Getting Your First Modern-Day Play In Front Of An Audience On A Shoestring Budget

Posted on: 11 May 2016

Are you going to be the director of a modern-day play in your local area? Perhaps this is going to be one of the most important moments of your life because you happen to be the playwright and the director. If you are like others in your industry, you are likely working with a budget, which might be interfering with you creating the perfect scenes. The following suggestions will help to make your modern-day play more realistic and improve your chances of presenting a play that is truly captivating.

Mimic pricey electronics, but avoid the hefty purchase and rental costs.

Today, people are accustomed to electronics, and since your play is based on modern times, you likely want to include electronics. Renting electronics can be expensive -- especially if you are planning to put on several shows over the course of several days. Purchasing these items will likely put a dent in your budget, and borrowing them from someone means that you are putting yourself at risk for potential damages. Avoid these problems by investing in realistic electronics props from a company like Props America. Examples of products are fake TV props, fake tablets, laptop props, or fake smartphones. Opt for realistic props that are the same or similar quality to those used in real estate home staging. 

Shop for cast costumes at thrift stores or network with a seamstress.  

You are likely to find trendy and stylish clothing in thrift stores, and sometimes the items may even have the tags still attached. Aim to take cast members to these stores with you. The experience should be fun because they will get the opportunity to "watch" their character come to life. 

You likely know that networking is an integral part to entrepreneurial success for many people. If you or the cast are not keep on the idea of shopping at the thrift store, there may be an aspiring seamstress in your area who is willing to assist with costume designs to gain exposure. Ensure you raise awareness by including mention of this type of networking opportunity by thanking them verbally after each performance or in your play's program acknowledgments section. 

Familiarize yourself with the acoustics and sound system in the venue.

Sound is likely the most important part of your play. After all, people who cannot hear the play will likely get distracted and become a distraction for others. You may have to invest in a better sound system in the future, but for now, you can likely rent sound equipment at a reasonable price. Practicing in the venue will help you determine if there are sound issues that need to be addressed. If investing in a sound system is not possible due to your budget, inquire with schools, churches or private organizations that have a theater or stage because these will likely have sound systems installed and possibly microphones.

As you can see, the tightest budgets can still produce outstanding modern-themed plays. Using these suggestions may help you get a standing ovation or nomination that allows you to broaden your play productions into high-paying performances.