To become a member of Penrith Players simply click on the ‘Online Signup’ tab at the bottom of this page and follow the instructions. The adult membership fee is £5 for three years and entitles members to participate in plays, meet with like minded people, support an organisation which has been around for nearly 100 years, and enjoy the facility of a subsidised bar.
As a member there are a wide variety of ways to get involved and below is a little information on some of the main areas of interest that can be signed up to.
- Acting – When performing in Penrith Players productions rehearsals generally take place every Monday, Wednesday and Friday evening. The size of the role tends to dictate the amount of rehearsals each performer is required to attend, and typically the bigger the part the bigger the rehearsal commitment. Each production has a read through/casting session long before rehearsals start to enable people to get a feel for the play and decide how they would like to get involved. If multiple people are interested in the same role it is down to the director who to cast.
- Back Stage – This is the secret world of a production, and the amount of support required from one to another greatly differs. Some productions have entire sets that require moving in-between scenes, actors may require assistance with quick costume changes and props may need setting at various stages throughout a production. Being happy to turn your hand to anything is therefore an advantage.
- Bar – The bar is open for all productions, including external groups who hire the venue, and Players members can get involved in helping out. This involves serving drinks, taking payment, clearing tables and keeping the bar area clean and tidy.
- Costume – The Wardrobe Department is an integral part of every production which we put on. The Wardrobe Mistress and her team provide all the costumes for every cast member throughout the full run of each play. We have a good Costume Department and we fit as many actors as we can with clothing we already have. If we don’t have the correct costume in-house we either hire it, search charity shops or make it ourselves. The latter is a highly sought after skill and, if you are handy with a needle – or even better, a sewing machine – then the Wardrobe Department is waiting for you. We are desperately in need of seamstresses. It is a very worthwhile and rewarding role within the Penrith Players.
- Directing – Being a director allows you to take a play that you love, and shape it through rehearsals to something people will like to see and to make it an occasion that will move or amuse. In the Players we have actors and back stage support who share that aim and there can be a great pleasure in working together to produce something of worth.
- Front of House – Managing Front of House is a very sociable experience, which means that it is well suited to those of a naturally friendly, out-going disposition. Front of House involves sorting tickets at the door prior to the production and running the coffee bar at the interval.
- Stage Managing – Typically the Director will sit in the audience when the rehearsing is over and the production actually begins and that is when the Stage Manager takes over. A Stage Manager should attend rehearsals to familiarise themselves with the play and the cast, they can also get involved in set design and building. A lot of people put a lot of work into a production and it’s the Stage Manager’s job to make sure that it all comes together on the night. Everyone and everything has to be in the right place at the right time. You have to be flexible too as no two directors work in quite the same way.
It is up to each member how much time they offer and what they want to get involved with, so please feel free to tick as many interests as you want but then choose how and when you would like to get involved.