Season Planning Process
Each Theatre@First production begins as someone's dream. Theatre@First will be selects mainstage productions through an application and interview process for directors with shows to propose. Through this process we look to remove barriers to participation, welcome new directors into our organization more smoothly, and to increase the diversity of both our directing bench and the voices we feature in our work.
To volunteer for the Season Planning Committee please email our Production Coordinator.
If you are interested in becoming an Assistant Director please email our Artistic Director.
Designers and technical crew, or those who would like to learn to fill those roles, are encouraged to email our Technical Coordinator.
Directors are invited to propose shows for Theatre@First to produce under their direction by filling out the application form below. Each proposal will be reviewed by our Artistic Director and then considered by the Season Planning Committee, made up of volunteers from our organization. Every director whose application is accepted for consideration will be interviewed by a team including the Artistic Director, Technical Coordinator, and Production Coordinator. Public comment on the list of potential titles will be invited to provide transparency and allow us to gauge enthusiasm and encourage participation.
Season Planning Timeline
What does the application require?
Directors may submit only one application per round, proposing up to two shows. Directors whose shows are not chosen in one round will be offered the option of being reconsidered in the following round.
In order for an application to be complete, two references must also be submitted using this form. References can be anyone who has worked with you on at least one show and has an opinion about your potential as a director. Individuals may provide references for multiple directors.
Directors will be notified whether a submitted application is complete and accepted for consideration by the Season Planning Committee.
All directors are required to commit to this anti-racist casting pledge in order for the application to be accepted.
All directors included in the season will be required to participate in an anti-racism learning process before the season begins. That process will include approximately 90 minutes of self-guided learning and either attending one discussion session with other directors and Theatre@First officers, or completing a set of written reflections. We will provide additional material for those interested in continuing this learning on their own. All applicants must agree to this requirement.
All Theatre@First auditions, rehearsals, meetings, and performances operate under our Code of Conduct. Please review that document to be sure that you understand its full scope. All applicants must acknowledge having read this document and agree to uphold its standards.
The application identifies several potential performance windows in the application period. Exact performance dates will be confirmed by Theatre@First in consultation with directors before the shows are announced.
Who can apply to direct with Theatre@First?
Previous experience with Theatre@First is not required.
Previous directing experience is not required. The Season Planning Committee will consider whether new directors have enough other relevant experience to qualify at this point. We may encourage an applicant with less experience to become an Assistant Director this season, or to try directing with one of our other programs before tackling a mainstage show.
What are the criteria for a Theatre@First show?
This is an opportunity for directors to propose shows they are excited to direct. Theatre@First does not choose scripts without attached directors, nor do we consider directors without a script to propose. Directors are permitted to propose up to two scripts. If two directors both propose the same script, we will consider each proposal on its other merits. Previous Theatre@First mainstage productions are listed here. Scripts that have been performed at Theatre@First within the past five years will not be considered.
Mainstage shows with Theatre@First generally have eight or more roles. Shows with fewer roles that have significant name recognition or another strong hook for publicity can be considered.
We do not generally perform musicals for a variety of reasons (high royalties, difficulty securing volunteer musicians, budget limitations on spectacle, etc.) which must be addressed before a musical production will be selected, but we are not categorically opposed to doing that kind of show.
The application requires all directors to address the question of how this production will contribute to Theatre@First's goals to improve equity, diversity, and inclusion of marginalized communities within our organization. We are especially interested in shows that will feature the talent and stories of BIPOC, LGBTQIA+, and people with disabilities.
Somerville statutes do not permit onstage nudity.
Theatre@First is an all-volunteer organization. No one at any level of our staff, production teams, crew, or cast receives monetary compensation for our work. Participants who live more than five miles from our rehearsal/performance space may apply for a travel stipend of $25 per production. If you are interested in understanding more about how Theatre@First finances are managed, you are welcome to attend our monthly Steering Committee meeting, or to email our Treasurer.
Theatre@First is committed to free and open auditions for mainstage productions. If a director wishes to pre-cast a role, they must include that information in their show proposal and discuss that choice with the Season Selection Committee.
Theatre@First will recruit production teams (Producer, Technical Director, Stage Manager) for each show, in consultation and cooperation with each Director.