Direct a Show

There are many opportunities during the school year to direct a show for the Barnstormers.  Each year we have three shows where we specifically request submissions from student directors.  They are:
  1. Orientation Show - This is our first show of the year and is targeted at freshman to encourage them to get involved with the Barnstormers.  Auditions are usually held in late July and rehearsals run through the end of the summer.  Opening Night is typically during the first week of classes and performances are in the Swirnow Theater.
  2. Freshman One Acts - This collection of one acts is directed by upperclassmen and all of the actors are freshman.  The production typically consists of 4-6 one act plays, and auditions are held shortly after the Orientation Show.  Performances are usually in mid-October in Arelleno Theater.
  3. Intersession Show - This show auditions right before winter break, usually during reading period.  Rehearsals are during, you guessed it, Intersession when there is nothing better to do.  The show goes up during the second weekend in February in Arelleno Theater.
In addition to these opportunities, you may submit to direct a show at any other time.  Taking this route requires extra effort, because you need to find a place to perform your show (and to rehearse in).  While theater space in the Swirnow Theater would be hard to come by, consider other options such as Arelleno Theater, Shriver Hall, the Beach, the steps of Gilman, Bloomberg Auditorium, etc.

If you would like to submit a show, we reccommend you take the following steps:

  1. Pick a play - Choose a play that you would be interested in directing, and keep in mind that you will need to dedicate a good amount of time to the directorial process. Choose something that you feel something about, or that you have some sort of vision for. Choose something that is both practical and feasible for a group such as the Barnstormers to produce.
  2. Find out the rights - The rights to every play are different. Some, like Shakespeare and other classics may be open-access, and not cost anything. Others range in price, depending on popularity. Often, a show that was recently a big hit on Broadway or other popular venues may be somewhat expensive to get rights for. The rights to practically every play are owned by one of the following. Do a little research and call to see what the rights and scripts for your play should be. Hopefully these numbers are current. If not, email us to let us know.
    Samuel French:  (212) 206-8990 plays/musicals
    Dramatists Play Service: (212) 683-8960 plays
    Baker's Plays:  (617) 482-1280 plays
    Tams-Witmark:  (212) 688-2525 musicals
    Rogers and Hammerstein Theatre Library: (212) 564-4000 musicals
  3. Determine technical costs - Here you need to consider props, costumes, and sets. If you'll need any special lighting or sound items that we should know about, this is the place to tell us. You can generalize, but be as specific as possible, especially when it comes to particular items, and absolutely for items that you view to be essential to your production. If you're not sure what you need, or how much you need them - mark items that you would like but could do without. For budgeting purposes, it is very important that we know how much each director is hoping to spend, and what they are spending it on.  As a general guideline, most studio shows receive a $500 budget, including rights.
  4. Write it all down - Write everything you've come up with, as neatly as possible, in the form of a letter to the producer. The Board will select a producer for each show, but if you are submitting before one is chosen, address your submission to the current VP of Studio Productions. Make sure you include the name of the play, it's author, your name, and your contact information in your letter. If you have any assistants already picked, list their names as well. Then, include a synopsis of the play and a basic list of characters. It helps us a lot if you note how many male and female parts your play calls for. Then, include the cost information you determined in steps two and three, in as much detail as possible. Finally, explain, to the best of your abilities, generally what you had in mind - your vision or your plans for the show. Other, optional, things to include are - sketches of the set, specific costumes or set pieces, and anything else you think is appropriate.
  5. Deliver your submission - You can usually email a typed submission to the producer, this is often easiest and most practical. If you know the producer or will see them around campus, feel free to hand deliver the proposal to them directly. Also, the Barnstormers Mailbox is in the North Offices of the Mattin Center. This is also a very viable option for delivery.
  6. Director interviews - It is sometimes our policy to hold director interviews, to help us choose if there are several possibilities. You will be notified by us, regarding specific details, but in general - here are a few pointers. Don't worry about dressing up or looking smart. We're more concerned with your ability to talk a little bit about what you have in mind for the show. This is a wonderful opportunity to explain, face to face, any specifics that might not come across as well in a formal submission. Usually, we hold these interviews to be assured of a director's professional attitude and to provide a chance to talk a little about your ideas or explain anything you feel you need to clarify. Relax and be prepared to talk a little, and that's all you really need to do!