It's show selection time! While the allure of big Broadway titles like "Seussical" or "Our Town" is undeniable, have you considered venturing off the beaten path? Choosing an unknown play can be a rewarding experience for both the director and the cast, offering unique opportunities for creativity and growth.

Ticket Sales: A Non-Issue

Worried about hurting ticket sales with an unknown show? Don't be. For most school and community theatre groups, the size of your cast directly correlates with the size of your audience. Family and friends will come to support their loved ones, regardless of the play's title. So, focus on filling your stage and backstage with enthusiastic participants.

Budget-Friendly Benefits

Unknown plays often come with lower, fixed royalties, making budgeting a breeze. You'll know your costs upfront, allowing you to set ticket prices accordingly. Plus, there's no need to wait months for rights approval, giving you flexibility in choosing a show that suits your cast's talents.

A Director's Dream

Directing a lesser-known play liberates you from the expectations that come with popular titles. You can create your own vision, free from comparisons to Hollywood blockbusters or national tours. It's a chance to challenge yourself creatively and leave your unique mark on the production.

Empowering Young Actors

For student actors, an unknown play is a golden opportunity to develop their craft. They can create characters from scratch, fostering imagination and avoiding the pitfalls of imitation. It's a valuable learning experience that encourages them to become true artists.

Navigating the Potholes

Of course, there are challenges to consider. Creating new characters can be daunting for young actors, so make sure to guide them through the process. Encourage them to explore their characters' voices, movements, fears, and desires. Use creative exercises to unlock their imaginations and help them connect with their roles.
You might also encounter some resistance from actors who crave the spotlight of a well-known show. Explain the benefits of venturing into uncharted territory, emphasizing the creative freedom and growth potential it offers. If they remain uninterested, don't hesitate to move on; it's essential to have a cast fully committed to the collaborative process.

Tailor-Made for Success

Ultimately, choosing an unknown play can be a recipe for success at the amateur level. These plays often have simpler technical requirements, smaller casts, and more ensemble-focused storytelling, making them ideal for schools and community theatres.

So, give your regards to Broadway, but don't be afraid to explore the vast world of lesser-known plays. It might just be the road to your most rewarding theatrical experience yet.

Happy directing!