Production Guidelines - Lunchtimes
- 1 Introduction
- 2 Royalties
- 3 Budget and Sponsorship
- 4 Deposit
- 5 Administration
- 6 Meetings
- 7 Second Performance
- 8 Press and Publicity
- 9 Show Blurbs
- 10 Programmes
- 11 Staffing
- 12 Fire, firearms and smoking
- 13 Get-Out
- 14 Costume
- 15 Being in the building
- 16 Health and Safety
- 17 Pieces of paper
- 18 Membership
- 19 Buying stuff
- 20 Debriefing
- 21 Archives
- 22 Sharing a week with a mainterm or extraordinary
- 23 Help
- 24 Remember
- 25 Checklist
Stick to these guidelines. If you don’t, you may lose money from your deposit cheque. And it could make you look silly.
Published versions of the play should include details of who to contact. Get rights ASAP. It sometimes takes a while for them to come through. Bedlam provides £55 for rights for Lunchtimes. Rights over £55 will have to come out of the show budget.
To avoid paying too much stress that: it is an amateur production, by a non-profit making theatre company, in a student theatre with a capacity under 100
Check that the playwright is VAT registered as we can claim VAT back.
Budget and Sponsorship
Lunchtimes receive £55 from Bedlam for rights and £35 for everything else.
You will have to give the Business Manager a cheque for £30 as a deposit. Make cheques payable to EUSA Theatre Company and put your name and show name on the back. Hand this in as soon as possibe, preferably before commencing rehearsals. We strongly suggest that you get a cheque for a quarter of the deposit each from the director, stage manager and tech manager, and hold on to it. That way appropriate cheques can be cashed if there is a problem. The cheque may be cashed for:
- Missing rehearsal space with less than 24hr notice. Inform the secretary if this is going to happen.
- Rehearsal space left in a mess. Clean up after yourselves and make sure everything is safe for people using the space afterwards.
- Incomplete get-in or get-out. Put everything away and tidy up after your performance.
- Failure to staff. Shows staff each other, usually £5 is taken per person who failed to turn up or turned up late.
- Photocopying – We have an account at the Copyshop in the DHT basement. Tell them you are from Bedlam, sign their form and you won’t have to pay any money up front. Otherwise keep receipts from any photocopying you do.
- Letters – We have letterheads in the office. Please use headed notepaper for all external correspondence, contracts etc. All incoming mail gets pinned to the notice board.
- Website – www.bedlamtheatre.co.uk for copies of these guidelines, the constitution, minutes, rig plans. To contact the Webmaster email email@example.com.
You MUST ATTEND the monday company meetings at 6.30pm every week until your show goes up and the meeting after your last performance. This is so we can talk to you, find out if everything is OK, and help you sort out any problems you might have. It is also a good place to ask for random props etc. If you really can’t make it then find a suitable representative.
These are usually on the Thursday evening, or on the saturday if it’s a mainterm week. If you want one you should approach the committee at least three weeks before the show. They then decide if you have sound grounds for a second performance, for example an alternative ending or other artistic reason. Their decision is announced at the next company meeting, though the company can overturn this decision.
Press and Publicity
You need to make posters and programmes. Flyers can be very effective – you can leave them in bars, cafes and other venues, or get people to hand them out for you. You can’t flyer in university buildings, but you can flyer outside them.
You can make these look however you want but don’t forget:
- Time, venue (Bedlam), date, year, price £3.00/£3.50
- Show name
- Bedlam logo or EUTC stamp (one of these MUST appear on all publicity
- The Fat Cat logo – is optional. It might not look right on very serious posters, but it is recognisable and a Bedlam institution.
- Spell check
- EUSA stamp – you need to get the poster stamped at the EUSA office in Potterow or they can’t go up in any University building. It’s probably best to do this on the original and then get them photocopied, but if you forget you can do it all by hand…
- We recommend you include the words Edinburgh University Theatre Company on your poster.
- Obey copyright law. If in doubt speak to the Marketing Manager.
- Any stipulations by the rights issuer supersede these recommendations. Check what they specify in the rights licence.
