Sherwood Foundation for the Arts “SFA” is a diverse and inclusive community –based organization whose purpose is to inspire, nurture, promote and support cultural arts for the education, enjoyment and enrichment of the citizens of Sherwood.
SFA GUIDELINES FOR CAST AND CREW
Welcome to SFA’s Performing Arts!
If this is your first experience performing with SFA , you will find there is a high degree of excellence and dedication from everyone involved in our productions. We have high standards, but we also never forget that we also do community theatre to have fun! This cast and crew are community theatre in every sense of the word. We have cast and crew members who have never been on stage before as well as those who have many years of skill and experience. For most of our productions, no one is paid. We do this work because we love it. We work together to create the very best show possible. We are dedicated to help each other grow, hone our craft and skills, and to enjoy the process of doing theatre together. The following are some guidelines and expectations for participating in our productions. Each director may have additional expectations;
Acceptance of a Role or Position and Availability
When actors audition for a show or crew members commit to a production position,· they are assumed to be available for normal rehearsal periods through the end of the run of the show, the striking of the set and location cleanup. Let your director know before you accept a role if you have dates that might be in· conflict with rehearsals or performances or other production obligations. Your director will provide you with a preliminary rehearsal schedule
Rehearsals may occur any time between auditions and opening night but are generally· on weekday evenings. Your director will set the schedule. If you have any doubts about when you will be required to be at rehearsal, please check with the director or stage manager at auditions. Theater is an ensemble art. When you agree to participation in a play or dance or other· performance you become an important member of a team, a team who is relying upon you to make the production reality. Your commitment is an unwritten contract and a promise to all the other cast and crew that you will be there and be prepared. We ask that if you must drop out after you commit to your role as a team member that it be in case of emergency only. The actions of any individual can have an effect upon the success or failure of a production that requires weeks and hundreds of people-hours to prepare. Here are guidelines that are fairly consistent from show to show. These are designed to help facilitate the smooth functioning of rehearsal, performances and other facets of the process to produce a show.
Each Director/Producer/Stage Manager may have some variations to these and will let you know what these are during your first read through or audition.
- ATTEND ALL REHEARSALS AND BE ON TIME. Being on time means in your place ready to start. Please look at the rehearsal schedule and know when you are called. Each director will probably set up different call times with actors that are not needed in scenes. Check with your Director or Assistant Director before leaving rehearsal each night to confirm the schedule. Check the Green Room Stream and your messages in Green Room periodically. Any changes in rehearsal schedule of who is called should be posted no later than 12:30 pm on the online rehearsal calendar. It is the Director’s responsibility to have the information out in a timely fashion and your responsibility to check for updates.
- REHEARSAL END TIME No one should leave a rehearsal until dismissed by the director or the stage manager. The absence of any one person can waste the time of many others. If an emergency requires leaving, it is the responsibility of the actor or crew member to notify the Director or Stage Manager, immediately and not another cast or crew member.
- CALL THE DIRECTOR/STAGE MANAGER/ASSISTANT DIRECTOR as soon as possible (whomever is designated by the Director) if you are going to be late or absent.
- SIGN IN at every rehearsal and performance.
- SCRIPT Bring your production packet and script and a note pad to EVERY rehearsal and make sure you have a pencil with you at every rehearsal. Come prepared to take written notes. CHANGE HAPPENS, so USE PENCIL – NOT PEN.
- USE OF TIME. There certainly is a social aspect and great camaraderie that happens in participation in creating theatre. Remember, however, that the focus of being together during production, rehearsals, work-calls and performance, is in creating an excellent and memorable performance. If your active participation is not required for a while, spend time for line study, observing and learning from other actors and the director or performing other production related activities as appropriate.
- QUIET DURING REHEARSALS. Please minimize talking (or other noise) in the rehearsal area by those not involved in the scene. Any unnecessary noise adversely affects a performer’s concentration and, therefore, the rehearsal or the performance itself.
- BEING OFF BOOK AND OTHER DEADLINES. When the cast is scheduled to be off-book (Not using the script or written notes for lines) it is expected that each cast member will know his/her lines.
- ALCOHOL, DRUGS TOBACCO VAPOR PRODUCTS AND GUM USE No alcohol or drugs or tobacco, or vapor products are to be consumed on the premises before, and during and rehearsals and performances. No gum unless by instruction from your director as a part of your role. Smoking, vapor product and tobacco product use is allowed only outside the building away from any doors. Dispose of field stripped cigarette butts in trash only, this means not the street, courtyard grass, and sidewalk or flower pots.
