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BODS is a small society and we always welcome new members, whether you want to appear on stage or help backstage and front-of-house. For those wishing to perform, the questions+answers below may be useful.  You can also find out more about our history, past productions and how to join us

Will I have to audition ?

Auditions are held after the initial introductory evenings so that a cast list can be finalized as quickly as possible - although we always try to accommodate anyone who can't make the introduction/audition evenings, and on occasion parts may be filled by invitation afterwards. 

For plays, the audition is usually combined with one or more open script readings, where all those interested are invited to take different parts in turn so the director can assess them. 

For musicals, those auditioning for principal roles are expected to sing a solo with accompaniment, (sometimes reading passages of dialogue as well) and you can be considered for more than one role if you wish. There is usually a 'chorus' of people singing together, which anyone is welcome to join without audition.

We appreciate there are often some who will be disappointed not to get the singing or speaking part they wanted, but feel that the process is as fair and open as we can make it, with no special preference given to long-standing members. In all cases the director has the final decision on casting as they are responsible for the artistic standard of the production

Do I have to read music ?

For a musical everyone in the cast will be provided with a vocal score to borrow or buy, so it certainly helps if you can follow this, particularly where there are harmonies such as SATB (Soprano Alto Tenor Bass). But not all shows involve harmonies and there are plenty of other ways to learn the music - often with popular works there are rehearsal tracks for each part readily available, or we can help with recording your own tracks

Where do you perform ?

Productions are nearly always at Betchworth Village Hall which can accommodate an audience of up to 100. In common with many other halls the dressing room facilities are quite limited - basically the back room - and the stage is not very deep. But we're able to store scenery and build an extension for most shows, it has proper curtains, and there's good provision for stage lighting. There's also comfortable seating and facilities for a bar to serve the audience, an important part of any show !

Where and when do you rehearse ?

Rehearsals usually start at least 3-4 months before performances, and are held once or twice a week. Normally they will be Tuesday evenings in the back room at Betchworth Village Hall and/or Wednesday evenings at Reigate Methodist Church. It's not expected that everyone will attend every rehearsal, but in the week of the show there will be at least a technical and a dress rehearsal which are the first opportunity for a full run on stage - so all cast are required. At the start of rehearsals the director distributes a schedule showing who is required on each date, taking into account availability, and in a musical there will be fewer rehearsals for the chorus than the principals

Do you have an orchestra ?

BODS hasn't had an orchestra for many years, with recent musical performances instead being accompanied by piano or keyboard, and occasionally one or two other musicians. This is quite adequate for the size of the hall and also allows more space for the audience

Will I have to wear make-up ?

Nearly all our productions involve at least some stage make-up, which makes features and expressions more visible to the audience at a distance and sometimes allows the actor to significantly alter their appearance. There will be make-up provided and someone backstage to help apply it if you wish

Can young people take part ?

Because of safeguarding regulations we can't have any performers under 18 at the time of the show. Apart from chaperoning requirements, there would have to be separate segregated dressing rooms which is impossible in the space available at the hall. There are other local groups such as Youth East Surrey Performing Arts who are specifically organized to accommodate children and young people