Who can join?
Christian or Christian-friendly homeschoolers are welcome to take part in SMASH. Teenagers generally receive the larger parts and tweens the smaller 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 and tweens, 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 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 at the same location as the performances.
What does it cost to join SMASH?*
A $50 registration fee per child up to two children is charged at the beginning of the season. In lieu of a registration fee, participants can sell sponsorships (see the Participant Handbook for more details). There can be a other expenses which come along with being a member of SMASH though we try to keep them as minimal as possible. Cast members work out their own transportation, pay for their own food, personal script, some makeup, and sometimes elements of their own costume. Participants and their families are also asked to help with the administration of the production. TIME is the biggest requirement. As shown even in the loose schedule written below, SMASH is an intense endeavor. Without all of the parents, our plays would not happen!
What does a typical SMASH schedule look like?*
SMASH officially begins in September and ends in April. This is a commitment! The upcoming season's play will be tentatively announced before SMASH orientation in order to give potential participants a chance to become familiar with the text. The script typically used is the Folger paperback version of the play. It can be purchased at Barnes and Noble or on Amazon.com for around $6. Free versions can be found.
Late August / Early September: Orientation. Parents meet during this time to discuss the commitment and the role of the participant families in making the play a success. The students attend a class with Pastor Samuel Richards discussing the literature, acting tips, and what is expected in an audition. This is the time to gather all forms and information.
October: Three-day Intensive. The students participate in a cast read-through and further classes with Pastor Sam explaining the meaning of the play, making connections with the Bible, exploring the dialogue, and discovering the moral of the play. The intensive ends with auditions and the assignment of parts.
October-January: Memorization. Students spend time at home memorizing the lines for their assigned role. It is crucial to the productivity of the rehearsals that all members have their lines memorized before we reconvene for rehearsals in January.
January-February: Weekly Rehearsals. SMASH meets twice a week for rehearsals. Typically rehearsals are planned according to acts, and actors are only required to attend rehearsals for the acts in which their character appears. If you have a scheduling conflict please let your production manager know as soon as possible. February is the month when set and props are created. A set-day may be scheduled to work as a group on larger projects.
March: Rehearsal and Preparation. Rehearsals increase to three-times weekly as needed to assist students in gaining skills.
Crunch Week: Getting Ready for the Performances. Crunch Week is exactly what it sounds like. SMASH uses the week before the performance to eat, sleep, and breath Shakespeare up to eight hours in a day as we make the play a great one. Finally we’re ready, and SMASH performs. Historically there are 2-3 performances at the end of Crunch Week.
Getting It All Done
Many of the tasks necessary for a performance are done by the actors themselves. In fact, we encourage participants to use or stretch their skills in a particular area by taking on one of the Management or Director duties. However, there are many times when an adult is needed to help mentor a student in their chosen task, or a particular responsibility must be undertaken by an adult. In many cases, multiple tasks are handled by one person or group of people.
Need more information?
If you have questions, 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, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit our facebook page.
*(Subject to change.)