The Marketing Manager will ask to see your posters before they’re copied to check that all Bedlam publicity is of a high standard. Logos are available on the Bedlam website, from the Productions Manager or from the Marketing Manager.
You can photocopy your posters on coloured paper at the DHT then distribute them everywhere. 100 is a good number to print. A3 is a good size, and the university won’t allow anything larger, though experiment as you want. Get the cast and crew to help you distribute them. Don’t put your posters over other Bedlam posters (unless that show has finished). Give some posters to the Front of House Manager to put up in Bedlam. It’s a good idea to have some posters or flyers up in the building for the lunchtime the week before yours, even if it’s not quite the finished article.
These should be given to the Marketing Manager in time for inclusion in the term programme. If nothing new is received, then he/she will use the blurb from your show proposal form. Company emails are sent out each monday. If you want anything for your show included on them or for a particular publicity statement to be issued then please pass it on to the Webmaster by the saturday.
Try not to leave these till the last minute so you have time to proof read them. Don’t forget to thank people who helped with the show, especially other Bedlam shows, the Committee etc (It's amazing what people will do for your show and be happy with a thankyou in the program!). 70 is a good number to print, + extras for cast/crew souvenirs.
Remember to put the Doctors advert on the back and to go drinking there after the show.
You must staff another lunchtime and you may be required to staff one performance of a mainterm and/or a Improverts show. The Front of House Manager will organise which show you are staffing. You need five people to fill the different roles: box office, café, indoor hall, outdoor hall and duty manager. Get them to sign up on the sheets in the office and make sure they include their full name and a contact number.
All producers should learn to duty manage. The FOH Manager will train you – this doesn’t take very long and can be arranged before or after a company or committee meeting or on sundays. People can be trained for the other jobs on the night, make sure tehy turn up on time to allow this.
Fire, firearms and smoking
Theatres are second only to cardboard box factories in flammability. If you intend to have any of these in the performance you MUST follow these regulations:
- Naked flames/candles/pyrotechnics – can only be used with permission from the fire brigade and the Theatre Manager.
- Lasers – these need permission from the council which can take up to two months to come through.
- Smoking – This is not allowed. Ever. So don't even think about it! Except outside. Outside is ok
- Firearms – these need permission from the police. This can take some time so ask early. Speak to the Theatre Manager
- Theatrical weapons - do not need permission from the police, but have nasty regulations surrounding transportation etc. Check with the Theatre Manager if you are unsure. The Bedlam has a Smith & Wesson cowboy style pistol and for general ease can be used instead of traipsing round Edinburgh looking for one. Speak to the Theatre Manager if you want to use and be aware that they may ask to put a box of blanks on your budget.
Weapons, real or theatrical, should only be used on the stage.
This should happen immediately after the performance. Make sure all your cast and crew stay around to help and it will all be over much more quickly. Even if they have no idea about tech or set the cast can still make themselves useful carrying stuff and tidying up. When the get-out is complete, take everyone along to Doctors.
You can use any costumes from the Bedlam stores. However all costumes must be washed/dry cleaned before returning them. Keep the costume area tidy and don’t take anything without asking the Costume Manager. The costume cupboard is kept locked, so you will need to arrange a time with the Costume or Theatre Manager to look. Have a list of what you need ready and preferably a cast to try things on. Ask for stuff as early as possible, the latest being the monday before the performance. If you need any weird costumes or props try asking in a monday company meeting. People have some strange things.
Being in the building
- Access – If no-one is in the building then there is a set of keys at the front desk at Teviot which can be collected by the director or producer (though you may need some form of ID to get them). Return them ASAP. If you have a problem getting in, phone the theatre manager or president. Don’t leave the building until you’ve let in at least one person from the next show due to rehearse. If you are the last person out make sure the door is double locked. Use the Teviot key if you need to, just make sure you return it.
You should also use the duty managers keys to unlock the padlocks on the fire exit and main door, so in an emergancy you can get out. If your last out make sure you lock the padlocks.
- Lights – the switches are in the box to your right as you enter from the side door. The workers should provide sufficient light for rehearsing. Only use other lights if you know what you are doing and turn them all off afterwards.
