Since we are now looking for proposals for Network’s spring show in April 2016 (deadline for initial proposals 31st October), we got in touch with the self-proclaimed Wicked Uncle of Network, Andy Kerr, for some insider tips on direction. Useful if you’ve never directed before or even if you have but want to learn from the best!
“We are a creative community and new ideas are encouraged. Discussing new plays and ideas is vital for our future. We have become a really big group and, with so many potential actors and crew, not everything has to be a full-scale, huge production. If you have a great idea for a one-act play with a cast of 3, that we can put on for £50, then tell us about it!
My advice to any budding directors is to get involved with the production side of a show instead of purely acting. You need to keep your eye on all the balls. For many of our members, their route into the group is the workshops, but although they are wonderful fun and a great way to get involved, directors also need knowledge of how to deal with a production as a whole. Many people have fabulous artistic ideas about a play but no knowledge of the people they need around them or the range of skills required.
You should perhaps start with a small cast and a show that is easy to produce. Larger casts can be harder to bond together and you can spend your whole time organising who needs to come to rehearsals and when.
Above all, you want your first experience to be positive! The first play I did was Büchner’s Woyzeck, a play the author left unfinished at his death. Although it turned out well in the end, I quickly realised I had overstretched myself and spent a lot of the rehearsal process extremely stressed. Remember that our reason for doing any of this is a love of theatre; you need to enjoy the experience!”
If you do have an idea, then please submit your proposal to firstname.lastname@example.org, including a few sentences about why you think this play would be a good choice and some initial ideas on staging. Both a director and production manager should be included on the proposal. Please also bear in mind that the chosen show will be performed at the Lantern Theatre – backstage space is at a premium here, so maybe your half-scale version of Titanic, The Musical, might be better suited to another venue. All proposals received will be reviewed at the committee’s next meeting in early November.
If you need any advice or have any questions, please feel free to get in touch before you submit. If you have any ideas for a smaller show outside of the April window, as suggested by Andy, we will be happy to hear from you. Send us an email and we can discuss your plans. Lastly, for those who cannot do April, the following production will be in July and submissions should be made before the end of the year. More details soon.