Join Us

We’re always open for new members to join us, whether its treading the boards in one of our productions or providing essential skills backstage.

On this page, you can find out all of the useful information about joining the LADS, including our rehearsal schedule, the audition process, what we do on play week and our subs.

The Roles

We welcome anyone who wants to step onto the stage with us! We’re a very welcoming, open and friendly group who are happy to see new faces take their first steps into acting.

If you’re an experienced actor who’s perhaps looking for a fresh group or has recently moved to the Derby area, then you’re equally as welcome to come down to one of our rehearsals and meet the talented cast already assembled at the group.

If you like being around theatre but perhaps don’t feel an acting role is for you, then in our Productions Roles section you can also find out more about the critical backstage roles that make a show happen.

We always need willing and able people to help put our productions on, and through our technical roles we have given many volunteers, such as theatre students, their first taste of being in charge of key areas such as lighting and sound.

This goes all the way through planning and plotting the layout of the systems and their queues, through assembling the lighting and sound systems on show week, to actually controlling these during our live performances. It’s challenging, but exhilarating!

Performances

We perform two productions every year. Our performances usually take place in the last weeks of April and October. This may vary if the hall is unavailable.

Dates are communicated out to the group in advance, usually at the AGM which is held in January of each year.

Rehearsals

Rehearsals take place once a week on a Monday, mainly at Spondon Village Hall.

Every second Monday of the month we rehearse at St Werbergh’s Church in Spondon.

We ask members to be at rehearsals for 7.30pm so that we can start at 7.45pm. We hire the hall until 10.30pm however most rehearsals will finish at 10.00pm.

As we get closer to play week you may be asked to stay until our allotted time of 10.30pm.

You may also be asked to attend a second rehearsal, the venue of which will be decided nearer the time.

Auditions

Each director has their own way of auditioning, although most will ask you to state which part/s you would be interested in auditioning for.

Auditions can take the form of either a read around of the whole play, up on your feet acting, reading specific audition pieces or a mixture of all.

When the director has decided on their cast they will call everyone, usually during the week following auditions, to let them know about parts.

However, as with most groups, it is not always possible to cast everyone in a
play or even in the part they really wanted.

Once cast you will be asked to supply the director with a list of dates you will be unable to attend rehearsals, which helps when putting together the rehearsal schedule.

As rehearsals progress it is a good idea to start to learn your lines early on!

Books are expected to be ‘down’ at least four/six weeks before play week. Not only does this give the director and cast time to polish the production but it also allows cast members to see how individuals are delivering lines. Lines are delivered differently when a book goes down!

Play Week

Set Build

Set build takes place on the Saturday before play week, during which we build our stage and then our set. As many members as possible are asked to help.

Set build runs from 9am until 9pm, depending on the complexity of the set. Lunch is provided in the form of huge pans of delicious chilli, jacket potatoes and as much cheese as you can pour on – a tradition of our group!

Sunday before the play

This is our technical rehearsal and will run from 2pm until 6pm.

All cast and backstage crew are expected to attend.

Monday before the play

This is our full dress rehearsal and will run from 7.30pm until 10.30pm.

All cast and backstage crew are expected to attend.

Tuesday before the play

Night off!

Wednesday before the play

This is our preview night, which starts exactly at 7.30pm.

On this night we invite – for free – residents from two local residential homes and shopkeepers who have helped promote our production.

We get to treat this night like a second dress rehearsal, but no less professional for it. It also helps to remove first night nerves!

Public performance nights

Public performance nights are Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

On these nights we ask cast and crew to be at the hall for about 6pm (or as near as) to help set up. This includes setting up chairs for the audience, tables for selling programmes and tickets, and organising the refreshments bar.

Most cast members do not come in costume, but it is not frowned upon if you do, as long as you are not front of house when the doors open.

Crew members should be in smart casual attire (usually black) to create a good image.

Doors open to the public at 7pm, with curtain up at 7.30pm.

There is a 20 minute interval, during which cast are expected to remain in
the dressing room – although they are allowed to go to the toilet!

The Stage Manager will ask for ‘Act Two beginners’ five minutes before the
beginning of Act Two.

After the play has finished, cast are asked to change out of their costume before they return to the hall to greet any relatives or friends who may have attended that evenings performance. We then clear the hall of the tables and chairs, as with it being a community venue we need to respect the other uses of the hall.

Set strike

Set strike takes place on the first Sunday after the play.

It is the reverse of set build so obviously the more people there are, the less time it takes and is usually complete by early afternoon after starting at around 9am.

The Weeks After a Play

The Monday after play week is a rest day – no meeting!

On the following Monday the director of the next lay will usually hold a read
through of the new play. Auditions for the new play will take place the week
after the read through.

Subs

We do ask you to pay yearly subs. The amount for each year is set at the AGM in January and is payable by the end of March.

The subscription charges are as follows:

  • Full Member: £30.00
  • Associate Member: £5.00

An Associate Member is someone who doesn’t come very often to the group but still wants to retain their membership. Associate members can help front of house or backstage during play week.

To take part in or to direct one of our productions you must be a full member.

If you join part way through the year your subs will be worked out on a pro rata basis.

Weekly attendance fees

In addition to the yearly subscription we also ask for an attendance fee, this is paid weekly.

Each member that attends a rehearsal is expected to pay £1. If you do not attend we do not expect you to pay!

This fee helps towards the hire of the hall and refreshments and is waived during playweek.

Please note: over 60s do not pay this fee.