The Nottingham New Theatre

Directing

For a potential director, proposing a play at the New Theatre of course presents challenges, but you’re also free to propose a play for your love of it alone. With no university oversight, innovation and new writing are encouraged. From physical theatre, to in-the-round theatre, to theatre of the absurd and site specific plays, the New Theatre has encouraged and financed it all. So why direct? Why not act? Or produce? Or tech? Or stage manage? Or design a set? Or take one of the other myriad of opportunities that the New Theatre can offer?

For me personally, the satisfaction from directing is derived from seeing a play mutate from a vague idea in the back of your mind into an incredible cast and set. You’re involved with its whole transformation from start to finish and get to meet some incredibly talented people and appreciate their skills. I never thought I’d enjoy sitting with my technical director at one in the morning helping design a lighting plan but when it came to seeing the show with an audience it was another aspect I’d contributed to and could be proud of.

It’s this pride and sense of achievement that sells directing for me every single time. You have created something, however fleeting, that you’ll remember the rest of your life. Dismantling the set that you’ve spent months building in a few hours at your get-out can be pretty devastating but, whilst it might sound corny, you’ll take away fantastic memories and even better friends.” (Matt Wilks, Director ’12)

directing

Steps

Here are the steps to follow if you are interested in putting on a play:

  1. Decide on the play you want to put on. The choice of play is totally up to you. It can be something you studied at school, a play that you’ve seen or read and loved, or a piece of original work by yourself or a friend of yours. While choosing your play it is important to consider the logistics of putting it on; one thing to consider, for example, is the number of male and female roles in your cast; about three times as many female students audition than male!
  2. You have to make sure that you can obtain the rights to put on your play in the New Theatre. The company you would have to call to enquire about rights is usually listed on the inside cover of your script.
  3. It might sound obvious but you will need a director and a producer to put on a play. If you cannot find another person to pair up with, don’t worry: the Committee will be able to find you someone after the proposals meeting.
  4. At the proposal meeting you will be asked to give a one minute presentation about why you are wanting to put on your play. Afterwards there will be a 15 minute discussion period with questions including but not limited to; a brief synopsis, reasons why your play would stand out from others, how you would overcome any obvious staging/lighting/casting difficulties and what you would require as your budget.

What to do next

We realise this sounds like a lot to do in such a short space of time. Obviously we can be flexible if your decision to put on a play is last minute. And it’s definitely worth it.

Please contact our Productions Coordinator Felicity Chilver if you have any questions about directing In House or our Fringe Coordinator Chris Trueman if you are interested in the Fringe season. If you would like a Proposals Form for In House shows please email productions@newtheatre.org.uk and for Fringe shows please email fringe@newtheatre.org.uk . Anyone wishing to direct must complete one and submit it prior to the Proposals Meeting.

Here is a proposal’s form which is useful for prospective directors to see what needs to be thought about and here is the production pack, a guide of everything you need to know for putting on a show.