Perform with BATS
The below information answers initial questions about how to become a member and rehearsing for a show.
We perform two shows a year:
Spring (during May)
Autumn (during November)
Casting for the Spring production is completed in January and in June for the Autumn production.
If we have already cast our current show...
If we have already cast our current show, you'll need to wait until pre-audition rehearsals start for future productions before you can audition to join BATS. However, volunteering to help on our current production is a great way to get to know us and see what's involved.
1 - How do I become a member?
If you wish to perform on-stage, you need to audition to join BATS. You must be at least 16 years old to audition. If you are younger than this, you can join our junior Society, BATS Next Gen instead.
See section 3 about the costs involved for performing members. If you wish to get involved in other ways (e.g. helping with costumes, marketing, props or working backstage etc.), no audition is required and a Society Membership Fee is not payable.
New member auditions are held during pre-audition rehearsals for a new show. New members are required to audition to join BATS by preparing and performing one song before the Musical Director (MD) and two committee members:
You can choose any song (please provide your own music)
The song should demonstrate your vocal range and/or your ability to perform as a character
You should preferably be able to sing the song from memory
Whilst we are looking for a competent vocal ability, we're also looking for performance ability. Use your audition to show us your ability to communicate and perform the song.
Depending on the show, the audition may also involve performing a short dance or movement routine that is taught by our dance captain at a pre-audition rehearsal.
Being a member of BATS enables you to audition for a show but does not guarantee you a place in a show.
If you would like to join BATS but we are already in the midst of rehearsing for a show we are always looking for people to help out with productions. You don’t need any special skills and it’s a great way of getting to know us prior to a company audition.
2 - What is involved in the audition process?
If you successfully audition to join BATS, you are entitled to audition for a part or ensemble in a production.
Principal roles - Auditions for principal (main) roles are held on an individual basis in front of an audition panel of four people (director, musical director, assistant director and an independent observer).
Chorus / Ensemble - The format of the chorus/ensemble auditions may vary for each show, but usually involve both movement and singing (sometimes solo) before the panel in small groups.
3 - What costs are involved?
There are two parts to the fee: Annual Membership Fee and Performance Fee. Both fees help to generate income to cover the Society's fixed running costs, such as performing and rehearsal insurances, rent for costume storage and general administrative costs that account for around £5,000 per year.
3.1 - Annual Membership Fee
Annual Membership costs £20 per year and runs from 1 July - 30 June. New members can audition to join the Society at no cost. Upon successful application to join the Society, the Annual Membership fee is must be paid before undertaking an audition for any production. All subsequent Annual Membership Fees shall become due on 1 July in each year and shall be paid not later than 31 July.
3.2 - Performance Fee
All Members taking part in any Production shall pay the Performance Fee, which shall become due after the successful cast has been announced. The fee varies from show-to-show, but is normally around £60.
4 - Costumes, make-up and accessories
The Society will provide the main items of costume for the actual performances but you may, on occasions, be asked to supply items of costume/props and accessories (especially make-up and wigs). All members are expected to provide their own appropriate rehearsal gear. Ladies – skirt, t-shirt & jazz/character shoes; Men – loose trousers, t-shirt & jazz shoes.
5 - Scripts and vocal scores
Scripts and vocal scores are usually hired for each show. You will need to pay a returnable deposit if you wish to use a hired script and/or score.
6 - When and where are rehearsals?
During a rehearsal period for a show, usual rehearsal evenings are every Monday and Wednesday evening from 7:45pm – 10:15pm (except during August, when there are no rehearsals). These are presently at Christ Church, Reading Road, Chineham, RG4 8LT.
6.1 - Director setting/rehearsals
We use a professional director to ‘set’ each show. The director’s setting dates are usually held in blocks of 3-5 consecutive days and, depending on your level of involvement in the show, may require a commitment of between 3-5 evenings per week (7:45 pm – 10:15 pm) and/or all of part of a Sunday (10:00 am – 4:00 pm) whilst the director is setting.
6.2 - Revision rehearsals
Once the director has 'set' the show, we then work with an assistant director/choreographer/musical director to break down individual scenes to ensure that everyone know what they are meant to be doing etc. These rehearsals are held on Monday and Wednesday evenings (7:30pm – 10:00pm).