A play staged at home is an exciting and engaging distraction when nearly everyone is confined indoors. Here’s how to produce your very own homely theatrical adventure.
Pick a story
Choose a play depending on the number of members to cast and their comfort level with the material. If the play is long, break it down into smaller acts. Comedy, family, romance and drama make for light viewing, are easier to produce with less sets and props, and can involve kids and adults.
Set up the production
Use the largest empty space in your house as the stage and make sure the actors have easy access to it. Use plain bedsheets as backdrops. If your play involves more than one set or backdrop, use sheets with different colours or props stuck on them to match the theme or mood of the act. Keep set props and backdrops at hand for quick changes between acts.
Create some effects. Use coloured lightbulbs or cover regular ones in coloured cellophane, create a playlist of sound effects, background music, animal and bird sounds or anything else your story demands. Appoint and train a member to play sounds and music in sync with the action and manage backstage tasks.
Use your imagination to prepare costumes and accessories using things available at home.
Involve the entire cast in every rehearsal. Never mind the odd miss that results in unintended and sometimes hilarious consequences. It’s part of the fun. When the actors are prepared, do a dress rehearsal onstage in your costumes, complete with sound, lights and props.
Lights, sound, action!
Get yourself a virtual audience in the absence or a physical one. Invite friends and family to watch using any popular group video calling app. Request the audience to remain silent but unmute the mic. Their claps, giggles, sighs and reactions will make the experience every bit real. Keep going no matter what, with audiences unlikely to notice minor onstage mishaps and dialogue slip-ups. In the end don’t forget to take a bow.