Do you want to direct in PW’s downstairs space? Yuuuuuuus you do. This page tells you the basics of what you need to know to do it.
Proposals for PW’s Fall Season (September and October slots) will be due Wednesday, October 16 @ 5pm.
Alex and Emma are the people to contact this year if you’re interested in proposing. But as always, please feel free to contact any board member if you have any questions or would like more information!
The proposal process is designed so that the board can get to know your project and vision as best as possible. We encourage you to be specific, thorough, and to start early.
Proposals are accepted on a seasonal, rather than a per-slot, basis. Fall semester’s first and second slots are incorporated into a single round of proposals for the “Fall at PW” season. Third slot in November/December, along with first and second slots in February and March of the Spring Semester, are “Winter at PW,” and third (April) and commencement slots are “Spring at PW.” Each season will have a season coordinator, who is a member of the PW board (Fall Season’s mentors are Alex and Emma ).
Contact the season coordinator as soon as you have any inkling that you might want to propose. The season coordinator will put you in contact with your own personal Proposal Buddy who will guide you through the proposal process. They will happily provide feedback on drafts of your proposal. It is also important to contact us early on so we can check rights availability for your project.
1. By the due date (usually a Wednesday at 5pm, check our calendar for specific seasons), please send the season coordinator a copy of the proposal via email (including application cover page), and put 2 paper copies of the proposal and 2 copies of the script in the PW Box Office. If the script is electronic, it can be emailed to your Proposal Buddy, though paper copies are very much appreciated in addition to electronic ones. If the work is unscripted, please provide a detailed description of the performance piece.
Please ATTACH the APPLICATION COVER PAGE, found here
Your proposal should include the following:
- Title, author, director, director’s phone number.
- It is suggested that you address the following questions:
- Please explain the piece/concept and your approach to it.
- What is the story of this piece?
- What are you trying to communicate with this piece?
- Why is it important to do this play at Brown, at PW and now?
- What specific plans do you have for the rehearsal process and for working with actors?
- What is your role as leader of this project, and what does that mean?
- How do you foresee working with designers? Share with us some of the ideas you plan to bring to the designers. How will you present these ideas and what do you expect from these discussions?
The new proposal system does not require you to have your entire staff on the proposal. That said, we DO require you to have a design staff on the proposal, meaning a Set Designer, Lighting Designer, Costume Designer, and Sound Designer. (TDs are also difficult to find, so we strongly encourage you to locate a TD as soon as possible.) We don’t require a full staff because it can be so hard to track down enough people, but we’ve found that proposals are often improved when directors have had a chance to discuss the show with designers they will be working with. The basic positions are usually the following (this of course will vary based on the project at hand):
Management – Stage Manager, Production Manager
Designers – Lighting, Set, Costumes, Sound
Other – Technical Director
Learn more about the responsibilities of the different positions here. If you are having trouble finding staff members, check out our green book and feel free to contact the board for additional ideas.
ASSISTANTS: We highly encourage you to find assistants to each of your staff positions. We at PW firmly believe that assistantship is essential to fostering a growing community of talent. Not to mention they can be great helping hands! This is not essential at the time of proposing, but will be a great asset to your proposal.
The Downstairs Space shows are given a budget of $750. It is suggested that you provide some sort of budget breakdown. We understand that these are early days, so there is no need to be overly detailed (these numbers can and will change), but a basic idea of distribution is extremely helpful. There are resources to get additional funding if necessary; check out the Creative Arts Council for information on student arts grants.
Rights should be secured to produce your show before you propose to PW. Please do not attempt to secure rights yourself – talk to the season coordinator first. The board will take care of securing rights for your proposal. Rights do not come out of your $750 budget. *Note: Musicals can be very expensive, so please contact the board about whether or not your rights are affordable for our organization.
- Appendix / Additional Materials
Feel free to provide us with anything that helps the board better understand your approach to your project. Examples: Inspirational images, preliminary set designs, tentative rehearsal schedules, etc.
The season coordinator will schedule a half-hour interview with you for the Saturday after your proposal is due. The interview gives the board a chance to discuss the proposal with you. These interviews are not grill sessions. You should feel free to bring your own specific ideas, elaborations and corrections (if any) to this interview.
For a list of dates for each slot, check our calendar.
Logistical information about our Downstairs Space is here.
Take a look at the show packet, which includes a ton of really useful information about producing a show at pw. This will be distributed to the entire staff upon entering the space.
Here are some recent proposals to take a look at:
The Skin of Our Teeth, 1st Slot Fall 2006
The Verge, 2nd Slot Fall 2007
Stone Cold Dead Serious, 3rd Slot Fall 2007
The Music of Erich Zann in the Penal Colony, 1st Slot Spring 2008
Big Love, 2nd Slot Spring 2008
Arcadia, 2nd Slot Fall 2008
The Thing About Air Travel, 3rd Slot Fall 2008
Crumble, Commencement Slot Spring 2009
The Sound, Winter 2010-2011
Goose and TomTom, March Slot 2013
Flashback! Old proposals from shows we have produced are available for you to read online here, but you should keep in mind that all of these were written before we switched to the new proposal system; the questions we ask are different now.
If you are not selected, do not be discouraged! Many proposals take a few tries to get passed. If you would like help crafting a second draft, please contact any board member, and we can help you prepare further. We strongly encourage re-proposing. Also, remember that Production Workshop is not the only space for student projects on the Brown campus, nor is it the only place with financial resources for such artistic endeavors. Student theatre has been enjoyed everywhere from our own “Upstairs Space” to the French House courtyard; check out our other theatre page for other groups on campus, and check out our grants page for more information on funding.
Assistant directing is a great way to learn the ropes; talk to a board member about how to get involved with our current and upcoming productions. For that matter, working on one of our shows in any capacity will help you learn what it’s like to direct at PW, so get involved!