The young company are an integral part of our pantomimes, and this year we are very excited to announce open dance auditions for Beauty and the Beast at the Devonshire Park Theatre, Eastbourne!
Auditions will be held on Sunday 9th July 9.30am until approximately 1pm.
We are looking for dancers aged 9 – 19 years (by the 1 September 2023) who can commit to the full rehearsal and performance period. These auditions are open to all dancers regardless of experience, you’ll work alongside our professional choreographer and take part in a fun audition session.
If you are interested in auditioning please download and complete the Registration Form then email it to firstname.lastname@example.org. You will receive a reply to acknowledge receipt of your registration and then just come along for 9.30am on the day!
Please take a look at our FAQs for further information about what to bring on the day and what to expect while you are with us.
Registration Form - Young Company
Frequently Asked Questions...
What happens on open audition day?
You will need to arrive for registration at 9.30am, auditions will commence at 10am. Please bring your registration form signed by your headteacher (if you haven’t sent it back already) wear comfy clothes, trainers / shoes you can dance in and a water bottle.
Sign in with the Devonshire Park Theatre welcome team at the welcome building next to the Congress theatre, give your first and last name, and you will be checked in and handed a sticker with a number on it. Please stick this onto the clothing you will be dancing in. Remember your number for the day in case it falls off as this is how we can double check your details!
You will be asked to wait nearby until everyone has registered and then we will move into the audition room with the Choreographer.
Parents/ guardians will be nearby the whole time, however they will not be allowed in the audition room – parents/guardians please do not leave the building just in case your child needs you. We cannot be exact with our timings, though we will know more on the day and a member of the team will keep you updated.
All dancers will learn a short routine together taught by our professional choreographer, there will be plenty of time to ask questions, go over sections and rehearse it until everyone is happy. This is designed to be a fun and enjoyable process for those auditioning.
We will break you up into smaller groups so everyone will have use of the space and get the chance to go through the routine a number of times.
If you are not sure of something or are feeling unhappy at any time, just let us know. We want to make sure everyone is happy and having a fun time during the day!
We are looking for around 16 - 20 dancers and will have to reduce the number of auditionees once you have performed it for the Director and Choreographer. Once we have made the group smaller, we will then start thinking about casting the teams.
The full audition will run until approximately 1pm however we may release dancers ahead of this time which is why we ask parents/guardians to stay close by.
Please remember that there are many factors we must think about when casting. If we do ask you to leave, it could be for several reasons, please do not get disheartened and please come back next year!
We cast three teams on the day, a Blue, a Red and a Reserve team.
What does it mean if I’m on the reserve team?
The reserve team is a team that will will be on standby in case anyone else drops out between the audition date and 1st Rehearsal. Whilst there is no guarantee you will end up performing, we do have times where others dancers have had to drop out. Please do not be disheartened if you get cast in the reserve team, sometimes there are just other factors that we have had to consider. The reserve team will know by the end of November if they are required to perform or not.
What do I have to commit to as a Young Company member?
You will be required to come to rehearsals during the weekends of 18/19 and 25/26 November. You will then be required to come to rehearsals 4pm to 7pm 30th Nov and 1st Dec and all-day Saturday and Sunday 2/3 December - these dates/times are subject to change.
Tech week you will be required from 1pm to 10pm the week before the show opens. You cannot miss any tech session during this week, it is a strict health and safety requirement that all young company are present. If anyone does miss a tech session, they may be unable to perform.
You need to be available for all shows where your team are scheduled to perform. The schedule can be one or two shows per day. Usually you will perform one day and have the next day off.
The detailed schedule will be handed out to successful dancers on the day of auditions.
We are unable to allow any swaps or missed shows. The teams split the shows as equally as possible.
Please bear all the above in mind when coming to audition. We understand it is a big commitment, but it is a wonderful experience and will be a lot of fun!
What is Tech week?
Tech week is when every aspect of the show is put onto the stage with all the lights, sound, backdrops and set (the technical aspects of the show). The show is worked through from the start and each moment is “teched” to make sure it is safe and all departments know what they are doing. It is run by the Company Stage Manager who sits with a script and writes all the aspects down – they then “call” the show. This is where they tell each department what they are doing at the same time every show so that the show is the same for every audience. This is also when the stage crew get to rehearse the scene changes and all the costume changes are rehearsed.
