Starry Nights FAQs
Starry Nights is one of the highlights in Playbox Theatre’s calendar and has been loved by generations of members…many of who made their first stage appearance in the project, going on to achieve great things with the company. Have a read to find out exactly what this wild and wonderful event is, and whether it’s right for you!
How old do you have to be to take part in Starry Nights? This project is an opportunity for all members of Playbox Theatre aged 5 upwards to take part in a large-scale performance project. We have limited spaces for every age from 5-20 years. If your child is only 4, but is in Reception class at school, they are also able to take part.
Do I have to be in Playbox to do Starry Nights? Yes! Starry Nights is project only available to fully registered and paid up members of Playbox Theatre.
Do I have to audition? No! This is the only production that Playbox Theatre stages where there are no auditions. It is a wonderful opportunity for everyone who wants to, to rehearse and perform in the main theatre at The Dream Factory. Places are allocated on a first-come-first-served basis and there are limited spaces for each age.
Do I have to pay to be in Starry Nights? Yes – there is a fee to participate in this project and it is currently £75. Starry Nights is Playbox’s major annual fundraising event and all proceeds go directly to support the development of the company, the theatre and its young people. The directors of the project donate their time by way of supporting Playbox’s crucial fundraising venture.
Do the audience pay for tickets? Yes – tickets are booked online via our box office link. The price is currently £10 per ticket (one rate only for this production) and, again, proceeds go directly to the fundraising activities of Playbox Theatre.
Will I have lines to learn? You might do! As the rehearsal period for Starry Nights is very short, and the emphasis is on creating high quality ensemble work, often physical in its nature, text is minimal. Some actors will be given scripts and required to learn lines very quickly, and we ask for parents’ support on this. Many cast members will not be required to learn lines, but will need to work hard to ensure they are totally on top of all the material they need to perform! It is important for participants to remember that there are no guarantees of ‘big parts’ in the production, as this is not the way this project works. We focus on creating the best possible content in the time allowed for rehearsal, and need all actors to bring superb attitudes and enthusiasm to every aspect of the project.
What will I wear in the production? For rehearsals, you’ll just need to wear comfortable clothes that you can move in. The production clothing requirements are kept very simple, so that we can put all of our efforts into staging. Usually, you will be asked to wear either blue or black jeans or leggings, with black or white pumps. There is always a unique ‘Starry Nights t-shirt’ which is optional for you to buy at the time of booking your place. Most cast members love to wear these, but it is not a requirement and you will be offered the option of wearing a specific coloured plain t-shirt instead.
Who will be directing the production? The directors of Starry Nights are the most senior and most experienced directors of Playbox Theatre. All the directors heading up sections will have directed a large number of main house productions for Playbox over the years. The directors are supported by the workshop team, and by senior Playbox members and assistants who work hard to ensure that everyone is happy, and that the project is realised to the highest possible standard.
When does it rehearse? Unlike a usual rehearsal period, which will often take place over weeks and months, Starry Nights begins and ends within a school half term period! This gives people the opportunity to perform in a production with Playbox Theatre, without the commitment of a major and lengthy rehearsal schedule. In recent years, Starry Nights has rehearsed and performed during the Warwickshire Schools February half term.
What is Starry Nights and how is it different to other Playbox productions? Starry Nights is an annual performance project, which is also a major fund-raiser for the company. Starry Nights is created over the course of a few days, with a large company of Playbox actors across all ages, and directed by the company’s most senior staff. The production usually comprises of extracts from some of Playbox Theatre’s most celebrated work, from its 32 year history. It is a wonderful opportunity for members to meaningfully perform in a production, without having to make the commitment of a rigorous and lengthy rehearsal schedule, and also allows people to perform without having to undertake a challenging audition process (which is a requirement of all other productions by Playbox Theatre).
Starry Nights is a super project for many reasons…it can serve as a brilliant introduction to the production process, for those that would love to find out more about being in one of our shows, it is also a great way for us to blend members. Young people of all ages participate, and with many different levels of previous experience…some will be highly experienced, others will be absolute newcomers. Starry Nights offers a level playing field where the focus is on the ‘ensemble’ and creating exciting, challenging and entertaining theatre together.
Do I have to attend all rehearsals and performances? Yes – all rehearsals that you are called to are compulsory. These are always outlined at the time of booking, so that you can check you are available, before signing up. If you miss rehearsals, you might not be allowed to perform in the finished piece.
Do I need to bring my own lunch? You can choose to bring packed lunch with you, or to pre-order from Playbox’s lovely theatre café, Café Whirl. Menus and order forms are sent to cast members well in advance of the project starting, so that you can choose whether to bring food with you, or order from the café.
Is Starry Nights a type of holiday project? It’s important to understand that Starry Nights is very different to a Playbox Holiday Project. The only similarity is that it takes place during a holiday! Starry Nights is not suitable as straight forward childcare – the participants are required to be disciplined, focussed and hard-working. Many children love this…but if you think your child will struggle with the demands and the intensity, then don’t think of signing them up!
Is it hard work? Yes it is! It is also HUGE fun, and cast members make lots of friends during the project and will take pride in creating wonderful theatre and performing in a beautiful show. It’s really important that parents understand that the cast will be expected to work really hard every moment of the rehearsals and that it is focussed and disciplined (as a regular rehearsal room would be). This project is perfect for children and young people who are passionate about creating theatre and performing, but is not suitable as a light-hearted holiday activity!
We hope these FAQs are helpful to you. If your questions haven’t been answered here, do drop us an email and we’ll be happy to help!