A B C of AM DRAM
by Bev Clark
So here’s a little run through the alphabet for all those amateur groups planning on putting on a show.
A IS FOR AMATEUR but that doesn’t mean there has to be anything low-grade about your production or your performances. Just because you don’t get paid you can still give a professional performance and be as good and sometimes even better. Remember – the Titanic was built by professionals and the Ark was built by amateurs so believe in success.
A IS FOR AUDIENCE who should always be your first consideration. They are paying to come and support you and they deserve the best you can offer. You may not have the money for elaborate sets and costumes but if they can see you have put hard work and effort in and are enjoying what you do, they will come back again. Make their experience a good one from the time they enter the theatre.
A IS FOR AUDITORIUM Whether it’s a village hall seating a hundred or a state of the art theatre. If it’s a studio space or an outdoor venue the auditorium must allow the audience to be comfortable and to see and hear the performers on the ACTING AREA — which may not be a stage in the traditional proscenium –arch sense. If you are able, think of interesting ways you can present your production by using theatre-in-the round, traverse, thrust or promenade.
A IS FOR ACTION. It is often forgotten that to act comes from action. Quite often directors have their actors sitting opposite each other talking, without considering how boring this can be for an audience to watch. Of course a great script and brilliant actors can captivate an audience without moving but most plays need movement to drive the action of the plot along. Always consider – is the audience going to be entertained or moved by what’s happening in the plot?
Bev Clark is a Playwright, Director & Drama adjudicator who has worked all over England in both professional and community theatre. She has been writing drama scripts and directing plays for many years.