NOT INTERESTED IN ACTING?
If, like quite a number of our members (and some long-standing ones at that!), you feel that acting is not your thing, don't go away with the idea that joining DDS is a waste of time!
Getting a dramatic production up and running takes a lot of work - and not just from the actors and the producer! Anyone who has ever been to the theatre cannot fail to have noticed how much work has gone into the design and construction of the set - but the set doesn't come ready made, any more than it happens by itself! Were it not for the dedicated efforts of a team of backstage enthusiasts, we would be restricted to curtain sets, augmented with a few bits of furniture.
Thursday evening is our set-building night: work usually starts with the demolition of the previous play's set (always a sad occasion, but after you've worked on a dozen or so sets, you get used to it!), and removal of pieces of scenery and flats.
Then it's down to Peter Hagger, our resident Stage Manager/Set Designer to initiate the building of the set for the next play. Pete is not only a very creative innovator, but is the friendliest chap you could ever hope to meet! Perhaps his greatest skill as far as DDS are concerned is in finding plenty of jobs for everyone to do - you are never left standing around helplessly, wondering what you might be doing!
You don't need to be an expert on carpentry, joinery, paperhanging or painting (but if you are it certainly helps!) - there are a thousand and one things to be done with every production. Most people who come down on Thursdays enjoy the friendly companionship as much as anything!
If you are interested, contact Peter Hagger on 386 7085 or Lesley Anderson on 01207 521678.
Lighting and Sound
Gordon Lawrie is our Lighting/Sound man, but he can aways use some help: not only is the lighting (including house lights) and sound controlled from the lighting box, but so is the raising and lowering of the curtain, special effects (like ringing phones and doorbells, gunshots, slamming of doors offstage) and special signals to actors. Moreover, all of these things must take place precisely on cue! It's a fascinating activity, and, if you're interested, don't hesitate to give Gordon a ring on 01207 438152.
Almost every play calls for costumes to be made, or more usually items from our very large wardrobe of costumes need to be altered to suit either the period and style of the play or the shape and size of the actor wearing the outfit! If you're handy with a needle and thread, Marion Clapham will be keen to hear from you on 384 8624.
Of equal importance, especially during
the run of the play, is the invaluable "props" team:
it is their job to ensure that the correct properties are
on stage at the right time, that the items which the actors need to bring on are available at the correct time (and in the correct place!), and that,
at the end of each scene or act, items not required are "struck" (i.e. removed from the stage). The important contribution of the props team often
goes unnoticed - unfortunately the more so the better and more seamlessly the job is done! (You have probably all seen plays where an actor
reaches for the box of cigars, only to find that they aren't there!). If this critical feature of dramatic production appeals to you, please don't
hesitate to contact Jessica Beard or Heather Prestwich on 0191 386 1537. They will be delighted to hear from you.
Front of House
We always need people Front of House during the week of any play's run. It's not just a matter of taking people's tickets and ushering them in; people like to talk about the play, the Theatre, what is going to be on next, and so on. If you like talking to people, this is an activity where we can use your help- it's often a great opportunity for recruiting new members!