OLD BUCKENHAM PLAYERS

New Members Information Sheet

 

Old Buckenham Players (OBP) was started by a small group of friends in 1978 at Old Buckenham Village Hall.  Several founder members are still with us and active today.

 

What do we do?

 

“The aim of The Players is to promote the advancement and development of all aspects of the Art of Drama and to encourage the general public's appreciation   of such art through the live performance of comedy, drama and general entertainment. The Players are non-political and non-sectarian.”

 

If all that sounds a bit stuffy – don’t worry!  It’s an extract from the constitution which is intended to occasionally remind us what we are here for.  An important thing to remember is that we do not restrict ourselves to one type of play or any particular style.  We have done comedies, ‘straight’ plays, full length or short one-acters, even Shakespeare (once).  We do not always choose well known plays and take pride in the fact that some of our productions are decidedly off-beat.  However we need to remember our audiences and ensure firstly that they are attracted to turn up, secondly that they are entertained, and thirdly that they will want to come back again!

When do we do it?

 

The group meets every Thursday at Old Buckenham Village hall at 8.00 p.m. or 7.30 p.m. when we are in rehearsal mode.  We are normally in the main hall but once a month move to the smaller Memorial Hall to accommodate the Women’s Institute!  As we move closer to a show – a few weeks before we will tend to meet twice a week on either Mondays or Tuesdays as well.  We also set build and paint for one or two Sundays before production week.  During production week full commitment is expected but if all is going well you may get one night off…

 

Where do we do it?

 

As said above we meet in Old Buckenham Village Hall and that is where we put on the productions.  However we do get out and about on occasions.  For many years we took part in the Breckland Drama Festival every May which would be held in different venues in Breckland and South Norfolk.  More recently we entered the Felixstowe Festival in May 2008 and repeated our May production there where we won the award for Best Technical and came third overall with a production of Snake in the Grass by Alan Ayckbourn

 

Who does it?

 

The group has about 25-30 paid-up members, some of who are staunchly involved in every show and others dip in and out depending upon other commitments and what is happening in their life at the time.  Pantomime season sees a sudden increase in numbers – I wonder why…  We are truly a diverse group with members from all sorts of different backgrounds and of all ages from 14 to older than some will admit to!  Surprisingly, most of our members do not actually live in Old Buckenham although we all have links here and are fond of the village.

How do we do it?

 

We do have a set pattern over the year mainly due to the hall availability.  Old Buckenham is a thriving village with a shop, school and many active clubs and societies so it is not surprising that the village hall is in great demand.  We normally try to do three shows a year in January, May and September.  January is pantomime time, or a seasonal play of some description; in May we aim to do a full length play, either a comedy or drama, and in September we try to put on something a bit more relaxed such as a couple of one-act plays with some music or entertainment  in an informal setting with some simple food or nibbles.  The pantomime runs for three nights plus a Saturday matinee, the May show is also three nights and in September we just use the Friday and Saturday

Do I need to make any sort of regular commitment?

 

The short answer is no.  A lot of the group are busy people in their work and social lives and of course for our younger members exams crop up from time to time.  Some people only take part in pantomime and others are heavily involved in most things.  However there are always lots of things to help out with near a show or in production week itself and support and assistance is required for all those things outside of acting that need to be done such as set-painting, front of house, raffle, props, costumes, prompt,lighting, sound etc.  If you are cast in a play then we obviously expect a certain level of commitment to being there for rehearsals and into learning lines in your own time.  Do remember that not everyone can be acting in all productions and some of what we do will only have a small cast.

 

 

I only want to help backstage – is that OK?

 

Of course it is.  OBP does not have a team of people who only do backstage with the actors just turning up and doing their thing.   However several of our group came along saying they only wanted to help backstage and are now regulars at treading the boards.

 

We have a culture of everyone helping where they can for one or maybe two Sundays before the show and a lot of the group come along the Sunday morning afterwards to help clear up and strike the set.  Please don’t be put off though if you do have regular Sunday commitments: the point is that we all try to muck in and help where we can.

 

Do I need experience to act with OBP?

 

No - just enthusiasm, commitment and a readiness to learn from the Director and others around you.  We are an amateur group but we do aim not to be amateurish and to provide a quality experience for our audiences who pay to see us.

So what about the boring stuff?

 

We do have a constitution which sets out how we operate and a very general structure for the group.  We have a committee which meets every couple of months to keep us on track and deal with the more mundane aspects of the Players such as finances, general administration and village hall politics!

 

Chair Laurence Barnett

Tel: 01953 451267      Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Secretary Richard Crawley         Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  

Treasurer Margaret White         Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Committee Tom Key

Josh Francis

Becky Scott

Village Hall Rep Richard Crawley

 

As you might expect we have lots of costs, many of which we cannot recoup just from productions so we do have a yearly subscription.  Annual subscription is currently £30 per annum or £15.00 for students and.  There is no charge for under 16s.  We have an Annual General Meeting in November where we elect the committee and review the year.

 

If you want to come along for a few weeks and suss us out please do so – no costs or obligations apply.  As and when you think you might want to come along on a more regular basis then our Treasurer will hunt you down!  It is a general rule though that if you want to be on stage then you must be a paid up member.

 

So that’s about it I guess.  Please speak to any member of the committee or just pitch up on a Thursday night.

 

Laurence Barnett

Chairman