Availability of resources.
choice to accept or eliminate a script as a potential for our next production
season turns not on educational goals alone but also on the practical issue of
resources. This poses a difficulty in that script
decisions are negotiated during Winter quarter when resources for the following
year are not entirely assured.
questions surrounding resources posed below are only some of the issues involved.
issue of human resources is most slippery, since it involves guesswork
about enrollments in the program for the following season.
The availability of sufficient people with appropriate skills is always
the biggest risk in casting, whether a play or a season.
These, among others, are the questions which emerge:
How many performers and technicians will the script serve?
Will performer skills meet the requirements of the script’s style and characters?
Will technical crews be able to accommodate the production requirements?
What will be the gender ratio served by the script? Will
the season balance?
Is the effort to payoff quotient justifiable?
Are those charged with leadership fully committed to the script?
Is there available a potential audience with the appropriate sophistication?
next greatest concern are our physical resources.
Creativity and hard work can go far toward solving many staging problems,
but a set designer would be hard pressed to design four, realistic-interiors productions
for our Mainstage. But could we build it?
Afford it? Store it? Here
are some questions to be dealt with:
What are the limitations on our spaces imposed by other usage?
Can the set requirements be accommodated by our space and equipment?
Do we have adequate building and storage space available?
Can we meet the complexity of costumes? Lights?
Sound? Other needs?
Is special equipment required beyond our present stock?
are, of course, financial resources to be considered:
Does the script have a high name recognition factor?
Does the theme have inherent attraction to a sizable segment of our audience?
Can adequate box office revenue be assured by the production?
If not, will the other productions of the season make up the difference?
Are other sources of funding available beyond box office revenues?
Are there expenses beyond those normally required by our productions?
Is the financial demand ethically justifiable?
careful and early planning with other academic and administrative units of the
institution most problems of our calendar resources can be anticipated.
There are concerns other than finding performance dates, however:
Can rehearsal and production preparation be accomplished in the time allotted?
Is the “turn around” time between shows of the season adequate?
Does the academic calendar for the year put pressure on our season planning?
Are there special institutional events important to accommodate?
Can the proposed productions share the space with other needs such as recitals?
Does the combination of scripts balance the styles of past and future seasons?
Are there implications for a season theme in the scripts under consideration?
summary, then, our choice of scripts to produce reflects a complicated interplay
of several factors, which, brought together, reveals a distinctive philosophy
about the nature of theatre performance in the Christian university setting.
We must strive to serve you in your discoveries surrounding the complexity
of the theatrical act. We must challenge our various
constituencies to an appreciation of theatre as purposeful and useful beyond entertainment
alone. We must be true to our academic discipline,
demanding excellence of writing, arresting use of the dramatic form, and significance
of idea. And we are called to serve our Christian
beliefs through our art.
B of this handbook provides a simple listing of the University Theatre production
schedules for the past several seasons. This is a
performance record in which we take a deal of pride, thinking on all that was
involved: the cast and crews, the expenditure of labor and creativity, the audiences,
and the artistic successes. The productions you are
involved in will make that list, joining you with a “family” of theatre
people to be admired.