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Anyone is welcome to join the Company of Ten. It doesn’t matter whether you have decades of experience, or none at all.

When you become a member, you’ll receive a monthly bulletin called Prompt Corner, which includes all the Company news, including advance notice of auditions, training and social gatherings.

You’ll also be entitled to discounted tickets, and eligible for ‘Company Nights’ – closed-door performances in which new productions are tried out in advance of a public run.

You’re welcome to attend a new members’ event before (or after) you join. This is your chance to tour the theatre and learn more about us.

For more information please contact Suzanna Cheek and Carol Rose at membership@abbeytheatre.org.uk.

When you’re ready, you can join online by clicking here.

Acting

Open auditions are held for every production, which means that anyone can audition for any role in any production. (If you are successful though, you will need to become a member of the Company to perform). Check our NEWS pages for the latest information about when auditions are taking place.

The rehearsal period is relatively short but intense: productions usually rehearse for about two months on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and some Sundays. Actual performance ‘runs’ usually last ten nights.

Directing

The plays for the season are selected by our Executive Committee, after which potential directors can prepare a ‘bid’ to direct a particular play. Once selected, the director puts together a backstage team and begins the audition and rehearsal process.

We tend to favour directors with experience, but can also help you develop that experience via training sessions and opportunities to develop by directing smaller, less onerous plays first.

Backstage

Our excellent facilities include two performance spaces, extensive wardrobe and props stores, and a dedicated two-storey construction workshop.

Stage Management

The Stage Manager works with the director to deliver all the technical aspects of a production. During performances, they team up with Assistant Stage Managers backstage, ‘working the desk’ and generally ensuring everything goes to plan. If you’d like to be an SM, training sessions are available. Beginning as an ASM will provide you with invaluable experience.

Set Design and Construction

Each production has a Designer who works with the director, stage manager and construction team to produce outstanding sets – from traditional ‘box sets’ on the Main Stage to more innovative designs in the Studio. Our two-storey workshop provides a dedicated and well-equipped space for construction. A great opportunity for those who love DIY to take their talents to a new level.

Lighting, Sound and Projection

We have full light and sound rigs in both the Main Stage and the Studio. We’re particularly keen to further develop our use of multimedia in performances. If you’re not experienced but would like to learn, our stalwart technicians will happily show you the ropes – in some cases, quite literally.

Wardrobe

Our extensive wardrobe contains thousands of period and contemporary costumes, many of which have been made specifically for productions. The key job of Wardrobe Supervisor involves working with the Director and Designer to source the right costumes from our store and, sometimes, further afield. Each production also requires a team of Wardrobe Assistants to help with dressing, quick changes and any last-minute repairs.

Props

Our props store is a veritable Aladdin’s cave. From carpets and furniture to tiny ‘hand’ props, it contains almost everything you could imagine, and then some. The props team on a production work with the Director to source the props and during the run will be on hand to check each prop is always in the right place – and sometimes even make up any food and drink that’s required on stage.

Marketing

Marketing plays a crucial role in ensuring our productions are performed in front of full houses. The marketing team develops a wide range of materials including press releases, posters, programmes and banners, maintains our website and drives our growing social media presence. Marketing can always make use of creative thinkers, whether from a writing or design background, and people happy to help out by distributing posters or handing out leaflets at community events.

Front of House

On each night of a run, there are a host of Front-of-House roles that need filling, including House Manager, Stewards, box office, bar staff and coffee bar staff. All members are encouraged to help out front of house as often as possible – after all, there are more than 100 performance nights each year.

Development

We provide training courses in acting, directing and technical skills for members throughout the year. So if you think you’d like to be a stage manager, a lighting technician or even a flyman (that’s the person who pulls the scenery and curtain up and down from the fly tower), there are plenty of opportunities to try these things out.