Do I have to audition to join the Castle Players?
No! We are a community theatre group, absolutely everyone is welcome, whatever your experience or talent. If you fancy going for a speaking part, then you will be asked to audition. The audition process will be fully explained by the Director for that production and audition pieces will be uploaded to our Members Online Area (so it's worth signing up to our website and mailing list!).
If you want to join us in a technical or backstage role then we'd put you in touch with the relevant Team Leader for a quick chat about how we can use your skills.
When and where do you rehearse?
Monday evenings from 7-10pm and Sundays from 12-5pm are our usual rehearsal slots. If you are involved in a small way then you won't be required to attend every and all rehearsals. The Director will produce a monthly schedule so you know when you will be needed. Again, this will be uploaded to the Members Online Area.
We are incredibly pleased to be rehearsing at Startforth School in the main hall. It's a great facility with a kitchen, loos and plenty of rehearsal space. Parking there is limited in the car park, but there is on street parking. Always best to try and share lifts though as it can get crowded.
Does it cost me anything to be involved?
Unlike other community theatre groups, we don't charge a membership fee. The only money you'll be asked to part with is £2 a week throughout the rehearsal period to help towards the cost of room hire and a 20p donation to the copious amounts of tea, coffee, biscuits and cake on offer!
Do you have an age limit?
We do not. We do have a robust Child Protection Policy which we ask all parents of any children participating in our productions to familiarise themselves with. We also have a licensed Durham County Council chaperone in attendance at rehearsals and during productions to ensure any children involved are safe and looked after.
What is the time commitment involved with doing a production?
This depends on you and what you want to get out of your time with the Castle Players. You an be as involved as you like. Some members are on Teams that assist in the running of the group which can take a few hours a week, others only wish to be in the chorus or ensemble and attend one or two hours of rehearsal a week.
We usually kick off the Summer Production at the beginning of February with an open meeting. Auditions and casting of principal roles happens pretty swiftly afterwards and rehearsals happen up until production week which is around the second week of July.
The Winter Tour usually has their first open meeting around September time. Auditions, casting and rehearsal happen soon after and the rehearsal period goes up until Christmas. There is a break over the festive period and rehearsals start again at the beginning of January, with the tour starting the second week of January into February.
Attending a Summer Performance
Where is the Summer Performance held?
Our summer production is outdoors, held on the back lawn of the Bowes Museum, Barnard Castle, please see their website for directions.
Is parking available?
There is ample parking at the Bowes Museum. Guides will show you the route to the car park.
What is the interval length?
This depends upon the production that is being held and sometimes on the weather! The usual is around 30-45mins. If it's raining, we will shorten it!
Can food be purchased? Can we bring a picnic?
You can certainly bring a picnic and many people enjoy this in the superb grounds of the Bowes Museum. The purchasing of food again depends upon the production, but usually we have a bar and a food stand in attendance. More details about what will be available will be provided with the production literature when we start advertising.
Do I need to bring a chair?
No, in fact we do not allow chairs in the auditorium. Instead you will find raked seating, most of which is covered, which will give you an excellent view of the performance. For a reduced rate, we have floor mats available which bring you right up close to the action.
Will the performance be cancelled if the weather is bad?
Absolutely not. We go on whatever the weather. We do insist that you dress appropriately for an outdoor theatre experience, bring blankets! We are proud that we have never cancelled a summer performance and we don't offer refunds.
Can I buy tickets online?
Yes! More details to follow.
Attending a Winter Tour Performance
When and where do the Winter shows take place?
Usually from the second week in January to the first week in February at the weekend. We tour throughout Teesdale to various Village Halls including Cotherstone, Scarth Hall in Staindrop, Ingleton, Gainford, Whorlton and more.
How do I buy a ticket?
Usually directly from the venue - see the advertising literature nearer the time for exact details.