Season Development Committee
Committee Chair: Sharon Suttle
Committee Vice Chair: Ron Bianchi
Questions for our Season Development team can be addressed to:
October 31, 2024
Calling all Directors
Typically, a comedy or musical, this selection should be a good way to start our season with a bang! Auditions are held in August with the production going up in October. If a bigger show is in this slot, there are possibilities for earlier auditions and rehearsals, but the show would have to work around our summer program.
This show is usually a comedy or drama play. This slot has a shorter turnaround time, and therefore, is not a musical. Auditions are held in December with the production going up in February.
Usually, this slot is reserved for a musical. This selection should leave our audiences wanting to come back for our next season. This musical is typically family friendly and a feel-good story, although not required. Auditions are held in February with the production going up at the end of April or early May. If a bigger show is in this slot, there are possibilities for earlier auditions and rehearsals, but the show would have to work around the winter show.
Summer Program Shows
Our Summer Youth Program consists of two shows, one for children 7-12 and one for teens 13-18. The children show should be a play appropriate to the age range with flexible casting. The teen show should be a musical appropriate to the age range with flexible casting. Each group has 15-30 children and the shows chosen should reflect enough parts for this number and/or have parts that are able to be split. Director(s) of those shows chosen are also expected to coordinate the program working together with the Education committee, their production staff on their show, and the other show as well as in compliance with all requirements SLT has for working with children. All who audition should have a role. The program runs for 6-7 weeks from the end of June (after school is out) until early August. There is one weekend of performances (Friday evening, Saturday matinee, Saturday evening, and Sunday matinee).
If you have further questions on this program or requirements, please reach out to the Education committee.
The Christmas/Holiday show should be in theme with Christmas and/or holiday. While we have done shows with casts of varying sizes, it is typically easier to manage a small or medium cast as there is a quick turnaround as well as coordination around the holidays. Auditions are held in October with the production going up typically the first two weekends of December. Four performances per weekend should be expected: Friday evening, Saturday matinee, Saturday evening, and Sunday matinee. The cast for this show may also be asked to participate in Smithfield's Christmas Parade and/or SLT's Holiday Open House (an event done in conjunction with the Isle of Wight Chamber of Commerce).
SLT Play Submission Guidelines
Who May Submit?
Smithfield Little Theatre is both a community theater and a theater community. Our directors, like all volunteers, are unpaid. Therefore, we expect those who direct for us to have demonstrated both a commitment to theater and an understanding of how we operate.
Box office intake accounts for most of our revenue. Each show is a financial risk we take seriously. Just as important are our volunteers. As a director, you may have a brilliant vision and an amazing script but your “people skills” are going to determine whether or not those folks volunteering will come back and do shows with us (and see them as well).
Before you may direct at SLT, we urge you to -- at a minimum -- have served as a stage manager or assistant director on at least one production. We urge all would-be directors to get as much experience on how we do things here at SLT as possible. The better we know you...the more we have seen of your skills...the more likely the possibility you will be sitting in the director’s chair on opening night.
If you are new to directing, please be realistic. Think “small cast shows” with low tech. Shows that are big in scope (or complicated in intimacy...as many two person shows are) are best saved for you when you are more experienced and know who to enlist in your major project.
If two or more people submit the same script, it will be up to the Season Development Committee to determine which, if any of them, is selected to direct the show based on director qualifications, scheduling, other scripts each has submitted and all the usual factors that go into director selection.
What to Submit
You are invited to submit up to three plays you would like to direct. To give the Season Development Committee the greatest flexibility possible--and yourself the greatest chance--please consider submitting plays of different styles, cast sizes, periods, etc.
Submitting a Musical
Because of their inherent scope and complications, first time directors should avoid submitting a musical. If you have the experience and desire to mount a production, it is recommended that you have a musical director lined up. Please include a CD or link of the music for the Season Development Committee.
Each prospective director must submit scripts at their own expense to the committee. Scripts will be returned to the submitter after the selection process.
In addition to scripts, please fill out and submit the online director/play submission form on the right side of this page.
After filling out the online play submission form you will be contacted by the chair of the Season Development Committee to make arrangements to get these materials, if needed.
All submissions will be reviewed by the Season Development Committee. The committee is appointed from the ranks of SLT members and chosen to represent a broad range of theater experience, interests, and tastes. The recommendations of the Season Development Committee will be reviewed by the full BOD and final selections will be made. Those director/plays selected will be notified by the Season Development Committee Chair.
The committee will:
Choosing a Script
Consider our Audiences
SLT attracts a diverse audience. While our “core” patrons -- those who consistently buy season tickets and attend most plays -- is made up of seniors, we have begun to draw a younger, more diverse group that, depending on the play, might include families with younger children, well-off professionals looking for quality entertainment, and “niche” audiences who may not attend our theater regularly but will turn out for a specific play that appeals to their own interests.
An important question to keep in mind is, “Who will want to come and see this?” By all means, submit that quirky play that you love, but consider submitting plays with a broad appeal as well. We may do one off beat show a year, but remember...SLT survives on its box office. We must craft a season that draws enough people to pay the bills.
Consider our Talent Pool
Actors come in all kinds of shapes, sizes, sexes, ages, and hair color. The committee tries hard to select a slate of plays which have plenty of roles for men and women, young and old, veteran and novice. Strive for balance of roles. If you submit a play with twenty male roles, you might consider submitting a play with twenty female roles as well. Think of the talent in the community and ask yourself, “Do we have the folks to do this?” Sometimes the right play will draw people in. Again, the key is to offer the committee as many options as you can.
Submit Plays you Love
Sometimes, in an effort to submit “more choices” for the committee, directors will submit one play they love and then throw in two they’re not crazy about just to fill out the “three-play” guideline. What is true for auditioning for plays is doubly true for submitting to direct them...you wouldn’t put down that you were willing to take any role if it wasn’t true...don’t commit yourself to directing a play that doesn’t turn you on. If you are in the position of being “in love” with only one play, then be true to your vision and submit that one play. But remember, the committee may not love it the way you do or it may not be a “fit” for the season. Giving them options of different plays that you would love to direct increases the likelihood that you will be directing next season.
If you have any questions or need further information, please reach out to the contact email at the top of the page. Someone from the Season Development Committee will contact you as soon as possible.
Please click the Submit button only once.