Who can join?
Christian or Christan-friendly homeschoolers are welcome to take part in SMASH. Teenagers generally receive the larger parts, but younger children often join and have a wonderful time; everyone receives stage time, no matter the age, if it is their wish. The pre-production teaching lectures are appropriate for teens, but may not be age-appropriate for younger children. If your young child will be involved, we ask that you provide supervision for them during rehearsals rather than dropping them off; their teen sibling actors will not be able to watch them at that time because of their commitment to the rehearsal. We ask that those who wish to join to be respectful and loving towards all of the other cast members, parents, and Pastor Sam himself.
Where does it take place?
Auditions and Rehearsals take place either at the Sam and Lynn Richard’s home or at his church, East Winthrop Baptist. The shows have been performed in many different places over the years. The most recent location has been Cumston Hall in Monmouth. Usually crunch week takes place where the play is going to be performed.
What does it cost to join SMASH?*
There is no fee for joining SMASH, but participants are asked to get sponsorships - see the Participant Handbook for more details. Also, there are many expenses which come along with being a member of SMASH. TIME is the biggest requirement. As shown even in the loose schedule written below, SMASH is a very intense endeavor. Cast members pay for their own food, personal script, makeup, sometimes elements of their own costume, and they work out their own transportation. They and their families are also asked to help with the administration of the production. The next section spells out the multitude of tasks that must be done in order to make it happen! Without all of the parents doing their part, our plays would not happen!
What does a typical SMASH schedule look like?*
SMASH usually officially begins in the September and finishes up in March. This is a commitment! As soon as you hear the announcement of the upcoming play title, do some studying. The script that is always used is the Folgers paperback version of the play. Sometime around audition time, someone will ask the Barnes and Noble Book Store in Augusta, ME to order a couple dozen copies or so. If going there for your book is not convenient, it is available to order online.
In September: This is a kick-off night when the students watch a film version of the play with script in hand. The parents meet during this time to discuss the commitment and the role of the participant families in making the play a success.
In October: Auditions, casting, and weekly classes that teach through the play.
In November: Before Thanksgiving there are weekly group read-throughs of the play.
In December: All members of the cast will work on memorizing their lines with no group meetings. The deadline for having all lines memorized is January 1st.
In January: SMASH meets twice a week for rehearsals. It is crucial to the productivity of the rehearsals for all members to have the lines memorized. Sometimes rehearsals are planned according to Acts, so depending on what acts they are in, sometimes actors are not required to attend
In February: We begin to meet three times a week for rehearsals.
In March: SMASH enters “Crunch week”, which is exactly what is sounds like. SMASH uses the week before the performance to eat, sleep and breath Shakespeare up to eight hours in a day so as to make the play a great one. Finally, we’re ready, and SMASH performs. Historically performances were 3 or 4 times in one week. In 2012 a second week was added, for a total of 6 performances. Sometimes those plays are done by two casts, or understudies.
Getting It All Done
Several of these tasks are done by the actors themselves. In fact, we do encourage participants to use or stretch their skills in a particular area by taking on one of the Management or Director tasks. However, there are many times where an adult is needed to help mentor the student in their chosen task. In the case of some of the listed tasks, an adult is needed to take it on. In many cases, multiple tasks are handled by one person or set of people; it all depends on the year.
Need more information?
If have questions about how the casting works, what exactly SMASH expects of its members, religious affiliation, the level of commitment, or if you think you are up for the challenge and joy of joining SMASH, please call the director, Pastor Sam Richards at 207-395-4251.
*(Subject to change as a new Board of Directors forms up and the vision of SMASH going forward grows into the future.)