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Directing/Producing

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At the Oasthouse, the roles of Director, Producer and Production Secretary are amalgamated. The Director (substitute one of the other terms here if you prefer) is the focus of every production at the Oasthouse. He or she determines the interpretation, presentation, characterization and performance of the play - in effect, they provide the vision that brings the play to life on the stage.

The starting point for any director is a clear perception of what the play is about and how this should be conveyed to the audience. This usually means reading the play over and over again, each time picking out the subtleties of each character and the interaction between them. This requires imagination and flexibility.

Each director has their own style and these vary enormously. Some plan in advance down to the smallest detail whilst others prefer to 'think on their feet' and adapt to problems as they arise. Most try to find a balance. All have to be committed to the task and must be able to get their ideas and requirements across to the cast and crew, preferably in a non-dictatorial way.

In addition to directing the play, various background tasks need to be sorted out. These include: choosing the audition dates, getting scripts, deciding on the audition pieces, attending the auditions and choosing your cast, publishing a rehearsal schedule (including dates by which you expect the cast to be script-free), ensuring that you have access to the theatre on rehearsal nights, liaising with the Publicity Committee to arrange poster details, programme information and media interviews, informing the Wardrobe department about any costume requirements and finally (but by no means least), ensuring that you have a backstage crew.

At this point, can we just say - DON'T PANIC!! Many of these tasks can be delegated if you ask nicely. Typically, a stage crew will assemble itself magically on appointment of a Stage Manager. The Oasthouse is also fortunate to have a resident photographer who will appear at a dress-rehearsal to take production photographs to be used to make a foyer display.

Does this interest you? Most of our Directors have been actors at some point (most, in fact, still regularly tread the boards) and are attracted by the wider perspectives and creative opportunities involved in directing. If you already have some experience of directing with other companies, we generally like you to assist with one production before letting you loose on your own. If you are interested in directing but have no experience (whether you are an actor or not), we have an Assistant Directors Scheme whereby you can work under a few experienced Directors on a few productions until you have the confidence (and we feel you are capable) of striking out on your own.

Directors are required for every production and fresh approaches are always welcome. If you think you can offer the imagination, inspiration and leadership that is required to maintain the high standards for which we strive, then come along and give it a go.

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