If you have an itch for the stage and don’t know how to scratch it, you’re in the right place. I’m going to show you how you can scratch that itch in a way that is super easy and fun. How?
Community theatre auditions.
Hold your horses. I know I’m getting ahead of myself so let me backtrack.
Community Theater Plays – By the People for the People
Just as the name says, community theatre plays are organized by the community, for the community, and feature talent from the community. Although collaborations between the community and professional performers is normal, the main thrust is to involve and impact the community. Community theatres vary in size from small groups led by individuals (usually performing in rented spaces) to large companies with well-equipped facilities of their own. Most community theatres are successful, non-profit businesses with a large active membership and full-time professional staff to run the day to day business.
Advantages of Community Theater Plays
Even though community theatres may not make a profit money-wise, they have a lot of advantages that outweigh the economic factor.
1. A Great Way to Expose Local Talent
Every community has a lot of talent waiting to be exposed. For some of the members of the community, the chance to go to major colleges to study performing arts, or the opportunity to go out for some major auditions is non-existent. Community theatre plays bridge this gap. No matter if they are small cast plays for community theatres that you are involved in, chances of being discovered are higher than if you were doing nothing. Don’t take community theatre auditions lightly; they could hold the key to a successful acting career.
2. Unite the Community
Nothing unites a community more than a project undertaken together. And there is no better project a community theatre play. From the onstage tasks to the backstage tasks to the completely off stage tasks involved in making the community theatre a success, every piece of the puzzle brings the community together in a special way. A community that is united is the best environment to produce a successful future for individuals, the community, and the nation.
3. Sharpen the Skills of the Performers
Community theatre plays are one of the best ways to sharpen your acting or singing skills. The friendly familiar environment gives you the freedom to experiment with your talents and skills in ways you can’t if you are in a more “professional” environment. Many gifts have been discovered, honed, and perfected in community theatres. That’s exactly what happened to Captain America, oh, sorry, Chris Evans. He discovered his gift of acting in a community theatre, honed it in community theatre plays, and the rest, well, you know the rest.
4. Develop the Community Socially, Politically, and Economically
Community theatres are a powerful tool that communities can use to advance themselves. Sometimes all a community needs to drive change is one voice – and that is exactly what community theatre is all about. It is the community speaking as one. This is a theory that was developed by a Brazilian theatre practitioner, Augusto Boal, which he called the “Theater of the Oppressed”. In simple terms, he believed that theatre could be used to sensitize people about the need for social and political change and drive that change through theatre.
How to Maximize the Opportunity Presented by Community Theatre
Now that you have seen how important community theatre is for the community and individuals, as an actor, you need to know how to maximize community theatre to advance your career.
1. Give it Your All
Many people don’t take community theatre auditions seriously, but that is a grave mistake. Just because you’re auditioning for a non-profit play you’ll be performing for people you’re familiar with doesn’t mean you should leave you’re “A” game behind. After all, you never know who is there.
2. Use it to Gain Experience (And Create a Demo)
Ever heard of “catch-22”? This is your way out. Community theatre plays provide you with the opportunity to get the experience you need to land bigger gigs. While you’re at it, have a friend record your performance so that you can add it to your portfolio. Many an actor have used musicals from community theatre to showcase their ability and prove their worth.
Join the Community – Theatre That Is
If you haven’t yet joined your local community theatre, go ahead and do so now. It is a move you will be glad you made. And be sure to take your “A” game with you to the next community theatre auditions.