Beaconsfield Theatre Group has produced a varied selection of plays for over sixty years, in a number of different locations including our current home at The Beacon Theatre in Holtspur.
Beaconsfield Theatre Group is a member group with all actors and technical crew being required to join, with an annual membership fee payable, with the funds raised helping with the ongoing costs of running the group. This membership fee entitles the member to be involved in productions, and if interested, help in the running of the group by joining the committee.
Annual membership is just £25 per year per member.
Each production presents challenges to the technical team that supports that show.
There are a number of factors that each production team must evaluate before the audience see the end result and planning will often start anywhere between three and six months before “first night”.
The director of each production will explain their vision of the show, and working with a set designer and lighting designer, that team will come up with a look for the acting area.
As far as the acting area goes, our staging ranges from a clear stage, heavily reliant on lighting to set the scene; box sets depicting physical rooms to transport the audience to the play’s location; or a hybrid solution.
Beaconsfield Theatre Group owns a quantity of staging equipment ranging from flattage, used to make walls and box sets, through to Trilite which we use for rigging and a multitude of staging uses.
Members of the group will often make pieces of scenery or furniture that are required that cannot be sourced elsewhere, to fit into the overall design.
The Beacon Theatre has a range of lighting and sound equipment that is available for use with the hire of the venue. There are occasions where their stock of equipment available does not meet all of our requirements, so we will source the additional items from a number of local hire companies.
Sound effects are also an integral part of any production, ranging from welcome announcements, specific sound effects, music to set a mood, scene change music through to interval music. The production team will work together to source the sound, with a member of the group running the sound desk at each performance.
The director’s vision, as well as the play itself, will also guide the style of costumes that will be required. We sometimes set a production outside its obvious timeframe, for example a Shakespeare play actually set in the 1920s for example.
The costume designer and team source costumes from many sources such as the RSC, our own stock or other theatre groups when required.
Bespoke pieces of costume that we cannot source are sometimes made by members of the group. These are added to our collection of costumes as the conclusion of the production.
To further enhance the production, members of the team will look at the hairstyles and makeup required to assist the actor to get into character. This can range from wigs and dyed hair, to false bruises or aging of an actor through the course of a performance.
There are many aspects to a production not listed above. These include poster design, publicity, advertising, programme design, box office, front of house, book, prompt, stage manager and assistant stage managers to name but a few.
You many just want to act, and the appeal of joining Beaconsfield Theatre Group is obvious from the outset in that regard, but the technical aspects of a production can be just as rewarding without ever having to “go on stage”.
Although we are always pleased when experienced people wish to join, we are also delighted to welcome anyone of any level who wants to get involved.
We have a wealth of experience within the membership, built up over many years and many productions, which we can use to guide and train inexperienced new members in all aspects of theatre – whatever is of interest to you.
Opportunities also exist to Direct or Assistant Direct a production for the group with full support and training being offered to give you an enjoyable time whilst a member of Beaconsfield Theatre Group.
With all the above, you may not know where to start, but we have someone in the group who can help and guide you forward.
As a final thought, just because you join the group to act – or do a technical job – there is no bar in Beaconsfield Theatre Group on “a techie” treading the boards or an actor “doing lights or sound”.
Why not come along and find out what you have been missing.