If you would like to act on stage, casting takes place about 10 weeks prior to the production. Dates and times of our open auditions are posted in the monthly newsletter and on social media. Rehearsals take place 2-3 times a week, up to 8 weeks prior to a production. However, these timings are flexible. Out of 5 plays in a season, one must be right for you! However, we also produce a number of shorter plays, which are performed in our intimate studio space upstairs. These can then be entered into local one-act festivals, which usually take place between April and July of each year.
The smooth running of our well-stocked bar is very important. Our volunteer bar staff are on duty 45 minutes before the show, during the interval, and after the show.
Our box office staff manage all ticket sales, whether online, by phone or in person - making sure you get the seat you want with the minimum of fuss.
It is the Director's vision of the play that we see on stage. He or she casts and rehearses with the actors, liaises with sound, lights, and the stage team to take that vision from page to stage. For budding directors, we firstly give them an opportunity to assistant-direct a play with a seasoned MADS Director to learn all aspects of what it takes to successfully transfer a play from initial read-through to final performance. Assistant Directors then go on to direct studio productions or one-act plays before moving on to direct a full length, main stage show.
These are the group of people who organise trips to other theatres, the end-of-season barbecue, the summer tea party, the Christmas mulled wine evening as well as the in-house and outside social events that constitute a thoroughly good night out.
The show starts with the Front of House Manager. They are generally responsible for all matters, including health and safety, in front of the stage in the public domain.
Good lighting helps tell the story. It creates the mood, the atmosphere and makes the set come alive. If you have an eye for lighting and want to learn how to set, focus and program the lights, or even just to run the lights during a production, then come and join us.
The properties or "props" department is responsible for making sure that all the items on the stage for a show, the so-called "set dressing", are in place for each scene and each actor has his or her items to take on stage. They are also the ghostly figures that you sometimes see, dressed in black during scene changes.
Have you the design flair to create the shows' posters, organise their printing and have the press release ready on time? Or maybe you are a wiz at social media, photography or video production? If so, then our publicity team would like to meet you!
This is a must for the budding and the gifted DIY'er. Set design is a working harmony between designer, director and the script. If you want to be involved with the backstage crew in any way, from joinery and carpentry to painting and special prop construction, then talk to the director or stage manager of any production during Thursday Club Nights and join the team!
The art of noise, heard but not seen. It takes only a fingertip to make an impact, ring a doorbell, make a cow moo, fly a helicopter, crash a car... even flush the loo! Sourcing and creating a play's sound effects, along with finding the right music, is great fun and adds so much to a show's atmosphere.
The stage manager is responsible for making sure there is a set on which to perform and a safe environment for both actors and crew backstage. He or she also "runs" the production during show week, giving all the cues to the lighting and sound folk, as well as being in total control of everyone backstage.
There are normally 2 stewards in the audience for every production; they are there for anyone needing assistance in the auditorium.
The wardrobe team has to costume the cast in the correct outfits for the period, gender and setting. It can be a challenge! But our extensive MADS wardrobe plus our connections with other local theatres as well as with The Royal Exchange in Manchester means that the team can usually find all the right costumes for our plays. And if they can't, then the sewing machines come out and we make the costumes we can't source. So if you are interested in making a Victorian ball gown, or a flapper dress, or if you just want to learn about costume (and maybe turn up a hem or two), or perhaps you just want to rummage through local charity shops to find just the right outfit, then MADS wardrobe is for you!