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“I’d like to direct a particular show. How can I make that happen at BDACT?”

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 “I’d like to direct a particular show.  How can I make that happen at BDACT?”

Over the course of the last 60 Seasons at BDACT there have been several ways to answer that question.  In the 1960s, most of the early directors came from within the group who started the theater.  Along the way, others outside the original group began to inquire, and sometimes, were even recruited, to direct a show.

Every community theater has approached this differently. Some theaters simply “wait” for someone to step forward and offer to direct a show.  However, there is a risk of having no one step forward.  Alternatively, other theater groups choose all of the shows they’d like to do, and then advertise for someone to direct those shows.  Both of these methods have their advantages and drawbacks.

At BDACT we’ve developed a sort of “hybrid” between the two. Starting with the summer mainstage musical for 2025, BDACT will choose only that show title, and then advertise for directors who want to direct that show.  Directors for this show, and all other shows during the season, will go through the show proposal process:

  1. STEP ONE: On the BDACT website and through social media, we announce when we are looking for directors with shows to propose.  For example, we are currently seeking individuals who have a show in mind to direct January through May 2025.  This is the time of our first mainstage production, usually in March or April.
  2. STEP TWO: Once you’ve decided on a show you’d like to direct, contact theater staff to schedule a meeting.  We’ll help you fill out the show proposal. We’ll help you with budget numbers you may be unaware of.  We’ll help you make the form complete.  Whether you have one production on your directing credit list or 10, we want EVERYONE to have the same opportunity to direct a show here, and so we assist at this stage of the process to make sure everyone is completely ready to take their pitch to STEP THREE. If you’ve never directed a show but would like to, let us know.  We love to help people learn new skills in the theater.  We’ll help you gain some experience!
  3. STEP THREE: Present your show idea to the Selection Committee.  This group is made up of the theater staff, some members of the Board of Directors, and some individuals who are not staff or board members.  They’ll read through your proposal and ask questions about the budget, how the show might be received by our local audience, and even why you want to direct this particular show.  (This is where STEP TWO comes in handy.  We’ll prepare you for all those questions.)
  4. STEP FOUR: The Selection Committee, after hearing the proposals, discusses all options in a closed meeting.  Having worked with this particular committee for several seasons now, I can honestly state they are a very educated, experienced, attentive and thoughtful group.  The discussions are lively and in-depth.  Often the committee would like to see ALL the shows that were pitched.  However, there may not be room to fit them all in the next season.  Decisions are made with a view of the entire season and with BDACT’s mission statement and values in mind.
  5. STEP FIVE: You will be notified if your proposal has been accepted.  Sometimes the committee really loves your idea, but feels it would be more appropriate in a different season.  Don’t be offended if the show you pitch isn’t chosen the first time you propose it.  You may be asked to pitch the show again next year.

 

That’s all there is to it! 

If you do direct a show at BDACT, we’ll also meet with you after the show closes to get your feedback in an effort to improve the process going forward.  We’ll provide you with all the final numbers, and you’ll see just how well the show succeeded in relation to expenses, income, and audience attendance.

If you are interested in directing a show at BDACT  please check our website www.bdact.org for more information.  As always, I can be reached with questions regarding anything related to BDACT at managingdirector@bdact.org or (920) 885-6891.

Next time, we’ll discuss All Things Volunteers!