Dear new TADS member,

Welcome! We are always pleased to have new members, and we very much hope you will enjoy being part of our group.

This is quite a formal letter, I’m afraid, but it’s useful to have everything laid out for you to refer to if you need to.

What TADS will do for you

TADS has a reputation for putting on high-quality productions. Obviously we can’t include every member in every production, but we do try to spread the net of inclusion as wide as we can. We have open auditions, but a director has overall responsibility for a production and their choice of cast members is final.

If you are interested in other aspects of producing plays, we really welcome people who are interested in set design and build, costume making and acquisition, looking after props, stage managing, front of house, etc. We often include music in our productions so if you have skills in singing or playing an instrument that’s great.

We don’t just put on productions. We also run workshops and have events devoted to music or storytelling or… if you have a skill you would like to share, do please let us know.

We have monthly meetings. Everyone is welcome at these, so it’s a chance to give your opinions and vote on things like our next major production. 

You will be covered, during rehearsals and performances, by TADS’ insurance.

What we ask from you

Every member of TADS has to pay an annual subscription. At the moment this is £20, but it does change from time to time. In exceptional circumstances, members can ask not to pay this – you just have to ask a committee member and it will be dealt with discreetly, outside of the monthly meeting, to avoid any embarrassment. Paying the subscription (or having a special arrangement) is essential to ensure that you are covered by our insurance.

When you’re involved in a production, you will be asked to pay a small fee for every rehearsal you attend. Rehearsal venues are not cheap, and this rehearsal fee is a real help in paying for hire charges. It’s usually £2 per week, but again, if you are facing financial difficulties, you can ask for an exemption, using the same procedure as for the annual fee. You can pay rehearsal fees weekly, or all in one go at the end of a production, but you will need to pay anything you owe before a performance. 

Sometimes refreshments are provided at rehearsals, and if you want a cup of tea or coffee we’ll usually ask you for a small amount, just to cover the costs.

You will need to arrange and pay for your own transport to rehearsals and performances. If you are asked by the person in charge of a department (e.g. costume, props) to provide costume items, or other materials, for a production, the cost will be reimbursed to you – but do please bear in mind that we need to keep these costs down, and that charity shops are a terrific source of costume items! You’ll just need to give any receipts to the Treasurer to be repaid.

Occasionally you may be asked to pay for other things. For example, often a cast will buy a card and/or small gift for their director. Many people want to contribute, but it’s entirely up to you whether you do or not, and nobody will notice if you don’t.

Finally, we ask you to show respect for your fellow actors and backstage people. This means attending every rehearsal you possibly can, and arriving promptly. Of course, things happen; if you have a holiday booked, for example, and need to miss a rehearsal, that’s fine, as long as you tell the director in advance. Similarly, sometimes unexpected events prevent people from arriving on time; again, please let the director know if you’re going to be late.

Showing respect also means being kind to each other. We all have off days, and if somebody else’s bad day affects your rehearsal or performance, remember it might be you next time.

What we all get out of it

Sorry for all the formalities! The thing is that everyone in TADS gets a huge amount from being involved in productions that engage audiences and give them pleasure. If you’re new to amateur drama, you might not know what to expect, but what you will find is a group of people who will welcome you and help you; we take our productions seriously but there will always be a lot of laughter along the way.