What You Can Do
Our directors know their plays and they guide actors, help with interpretation, characterisation, movement and projection. They have a vision. The set designers and lighting and sound engineers turn this vision into reality. We rehearse three nights a week for 6-7 weeks. With 6 plays a year, we are always on the lookout for new directors with fresh ideas, and will provide mentoring and practical support to members willing to direct for the first time.
We present a diverse range of high quality plays. In order to uphold our reputation, we keep our productions alive by welcoming new actors. Whether you have years of experience or are new to acting, we welcome you. Our productions are usually 6 performances (Monday to Saturday evenings). Cast help strike the set and return the theatre to normal on the Sunday morning after the final performance.
She/he provides the link between all areas of a production. Good man-management and organisational skills are called for here, from making sure the cast turn up for rehearsals on the right night to co-ordinating production meetings to dealing with any other snags which might occur along the route to Opening Night.
The stage management team are responsible for making sure a production runs smoothly. A stage manager needs to be flexible and have a working knowledge of all departments including technical, directing and acting.
The set designer designs an acting space which:
- Supports the action of the play (entrances, windows, stairs, etc.)
- Maintains the safety of the cast and crew
- Creates the right mood and feel for the play as the
Director sees it
- Allows the audience to see all the action, but nothing else
- Can be built by the Set Builders
The set builders turn the Designer’s concept into reality. To lead the set building you need to be highly skilled but to assist you need only the willingness to have a go. You know a good set when it is completed by the presence of the actors.
Lighting & Sound
We need people with technical knowledge and ability to design and operate lighting and sound equipment. We will also train people new to these areas.
As part of the backstage team, you will help with scene changes and costume changes. It’s a good way to learn about Stage Management too. Backstage volunteers will be contacted by a member of the production team to ask if you’re available for a particular show. Alternatively, you can attend the play reading and indicate your availability. Space is limited backstage and there is often only the need for a couple of stage crew.
The props person finds the correct props either from the company’s prop store or elswehere. Ebay has become a popular source! We also value people who are good with their hands and can actually make props!
Costumes can add a sense of reality to a show. Done well, people do not really notice them, however an audience will sense if they’re out of time or place. It helps if you can sew but it’s not essential.
Marketing & Publicity
Members of the team run the Box Office, create the posters and programmes, put adverts in the press, administer the website, take the photos, manage membership and produce the newsletter. We welcome people with design flair, writing skills, IT & media skills as well as a willingness to help promote our productions and our theatre.
Front of House & Bar
Our evacuation procedures are a condition of the Swan’s public performance licence, agreed with SSDC and the Fire & Rescue Service. The Swan must provide three Front Of House staff plus two bar staff each night of every public performance, as well as two coffee helpers.
For a six night run that’s 42 people, all volunteers! To meet this commitment, it is a condition of membership that full members help with FOH and bar. Patrons are welcome and encouraged to help if they can. You will be sent a link via email for you to sign up via a Doodle Poll. If insufficient volunteers sign up, you may also receive a follow-up telephone call.
The FOH team are the first people our audience meet. They deal with tickets, sell programmes, answer questions about the theatre and its facilities, serve tea and coffee or drinks from the bar, and generally try to ensure that a visit to the Swan Theatre is as enjoyable as possible.
For every public performance, we have on duty:
One Theatre Manager:
who is responsible for the entire building while it is open to the public.
Four people in the foyer:
1 selling programmes
1 taking tickets
2 serving coffees and teas
One Box Office Manager:
We have a Box Office Manager who is responsible for ticketing arrangements, and who will be at the theatre before the start of every show.
Two People in the Bar:
We need two bar staff for every public performance. These people are also required for our evacuation procedures. We also have a bar manager who ensures the bar is kept well stocked. If you enjoy talking to people and are willing to help maintain stock levels and, especially if you have retail experience, please get in touch.
We will train you to be a theatre manager or work behind the bar and teach you how to operate the coffee machine. Volunteering is a good way to meet other members.
St John’s Ambulance also provide two volunteers per show.