Studio 61

Amateur Theatre in Wolverhampton

Neighbourhood Watch (2016)

Neighbourhood Watch (2016)

About our Rehearsals

Where do you meet and rehearse?

We are very lucky to be in the position where we can rehearse at the same venue in which our regular productions are performed. We rehearse in Victory Hall, Greyhound Lane, Lower Penn, Wolverhampton, WV4 4UN.

When do you meet and rehearse?

We meet twice a week on Mondays and Fridays. We are unable to use Victory Hall on the third Monday of every month, so on those occasions the rehearsal is moved to the Tuesday. Meetings and rehearsals usually start at 19:30 and run until 21:30. As production week gets closer these rehearsals may last longer than normal if the time is required to run the whole show.

Who is expected to attend the rehearsals?

The director will let the cast and creative members know who is required for which rehearsals. However, unless a closed rehearsal is requested by those involved, all members and potential new members are welcome and encouraged to come along and view the rehearsals at any time.

About our Productions

Where do you perform?

Our regular productions take place in Victory Hall, but this is not the only place we perform. We have given one-off performances at various other locations from high-tech auditoriums such as the main stage at Newhampton Arts Centre to intimate spaces such as the bar area in The Greyhound Country Pub and Restaurant.

How many productions do you produce during the year?

We produce three regular productions a year: a February production, a June production and a November production. These tend to be full length plays, but we have been known to produce an evening of multiple one-act plays or radio plays – particular in our February production slot as the rehearsal time available for this production is significantly shorter than that available for the others.

We are also open to producing other performance pieces for various other events, such as festivals or entertainment evenings, on an ad-hoc basis.

What sort of plays do you perform?

We take great pride a Studio 61 in presenting our patrons with a very wide range of theatre. In addition to the standard fare that is normally offered by amateur theatre groups, such as fast farces, light comedies and murder mysteries, we are keen to explore more challenging and varied facets of the theatre such as hard-hitting dramas, Jacobean tragedies and minimalism modern plays. Nothing is off limits!

Who makes the decisions about what plays are performed?

In the past we have chosen what plays to perform on an ad-hoc basis, but recently we have been attempting to apply a more concrete procedure for this process. This is as it currently stands:

Between the February and June productions, members are encouraged to submit plays they would like to be considered for the following year’s regular season. Due to the vast commitment required by the director in order to produce a production, we only allow members to suggest plays that they are willing to direct themselves as we do not believe that anyone should be forced into producing a play for which they have no passion.

These suggestions are then looked over by the committee who will select two plays to become part of the season and three plays to be presented to our patrons at the Patrons’ Evening at the end of the summer (See our Patronage section FAQ about the Patrons’ Evening for more information). The plays are chosen with consideration of the structure of the season as a whole, our ability to cast the play and a balance of directors.

Any additional plays that are performed outside of our regular season are decided by the committee on an ad hoc basis based on suggestions by any member of the company.

What is the process of auditioning and casting and who decides on the creative team?

The auditioning and casting process varies from production to production as it is defined by the director of the production. Some directors like to hold official auditions, others prefer to hold informal play readings and some, on very rare occasions and normally for unusual plays or awkward casts, may approach members directly to offer roles. The ultimate decision of who is cast in a play or selected to work backstage is that of the director.

Although no official rules are set in place and we cannot guarantee that there will always be a suitable role, we strive to ensure that any member who wishes to take a part on the stage will have the opportunity to do so within a reasonable number of productions.

How do I buy tickets for your performances?

Our treasurer, Martin Smith, is currently in charge of the box office. Tickets go on general sale 6 weeks prior to opening night (8 weeks prior to opening night for members and patrons). A booking form will be available on the website or you can ring the box office on 01902 651828.

About Membership

How much does it cost to become a member?

Our membership fee is currently £15 per annum. This is due at or soon after our AGM which is usually held in June after our June production. However, you don’t need to pay for membership until you have decided that you definitely want to join our company. By rule of thumb, you will need to pay for membership if you wish to be part of a production, but prior to that point it is not essential.

What are the benefits of membership?

By being a member you will be able to take part either on stage or backstage in our productions. You are entitled to a £1 discount per production on your ticket orders. You will also be included in our various social events such as the Christmas Party and the Patrons’ Evening.

Are there any restrictions on membership, such as age or experience?

There are no official restrictions on the age of our members but, due to the occasional adult themes present in some of the plays we produce and child performance regulations, we would recommend that any potential members under the age of 16 either attend with a chaperone or consider joining a youth orientated drama group.

There is no need to have any previous experience in order to become a member. We strive to provide experiences to suit anybody – whether you are a veteran of the stage hoping to stretch yourself with more challenging theatre or a newbie looking for a new hobby or a way to make new friends.

How do I become a member?

Come along to any of our rehearsals or performances and get stuck in with the other members. Once you’ve decided that you want to join us, our treasurer, Martin Smith, will organise your membership with you in person.

About Patronage

How much does it cost to become a patron?

Our patronage fee is currently £10 per annum for a single patron and £15 per annum for a joint patronage.

What are the benefits of patronage?

By being a patron you will get priority booking for tickets and a £1 discount per production (£2 for joint patronage) per production on your ticket order. You will also be invited to the exclusive Patrons’ Evening.

What is the Patrons’ Evening?

The Patrons’ Evening is an annual event exclusively for our patrons. It is held on a Friday night in the latter half of August and consists of a cheese and wine supper where patrons get the opportunity to mingle with the members of Studio 61. The evening also includes the premiere announcement of the next season of plays. Two pre-selected plays are announced followed by a series of rehearsed play reading excerpts performed by members. Patrons are then given the opportunity to vote for their favourite which is then added to the pre-selected plays to complete the next season at Studio 61.

Please note that this is still a fairly new addition to the Studio 61 agenda so the details of this event may change in the future.

How do I become a patron?

Our treasurer, Martin Smith, is currently in charge of our patronage scheme. If you would like to become a patron please send your payment to:

Martin Smith, 18 Langley Road, Wolverhampton, WV3 7LH

(Cheques made payable to Studio 61)

Got any more questions?

You can email us directly at webmaster@studio61.org.uk.