PLUS: GUIDELINES FOR ACTORS, WRITERS AND DIRECTORS
Continuing from the success of IRON CLAD IMPROV - the Sunday night drop in classes and the popular 6 week longform improv courses - comes CAST IRON THEATRE.
Also based at the DUKEBOX THEATRE, the intimate venue housed at the Iron Duke in Hove, local playwrights, directors and actors come together for a semi-regular night of brand new short plays.
CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS: Local writers, local actors and local directors - come together for a semi-regular night of brand new plays at the DukeBox Theatre, Hove .. You can write short plays, act in them, and direct them ... CAST IRON is a true collective, in that we meet regularly to share ideas and writing - get encouragement and suggestions from fellow members, before finishing the final draft - then at each CAST IRON performance night (usually about 4 + times a year), our small rep-style company produces around 7 brand new plays, written, produce and directed by ourselves. A wonderful opportunity if you're a first time director or writer, because the ethos of the company is that we help and support each other: it's a great way to test and develop your skills. Rather than submit your effort blindly and coldly to a panel you may never meet, each playwright (and indeed each actor and director) gets the chance to discuss their work in progress at our regular meetings at the Iron Duke.
WRITE FOR US! ACT FOR US! DIRECT FOR US!
We are always accepting submissions and declarations of interest throughout the year, although we do have soft deadlines to spike interest levels. Our next submission window is coming up very soon. Feel free to get in touch at any time on email@example.com, or send your script to firstname.lastname@example.org ..
These are, in fact, merely guidelines. Not hard and fast rules. At Cast Iron Theatre, we're still young and small enough to be persuaded on some of these guidelines if you can put forward a good enough case, and if the exception we make for you isn't going to inconvenience everyone else in the company too much. Basically, we all try to be nice ..
At Cast Iron, there is no audition process. Actors and directors are asked to make their interest known for each performance block (there's about four sets of performances throughout the year, more or less). Selected scripts are then matched with a director and cast, chosen by the artistic director. We have found that this usually matches directors to scripts that they find interesting/challenging, or that they are, in the opinion of the artistic director, the one best suited to bring out the best in a piece of a new / learning writer. It also lessens the risk of directors and actors always working with the same people / same writers, so that we are able to give new people - in whatever capacity - more of a chance.
Since there is no audition process, an excellent way to get yourself 'known' by the company and the artistic director (and so be more successfully matched with appropriate scripts and casts) is to come along to one of the improv drop in classes, held every Sunday evening (outside of Christmas / Summer holidays), 7pm, at the DukeBox Theatre. Details here: http://ironcladimprov.weebly.com/sunday-night-drop-in.html . The classes are a lot less terrifying than you might think.
You'd be well advised to avoid too much in the way of set - tables, chairs and the like. The same is generally true of LX and FX.
We try to have each play open and end with music (to facilitate the changeovers). We normally select the music, but if you have a preference, please let us know what music you'd like with about two weeks notice.
Directors and actors arrange their own rehearsals at their convenience. If space/time allows, you may be able to arrange rehearsals in the theatre.
The artistic director will normally try to visit at least one rehearsal during the schedule (more if you request it). We encourage you to invite the other groups in the company to at least one rehearsal later in the process, and equally encourage you to visit rehearsal/s. Of course, we recognise that time constraints can often make this impossible.
We generally have one technical rehearsal, usually the Thursday or Wednesday before first performance (a Friday)
At Cast Iron, there is no audition process. Actors and directors are asked to make their interest known for each performance block (there's about four sets of performances throughout the year, more or less). Scripts are then matched with a director and cast. We have found that this usually matches directors to scripts that they will find interesting / challenging, or that they are best suited to bring out the best in a new / learning writer. It also lessen the risk of directors and actors always working with the same people / writers, so we are able to give new people more of a chance.
An excellent way to make yourself known to directors / writers / the artistic director is to come along to the regular Sunday night improv drop-ins (which are not nearly as terrifying as you think). Details can be found by clicking on the link here: http://ironcladimprov.weebly.com/sunday-night-drop-in.html
Directors and actors make their own arrangements for rehearsals. If space allows, you may be able to arrange to have rehearsals in the theatre.
We generally have one technical rehearsal, the Wednesday or Thursday before first night (a Friday).
We ask that writers, whenever possible, avoid writing parts for a specific age / gender. Thus, in casting, you may be playing opposite / beyond your usual range. On occasion, you may be cast outside the gender / age suggested in the script.
Scripts should be around ten minutes long. We're prepared to be a bit relaxed about this, and have indeed accepted scripts that are shorter / significantly longer, but ten minutes is an excellent guide.
Please consider carefully the relative restrictions both of the space, and that each play on a performance night will have roughly theirt seconds to get in / get out of their set. Which leads us on to our next point:
You should avoid sets like tables, and too many chairs. Indeed try to avoid too much in the way of set and FX / LX at all. Think worst case scenario: can your script work by simply being read by two actors in an unforgivingly harshly lit room?
On a similar note, please remember that it is surprisingly difficult to have things like gunshots on stage - even having people make cups of tea on stage is more trouble than it's worth.
No more than four actors. And ideally, rarely as many as four.
You should of course write the story you wish to tell for the characters you wish to write about, but if possible try to avoid writing for a specific age or gender.
That last is particularly important. We get a fair amount of plays submitted that are for predominately male casts, which doesn't do justice to the significant number of brilliant women we have in the company.
We always get a fair amount of 'relationship in crisis' dramas. Fair warning that yours will be in competition with many others.
We don't encourage sketches (as opposed to funny short plays). It's not that we never accept them; it's just that yours will have to work that much harder to get through the gate.
If your play does not get accepted for one round, it is likely to be put in a 'holding pattern' for a show in the future. It might be that your play is too similar to others that will be produced on that night. In the event that we think it works for us but would benefit from some constructive feedback so that it more closely fits in with a Cast Iron evening, we will contact you as soon as we can, although be warned this is currently a very slow process as we are a very small group. But rest assured, we will do all we can to get your work on stage!