in sports, because there are so many of them.) You know which ones are monolithic.
                Next step: Put in dates for your shows. Don't worry about titles yet. How long do you need for rehearsal? Count backwards from your performance dates. That's your audition date. Now take a look at your year. Can you do it? Are you doing enough shows?
                Once you're happy with your calendar, you can put shows in.
                You should always be researching plays. If you've been involved in educational theatre for any significant amount of time, you probably do it automatically. You watch plays. You read reviews. You assign plays. You watch movies that are based on plays and notice the differences. You have a pile of scripts somewhere that you have been meaning to read. Now, before you put a show on your calendar, you need to do two things: 1) Check to make sure the show is available for you to license. 2) READ THE SCRIPT. Sorry to yell. A google search or a facebook question are often quick, but they aren't a substitute for reading the script.
                Once you have found enough plays to fill out your calendar, request the rights, and put together a season flyer. I recommend coming up with at least 1 or 2 backup shows for each production slot, because life is very changeable.
                Having next year's season set before you go on Summer vacation is a great feeling.
                See you in Bloomington!

    Billy Houck
    Theatre Teacher, Retired
    Northern Rep to the California Thespian State Board
    Carmichael, CA

  • 2.  RE: How to create a season (well, one way)

    Posted 11 days ago
    Thanks, Billy! Great advice. Just to add to the notes about licensing, make sure you've confirmed approval and payment as indicated in the performance agreement before announcing or advertising the title of a show. Some times folks think they're okay as long as it says, "rights pending" or something similar, and unfortunately, this usually isn't permitted.

    Rosemary Bucher
    Educational Theatre Licensing Coordinator