- CELL PHONES, MP3 PLAYERS, I-Pads, etc. These devices can cause inattentiveness or unwanted distractions. No cell phone use of any kind including texting or games, in the theater backstage or in the lobby. Check with your Director on any exceptions.
- VISITORS AND GUESTS Each Director is different, but as a general rule cast/crew are discouraged from bringing visitors to rehearsal. Check with your Director to see what his/her policy is. Individuals not connected with the rehearsal should not attend rehearsals unless it is arranged through the director or stage manager. At the discretion of your director, rehearsals may be closed to the public, parents, family or friends. ABSOLUTELY NO VISITORS IN THE GREEN ROOM, DRESSING ROOMS OR BACKSTAGE BEFORE OR AFTER PERFORMANCES! Most actors use the time before a performance to get into make-up, costume and concentrate on their character. People other than cast/crew are an unneeded and annoying distraction. If you feel you must give someone a “tour”, please arrange it ahead of time, checking first with the Director, House Manager and Stage Manager.
- PHOTOGRAPHY AND SOCIAL MEDIA You may not publish in any format including social media, photographs of minor children who are in the production without the written permission of their parents. Social media is a wonderful tool for promoting a performance. Please use your own social media to promote the production. Please “like” our SFA Facebook page daily and “share” our posts and information on your own page. We encourage you to forward any good photographs you might have to our marketing director who may use them on our webpage and in other promotions of the production or the SFA
- COSTUMES. The Director and the Costume Director will determine the proper costumes for each character for the production. Cast and crew work together with the Costume Director to help provide or create costumes. Costumes are often borrowed from individuals or other theatre companies or are rented. It is all of our responsibility, as an ensemble, to take good care of all costumes. Often, many hours have gone into the creation of each costume for the production. It is the responsibility of the actor to care for the costume and wear it appropriately. No eating or drinking while in costume.
- MAKEUP Actors are responsible for their own makeup. During the dress rehearsal period, assistance in the design and technique for each character will be provided, but normally each actor should be able to apply their own makeup following the final dress rehearsal. Assistance will be provided for special makeup applications
- PROPS Don’t touch or move any props on props tables in the dressing room. Anything you find backstage needs to be left in its place. Once your show opens, check your own props every night before and after performances. It is your responsibility, not the Stage Manager’s, to make sure you have your props and that they are in the right place. Leave props belonging to others alone. Moving props is grounds for justifiable homicide in theatre! Props are often borrowed, rented and/or irreplaceable and should not be used by anyone other than the designated actor.
- APPEARANCE After you are cast in your role, DO NOT CHANGE YOUR APPEARANCE IN ANY WAY without checking with your Director first. This includes shaving or growing of beards and change of hair style. You may be requested to change your appearance as part of your role.
- EXPENDITURES The Director sets a budget for each production and the Board of SFA approves that budget. The budget is the limit of money that the Director may spend on the production. The Director must get Board pre-approval to amend that budget in any way.
Any reimbursable expenditures for the production must be pre -approved by the Director. Read and follow these steps if you expect to get reimbursed for your expenditures. a. Original, readable, receipts with clear date, are required in order for reimbursement to be issued by SFA . (On a rare occasion, a scanned copy may suffice.) b. Loose receipts will not be accepted c. Tape the receipt to a blank page. Write on the page with the receipt attached a.) Your name, b.) The date turned in c.) What (itemize) the expenditure was for d. Make a copy for your records. e. Turn all of your receipts in to your director 1.) At the same time 2.)In an envelope 3.)With your name on the outside 4.) By the striking of the set of the last performance. You will be reimbursed within 30 days (usually much sooner) of the last performance.
18. SET CONSTRUCTION – We do request that everyone work on sets as requested by the Director or Stage Manager. We are a community theater, and we rely on each other to accomplish the huge task of putting on these shows. During the early weeks of rehearsal, your primary responsibility as an actor is to learn your lines and get “into” your character. Your Director will let you know dates for set construction, painting, etc. These will often occur on Saturdays and Sundays and if you are comfortable with it, any help you can give during these times would be very much appreciated by everyone concerned. This is a great time to socialize and bond with the cast and crew members who don’t work with you nightly. Although you may not always see them, many of them have been at work many weeks before you, and are working nightly at home or otherwise behind the scenes. Everyone is needed to make a production happen!
