Saturday, 18 May 2013

How casting and rehearsals differ in two German amateur theatres to their English counterparts.

How the plays are cast and rehearsed in our twin theatres in Karlsruhe, Germany.

It's always interesting to find out how our friends at the Jakobus theatre and Die Käuze theatre in Germany do things so I thought that I would contact someone from each group and ask how they cast plays, rehearse and perform. I was interested to discover that they certainly do things differently to us. They are usually very impressed that The LaceMarket Theatre have a programme of approximately fifteen plays a year. For a start they have much longer playing periods and quite often both groups revise a play in the same season and do it again if it has been popular. But first of all over to Norbert Wingender from the Die Käuze group.

Norbert: First of all we don't do auditions. People come to us if they are interested in our theatre, and we show them around, have a look at them, and if they want to act they can come to the first meeting of a new play. If we think they could play a certain role we check them at the first rehearsal. At the meeting, the play – or part of it – is read with changing roles so we can see who has a 'feeling' for the part.

Rehearsals are like this: for the Fairy Tale we have the first meeting after the summer holidays when everybody is back again (mid-September). Since usually a few kids are involved we explain what we will play meaning- the story of the play. Marita makes a list of the people who want to participate then we put up a cast. We form a Tuesday and a Thursday group depending on the everyday schedule of the cast members. Because we have two or three people for each part we have rehearsals until the première which is on the last Saturday of November. Just before the première we have two weekend “rehearsal confinements” where everybody is in the theatre and we also eat together – try on costumes … everything. Of course other members have been working hard in designing and creating the set. The Fairy Tale is usually played in the afternoons because of the young children coming to see it.

For the 'evening plays', meaning the adult plays, we choose the cast after the first meeting, then we have rehearsals on appointment. Usually we have one “confinement” there as we only have one person per part.

Thank you Norbert and now over to the Jakobus Theatre in the city centre of Karlsruhe. Here I spoke to Carsten Thein.

Carsten Thein: Normally we start rehearsing for our play about three months before the first show.
Afterwards we play every week on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays and our shows are played about twenty-five times in all.

The kind of audition depends on the director and the sort of play.Sometimes the director knows exactly which people they want to cast the play, other cases we have the normal audition. There everyone who is interested to participate in the next show has a possibility to convince the director to take him or her for a role in the play.

The time of rehearsals means three or four evenings a week for a time from 6 pm till 10 pm and sometimes on a Saturday and Sunday as well. Normally we have about forty rehearsals before a new play starts. We perform around three new shows a year and sometimes repeat the most popular shows later in the season. Also our theatre can be hired for outside professionals and amateur groups to perform plays and music. Our programme is varied and in the recent past we have performed Die Entdeckung der Currywurst by J.Kaetzler and G Seidel, a comedy and a classical German piece from our region – Der zerbroche Krug. Also we played a popular fantasy called Die Nibelungen by Rudiger Pape and Catharina Fillers. We are about to start a play by Arthur Schnitzler called Reigen and look forward to bringing Boeing Boeing to you in 2014.

No comments: