For many drama teachers, a dwindling production budget is an ongoing struggle. How do you put up a full production with limited funds? Beth Goodwin portrays the double whammy she works in a small school with a small budget. And how she still ends up with consistently stunning visuals. Here are 3 tips from her successful productions.
Even something as simple as changing your curtain colour and then using it as a backdrop can make a big difference, as seen in Beth’s production of Alice.
“With Alice, I was tired of the black curtains on the stage in our gym. I went through a prom book and found red polyvinyl for $50.00, hooked it up over the black curtains, and then we had red curtains. It was awesome. We do a lot of reduce, reuse, and recycle.”
Beth has a few tricks up her sleeve (pun intended!) that involve planning ahead and being on the lookout for deals:
Here’s an example of how Beth used festival t-shirts and transformed them into costumes for a production of The Absolutely Insidious and Utterly Terrifying Truth About Cat Hair:
“We buy t-shirts for the festival competition that we participate in, so I got long-sleeved ones and the students turned them inside out. We made hoods to coordinate with the t-shirt colours, added makeup, and they all had black pants, leggings, and shoes. So, they were 24 cat hairs for the price of a t-shirt and some makeup.”
Often the best productions are those that don’t rely on the extras, the fancy sets, or lighting. It’s all about the actors and their characters.
“Without the bells and whistles, the actors have to be strong. The characters have to be strong. I drill it into their head, you know? If you don’t believe in what you’re doing, the audience isn’t going to believe it.”
This is a practice (not dress) rehearsal of Oddball by Lindsay Price. You can see it required a lot of concentration on the beginning dance entrance.
Want to hear more about Beth’s success staging productions on a budget?
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