- TECHNICAL (TECH) REHEARSAL. This is often the longest rehearsal, and it is often the most important. It is the first time that most of the technical elements are joined with production. Patience is needed from all involved. Remember that the technical crew has only a few hours to perfect their part of the production while the cast has been working for several weeks.
- DRESS REHEARSALS. These final rehearsals require the total concentration of the performers and crew, because new elements might still be integrated into the production.
- PERFORMANCES No actors should be in the house or visible in costume to patrons one hour prior to performances.
- ACTOR/DIRECTOR ETIQUETTE Actors act. Directors direct. Do not confuse the two. Please don’t direct your fellow actors during rehearsal or performances. Most Directors are open to suggestions, but clear any suggestions you may have with him/her first, in private. If you need to share an idea or don’t feel good about some aspect of the show, including your character, blocking, etc., talk to your Director privately. If you, have needs, positive suggestions about the production or about the facility, or unresolvable issues with other cast members or crew, please discuss them one-on-one with the director or her/his designated person at an appropriate time. Do not expect the director to stop production or rehearsal to listen to your input or complaint. Do not expect an immediate response or change. The Director will respectfully consider your input but is under no obligation to integrate your suggestions into the performance. Never argue with the Director in front of other actors from the stage or any other place, during any part of the rehearsal process.
- INTERPERSONAL ISSUES AND RESOLUTION. Please attempt to resolve your own issues with the other person first, one-on-one out of earshot of others if at all possible. If you have unresolvable issues with other cast members or crew, please discuss them one-on-one with the Director, or her/his designated person at an appropriate time. Do not expect the director to stop production or rehearsal to listen to your input or complaint. Do not expect an immediate response or change. Complaining to other cast and crew is inappropriate, artistically unprofessional, distracting and disruptive to other’s abilities to focus on their own performance. If an issue is not resolved by the Director to your satisfaction, you are to go to the Vice President (Performing Arts) of SFA . The VP will attempt to resolve the issue and/or may, as appropriate, take the complaint to the Board of Directors. However, airing your grievances in social media, during a rehearsal or a production, is inappropriate, and may result in immediate termination of your relationship with the performance and with SFA . Please go through the chain of command as described above to help resolve problems.
- DIRECTOR’S DISCRETION The director has the right to terminate any cast, crew, or volunteer member’s participation at any time. The Director answers to the Board of SFA .
- PLEASE CLEAN UP AFTER YOURSELF The house, dressing rooms, green room, rehearsal space and auditorium are to be kept clean during rehearsals. Check your rehearsal environment (theater, lobby and backstage) before you leave each time. Please make sure costumes are hung up after each rehearsal and performance.
- FOOD Because we all work jobs in “real life”, we sometimes rush directly from work to rehearsals or performances. Food in the house or backstage is permitted during rehearsal as long as the posted guidelines for disposing of food and food containers are followed. A recycle can is in the lobby. Concessions in the lobby are available to cast and crew at reduced rate. If you must eat dinner at the theater before a performance, take it into the dressing room. Be sure all food and food containers are removed from the premises before you leave. If you bring it, in take it out. And never, ever, eat in costume!
- PARKING Beginning dress rehearsal week and during all performances the Director or Stage Manager will instruct all actors/crew where to park. Generally, call times are 5:00 during the intense week before a production but your Director may change that, so be flexible. Please check in with your Stage Manager and sign in as soon as you get to the performance space.
- STRIKING THE SET AND POST PERFORMANCE THEATER CLEANUP As with set construction, it is our expectation that all cast, crew, and parents of minor children, and children, as age appropriate, will help. Since we do not own the theater space and there may be another performer/group following us within a few days, it is important that we strike the set completely and clean the theater space from the street front, courtyard, front lobby to dressing rooms. We will have cleanup check list available to make sure all is addressed. We need to leave the space ready for the next performers, cast, crew and audience to walk in, ready to create and to enjoy great entertainment. We ask that all actors take any personal items in dressing rooms, return costumes/props to Costume Manager/Props Manager. Make sure dressing rooms are clean. The more hands to help, the quicker we can dismiss to the critically important ….
- CAST PARTY! The cast party is a great way to close, to celebrate your achievement have great fun and to say good bye. In most cases, your cast party will occur immediately after everyone helps the set strike and do theater cleanup or the week after. It may be on site at the theater, courtyard or at a different location.
- GREEN ROOM Our online communication space is made available to the cast and crew only. All correspondence concerning the production will be done through this tool. Please use proper online etiquette when posting.