GENERAL COMMENTS AND EXPLANATION FOR NEW MEMBERS
Unlike many similar companies, the Nonentities Society does not cast its plays by competitive audition. Instead it uses a method in which auditions, workshops, play readings or any other suitable platform for exploring talents are interwoven and monitored by the experience and knowledge of the Artistic Director and the Production Advisory Group . Whilst some new Members may find the system slightly strange, we believe it has the benefit of fairness, allowing the skills and talents of all members, however inexperienced, to be encouraged and developed, whilst ensuring strong casting for plays across the season.
All new members who wish to act with The Society will be invited to a workshop or meeting organised by The Artistic Directorand membership manager. Current members and representatives of the Production Advisory Group (PAG) may join in to welcome them and assist them in learning about the society
Intending participants at the Auditions may prepare Audition pieces if they wish, but informal theatre games and activities will be organised to help them explore their abilities. it is hoped that this will help integrate them and make contact with other members and, on acceptance of their application and payment of the appropriate subscription, they will join the Nonentities company.
Established members may also apply to attend one of the periodic workshops should they wish to demonstrate a side of their talents, which they believe may have been overlooked in the previous Casting Process.
PLAY SELECTION PROCEDURE
The Artistic Director will seek play suggestions from the membership, as a precursor to the selection of the season, and may define the policy on which plays are selected and a suitable theme around which a particular season will be built. All members are entitled to make suggestions for future productions via the AD or PAG
A Season of Plays will be chosen by The Artistic Director and the Production Advisory Group (PAG) Members to PAG are appointed annually by the Artistic Director and their names will be reported to committee and the membership as a whole. It is expected that PAG members will see all Nonentities productions in performance. Details of the current membership of PAG will be found on the website.
After discussion with, and ratification by, The Committee, the chosen season will be presented to The Membership, usually in a formal General meeting, of which due notice will be given. This will usually be held in the Summer which precedes the new season which will then start in the autumn of each year. The season will have been previously ratified by the Committee and will therefore not be subject to a vote by The Membership as a whole.
The Committee may, in advance of the procedure, define criteria for the selection of plays, in order to meet the Society's objectives from time to time.
APPOINTMENT OF DIRECTORS AND CASTING OBJECTIVES
Choice of Directors for the various plays lies solely with the Artistic Director who will identify prospective directors for the season and invite first and second choices from them regarding their preference of play.. They will then be invited to take on a production.
The Nonentities Society does not, as a matter of usual practice, cast by a competitive Audition process. Our practice aims to achieve as far as is possible, what we believe to be essential balance and equality of opportunity for all acting members. However, the Artistic Director reserves the right from time to time to call for auditions for specific parts and members of the PAG and the appointed Director will attend these auditions. The primary objectives of the casting procedure are to ensure, as far as is possible, that:
- all Nonentities Productions are cast, as far as possible,with equal strength across the season,
- all members who wish to act are treated fairly and their abilities respected,
- within the requirements of the chosen plays, as many members as possible are enabled to play interesting or significant parts during the season as a whole, always allowing for the availability of the actors concerned.
-all acting members are enabled to improve their skills and experience by encouragement to play as wide a variety of parts as may lie within their compass.
- an additional objective will be to ensure "balance" from one season to the next.
The Objectives and Procedure should be monitored by the Committee
1. Prior to casting, The Artistic Director will request from the members details of their availability for the forthcoming set of plays. This is usually carried out by the issue of pro-forma availability sheets to all members. Experience suggests that this procedure is best undertaken twice during the season, therefore the season is divided into two halves. At the same time as seeking availability, the Artistic Director may ask the Membership for their preferences as to parts for which they wish to be considered or any dates in the rehearsal schedule which may affect their casting. Submission of availability is a pre-requisite for expressing casting preferences and wishes may be expressed in confidence.
2. The Artistic Director will timetable a series of Casting Workshops, for all the plays in each portion of the season, in good time before the start of rehearsals. These exploratory workshops will be attended by the designated Play Director and all members are invited to attend, regardless of whether they are available for the production. They will be organised in such a way that members as far as possible are afforded the opportunity of reading a variety of parts. These workshops may take on many forms and will be run by the director who may provide selected extracts from the play where actors can explore the characters and scenes in more depth. (In the event of non- attendance at the play readings, members can contact the both the Artistic Director /Play Director to ask to be considered for casting)
3. Casting is solely in the hands of the AD and PAG. The appointed directors will always be consulted by the AD as to casting preferences and will have the opprtunity to discuss their choices, but the final decision on casting will always remain with the AD and PAG to ensure that each production contains a fair mixture of performaers spread across the season.
4. Final Casting will be based on these criteria:
- The experience gained from observation of skills and the workshops
- The need at all times to provide "balance" in casting from the actors who make themselves available. We aim to give everyone the opportunity to perform at least once during a season, depending on their ability and the roles on offer.
- The knowledge and experience of the Artistic Director and The Production Advisory Group, of the abilities of the Acting Members.
- Where possible, the wishes of the appointed Director
5. The Artistic Director will announce the casting decision in good time twice a year. before rehearsals are due to start for groups of plays,or, if circumstances require, for individual plays.