- Smoking – NO SMOKING ANYWHERE INSIDE. Please don't leave cigarette butts on the floor by the side door.
- Tidiness – put your rubbish in the bin! If you leave the place in mess the FOH Manager can get a cleaner in and put it on your budget…
Health and Safety
Anyone in a position of responsibility, including producers, may be prosecuted if things go badly on the health and safety front.
- Make sure you follow the general health and safety policy, a copy is in the main office.
- If you are doing anything dangerous or unusual such as flying set, or staging a sword fight you must fill out a risk assesment to show how you will minimise any risks. Ask the theatre manager if you need any help or advice.
- Record any accidents in the accident book and inform the theatre manager.
Pieces of paper
Hand in the following at least a week before the show starts:
- Theatre Manager’s Questionnaire and Set Plan – to be completed by the Stage Manager and Techie
- Front of House Questionnaire – to be completed by the Producer. You are allowed up to 5 complementary tickets, usually for yourself and the director, and for other people who have made a significant contribution to the show.
All members of your team, including actors, must be members or they will not be covered by our insurance and we will be in breach of the theatre licence. They must also be members to be on a show proposal form. Membership is only £5 and can be bought through the Secretary.
Lunchtimes shouldn’t need to spend much money, but if you do need to buy things you MUST get a VAT receipt or you won’t get your money back. Try and keep show receipts together and give them in all at once to the Business Manager. Keep a running total of what your show is spending and make sure you stay within the budget. Bedlam may not refund massive overspends.
You must attend the Monday company meeting after the performance of the show to report to the company and to fill out a debriefing form with the Productions Manager. This is your chance to talk about what worked or didn’t and for you and Committee members to raise and discuss any problems.
The Archivist will want to take some photos before your performance, so allow time for that. Make sure he/she has a copy of the programme and any posters or flyers to put in the archives. If you have any pictures or items to be archived, feel free to hand them in.
Sharing a week with a mainterm or extraordinary
Usually this works well, however to minimise any clashes of set/lighting etc. try to do the following:
- Plan ahead – If you are certain your show cannot work with a particular mainterm set then try to avoid that week at the proposal stage. Bear in mind that having a mainterm set and rig to play with can be great fun – and less hassle.
- Get a copy of the Mainterm set and rig ASAP – Don’t turn around with a week to go and complain; by then it will be too late. Talk to the Theatre Manager to arrange a meeting – that way a compromise can be reached with a mediator.
- Be willing to give and take – a meeting chaired by the Productions Manager or Theatre Manager should be arranged to discuss problems.
- Ticket deal – a deal can be arranged between the lunchtime and the mainterm to allow 50p off tickets for one show if you have seen the other. If you are interested you should talk to the mainterm producer, Business Manager and FOH Manager.
If it all gets too much or you have any questions don’t hesitate to ask. The Committee is there to teach and help people. Contact details (phone numbers and email addresses etc.) for all the Committee are in the office, or you can see them at a company or committee meeting. If you’re not sure who is the right person to talk to, the Productions Manager should be able to point you in the right direction. You can bring up any questions or problems at the monday company meetings or the Committee meetings, which take place in Bedlam on thursdays at 6.30.
- Plan in advance, communicate and keep calm!
- You are in charge, don’t be afraid to ask people to do things.
This is a rough chronological order:
- Pick show.
- Check royalities.
- Fill out proposal form in full. Make sure all your team are members.
- Propose show at selection meeting.
- Hand in deposit cheque for £30 to the Business Manager.
- Collect FOH and Theatre Manager forms and give to crew.
- Cast show.
- Rehearse show.
- Make sure all your cast are members.
- Turn up to all monday meetings to report on how the show is doing.
- Sign up for staffing.
- Return all forms.
- Make sure posters contain all details, especially times and logos to a good size. Check them with Marketing Manager before they are copied.
- Stamp posters at Potterow for advertising in the university.
- Put up posters around Uni etc., and give some to the FOH Manager to go up in Bedlam
- Programme must include advert for Doctors. Check them with the Marketing Manager
- Enjoy the show… do the get-out… and drink at Doctors afterwards…
- Report back to company and debrief with Productions Manager