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Show Fees


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#1 theatremonkey.com

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Posted 13 January 2014 - 01:25 PM

There was an advert in my local paper for "Open Auditions for a (school version) production of 'Les Miserables,'" put in by a theatre school company.

In small letters far below, it added "show fee payable if successful."

Is this kind of thing normal now? Rather than sending children to weekly drama clubs with an "end of term" show every so often, they can just (probably, as I'm guessing almost everybody gets cast...) pitch up and 'pay to be in a show' now?

There's obviously no scam or anything going on, but I'm really curious, as I'd have felt the friendship and tradition that goes with an ongoing theatre group is a huge part of what theatre in general is about?

#2 Michael H

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Posted 13 January 2014 - 02:06 PM

Show fees are very common in amateur theatre.

Helps to keep the ticket cost down, and reduce a little of the risk of ticket sales not being so successful.  Also means that those who do more shows end up paying more than members who don't.  And it helps with the timing of cashflows - it can take a long time to get ticket income back from some venues, and there are always a lot of costs that need to be paid upfront.
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#3 EmiCardiff

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Posted 13 January 2014 - 02:08 PM

From what I know, people who are involved in both running and being a part of amateur theatre then yes fairly common. A one-off show fee rather than weekly fees seem to be the norm now. Obviously depends on the company/production etc
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#4 fringefan

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Posted 13 January 2014 - 02:09 PM

It seems surprising at first, but on reflection is probably only in tune with the times.  And school budgets are being pinched, so even a normal (i.e. non-stage) school might look at how to cover the cost of play texts, etc.  The same seems to apply to comparable leisure activities:  I've just joined a choir, and it's impressively well-organised, with a website and the facility to download the songs we're learning, etc.  But all that costs money (as does renting the rehearsal space, etc), and members have to pay for the term in advance.

#5 Epicoene

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Posted 13 January 2014 - 02:28 PM

Never come across it before in either amateur or schools theatre. I wonder if they are a recent innovation or more common in particular locations (ie. London).

#6 jaqs

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Posted 13 January 2014 - 02:36 PM

Growing up my local theatre always had an intensive session for a summer show that wasn't affiliated with any drama group in particular, that was looooong ago so not sure its new.

#7 wickedgrin

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Posted 13 January 2014 - 05:00 PM

Yes, it is common practise with amateur societies who require a membership fee and sometimes a show fee on top of that. This can help somewhat in rehearsal venue hire etc. However, these shows have to be auditioned for in the usual way. It is not a case that anyone can turn up, pay their fee and be in the show, standards have to be maintained and for safety reasons only a limited number can be cast and on stage. Any hobby costs money to do whether it be golf, skiing, painting or amateur dramatics.

#8 Michael H

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Posted 13 January 2014 - 05:17 PM

View Postwickedgrin, on 13 January 2014 - 05:00 PM, said:

golf

And, as I always say, amdram is a lot cheaper than golf.
Me is directing again - Private Peaceful at the Charles Cryer Theatre, Carshalton, 23 to 26 April 2014.

#9 craftymiss

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 05:34 AM

My kids pay 30pa for their amateur drama classes, it's linked to an amateur group who have their own theatre, there is no weekly fee. There are also groups like Rare that do one off shows where everyone gets cast as they have shows with large ensembles and they charge a fee. It covers insurance, costume hire, venue charges etc. I don't know how much they charge each student

#10 theatremonkey.com

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 08:59 AM

Fascinating replies, thanks all!

If I can open it a bit more, please... the advert was for children not adult groups. Do people think it is better for children to be involved in a regular club where they can have fun and learn and make friends over time, or is it OK to just "sign on for a project" and probably get no development space? I'm thinking it depends on ages - older ones a project is OK, but how do others feel?




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