This process does take time as the director might have to change elements of the show; the choreographer might have to space the dances differently or the lighting technician might have to focus lights. Everyone must be patient during technical rehearsals and wait for their moment to be asked to do something and they might be asked to repeat it several times until it is safe and correct.
It is very important that everyone keeps their full attention on stage and be very aware of their surroundings. Everyone must know what is about to happen and where is safe and where it is not safe to be. Therefore, dancers cannot miss tech sessions; we don’t have the time to re-tech to put someone into what they have missed and sadly if you miss a tech session, we cannot allow you to perform.
After everything is teched there is a dress rehearsal where you run the whole show together with everything you have just rehearsed.
Both teams will be present at both dress rehearsals so they can either watch or perform, this way if anything changes, they are aware of it straight away.
Why do I have to get my head teachers permission?
It may be an idea to make your head teacher aware that your child will be auditioning as we have known occasions where dancers have not been granted permission after the child gets cast. Whilst not common, we want to avoid disappointment and so suggest you let them know you are auditioning and, if successful, that you will be requesting time off school.
It is also an opportunity for them to let you know if there are any reasons that school cannot be missed and therefore permission might not be granted.
We sometimes find that schools are not granting permission to year 11 students who are doing their mocks, please do keep this in mind before auditioning.
When will I know if my audition has been successful?
You will know before you leave the audition whether you have been cast as a Young Company member.
How do you keep the Young Company safe backstage?
Eastbourne Theatres take the safeguarding of children very seriously. As stated by law, ALL performers under the age of 16 years will to be chaperoned by a licensed chaperone at all times whilst in the theatre. Licensed chaperones and performers also sign a code of conduct and Young Company dancers are not allowed out of the theatre unaccompanied under any circumstances, or with family without permission from the Head Chaperone.
Health and Safety is imperative for our whole company which is why we also run Tech rehearsals which are compulsory for Young Company dancers to attend.
Do parents/carers need to chaperone and if yes how many performances?
There must be enough chaperones for the young company to take part in the production.
With this in mind, we request parents/guardians/family members of the young company consider applying for a chaperone’s licence. A chaperone rota will then be devised to ensure a fair split of performances. Being backstage during the pantomime production can be a lot of fun!
Do chaperone’s get paid?
Chaperones are asked to donate their time to the production voluntarily to ensure the Young Company can perform.
How do I become a chaperone and is there license fee?
A Volunteer Chaperone License is £35 and this cost will be covered by Eastbourne Theatres. The license is valid for 3 years from the date of issue. Parents/Carers of the Young Company will be given further information once the dancers have been cast.
For interest, further details can be found at https://www.eastsussex.gov.uk/children-families/childcare/performance/chaperone/about
General Show Questions
How long is the rehearsal period and performance period?
There will be some rehearsal during the weekends of 18/19 and 25/26 November. You will then be required to come to rehearsals 4pm – 7pm on 30th Nov and 1st Dec as well as weekend of 2nd and 3rd December. – These times are subject to change.
The show runs Friday 8th December 2023 to Sunday 14th January 2024. There are a total of 61 performances in the show run and these will be split as evenly as possible between the Red and Blue teams.
Is there payment for performing in the pantomime?
There is no payment for the young company. However, a small contribution towards expenses is paid.
Do the parents/carers get free tickets to see the pantomime?
Each Young Company member participating in the pantomime will be allocated a restricted number of free seats from a choice of selected performances to use for parents/carers to see them on stage. Details of how to claim these will be explained once the Young Company is cast.
What do the dancers need to provide for performances?
We ask that dancers have their own shoes (to be confirmed during rehearsals but usually black jazz & tap) and tights (white ballet and tan danceskins or equivalent, again to be confirmed during rehearsals).
Dancers will be required to style their own hair and provide and apply their own make up before arrival at the theatre on show days. Details will be confirmed during rehearsals.
We ask that dancers tie long hair up for all rehearsals.
Do the dancers get to keep their costumes?
Costumes and props, other than those items dancers have been requested to provide, are the property of Eastbourne Theatres and must be returned to the costume department at the end of the show run.
Do the dancers need to stay until the walk down final scene for every performance?
All dancers will need to stay for the walk down as this is very much still part of the show.
Will the dancers get their names in the programme?
Yes, all Young Company member names are included in the show programme.
Will the dancers have their own dressing-room?
Yes, dressing rooms will be provided specifically for Young Company dancers and their chaperones.
My question is not answered here. What can I do?
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