Season Planning Process

Each Theatre@First production begins as someone's dream. Starting this year, Theatre@First will be selecting our entire 2022-23 season of mainstage productions through one application and interview process for directors with shows to propose. By planning each season as a whole, 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. Fill out the application below to make your directing dreams part of Theatre@First's next season of shows.

To volunteer for the Season Planning Committee please email our Production Coordinator.

Overview

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. Production teams (Producer, Technical Director, Stage Manager) will be recruited for each show selected to be part of our next season. Once production teams are confirmed for all shows, the season will be announced and preparation for each production will begin.

2022-23 Season Planning Timeline

July 15, 2021 - Application window opens.

October 1, 2021 - All applications must be completed by this date. Applications will be reviewed by the Artistic Director, who will notify directors by October 15th whether the application is complete and has been accepted for consideration.

October 2021-March 2022 - Accepted applications are passed to the Season Planning Committee for consideration and interviews scheduled for all directors with the Artistic Director, Technical Coordinator, and Production Coordinator. References will be confirmed for all directors. Public comment is invited on the list of potential titles. Once a preliminary season is identified, production teams will be recruited. Directors will be notified once production teams are complete and the schedule finalized, before public announcement.

March 15, 2022 - Public announcement of the 2022-23 Season!

Guidelines

What does the application require?

  • All applications must be completed by October 1, 2021.

  • Directors may submit only one application per season, proposing up to two shows.

  • 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.

  • 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 four potential performance windows between November 2022 and September 2023. Exact performance dates will be confirmed by Theatre@First in consultation with directors before the season is announced.

  • Directors will be notified by October 15, 2021 whether a submitted application is complete and accepted for consideration by the Season Planning Committee.

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.

What else?

  • 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.

  • Directors are invited to supply the names and contact information for production team members they would like to work with. This is an optional section of the application and will not be considered by the Season Planning Committee, but used after shows are selected to recruit production teams. Proposed production team members do not have to have experience with Theatre@First. If a show is not selected, Theatre@First will not reach out to the people suggested if they have not previously worked with our organization.

Questions?

  • Directors, especially those who have not previously worked with Theatre@First, are encouraged to read this additional information about our operations as they particularly concern directors.

  • The 2022-23 Season is the first to be chosen through this process. Please bear that in mind as we all learn the strengths and weaknesses of the Season Planning Process.

  • If you have questions or concerns, please reach out to the Production Coordinator or the Artistic Director.