Pitch Process: 2015 Season


GUIDANCE NOTES AND APPLICATION FORM

DOWNLOAD THE 2015 SEDOS PITCH DOCUMENT  


INTRODUCTION
 

With a membership of over 200, a programme of around eight to 10 challenging productions every year and a reputation for professional quality in every production, Sedos is proud of our claim to be the premier amateur theatre group in the City of London. We are now seeking proposals for our 2015 season.

Sedos presents a variety of shows — from classic plays such as Shakespeare’s Macbeth, to modern musicals such as Spring Awakening. We prefer to present modern classics or interesting takes on more traditional works. For example in recent years we have performed a fair amount of Stephen Sondheim musicals (eg Into the Woods, A Little Night Music) and Donmar Warehouse and Royal Court inspired plays (eg Enron, The Last Days of Judas Iscariot). We also love a challenge — and performing shows that are unusual or may be considered technically difficult — eg Alan Ayckbourn’s two simultaneous plays House/Garden or rarer classics such as Maltby and Shire’s Baby. Eclecticism and interest is what is going to inspire the committee! What we aspire to is challenging, excellent theatre.

For more information about Sedos and our previous shows, please visit the Sedos Archive

For more information about Sedos and our previous shows, please vis archive should give you a pretty good idea about the types of shows that we tend to favour — but we are always looking for new and challenging ideas!

RESIDENT AT THE BRIDEWELL THEATRE

We are the resident theatre company at the Bridewell Theatre and we perform there for 10 weeks a year. This is generally split into three or four plays and a similar number of musicals.  Plays are generally performed for a week. Musicals tend to range from the better known which we perform for two weeks to the less well known that we perform for a week. 

EDINBURGH / “IN THE CITY” / SUMMER FESTIVAL / OTHER IDEAS

In addition to our performances at the Bridewell Theatre, we often take a show to the Edinburgh Fringe; and perform another show as a touring “In the City” production. If we do support an Edinburgh show, we may want to combine it with performances in London — probably during the summer three-week slot, but we may consider putting London performances on at a different venue.

We have a three-week slot in the summer. This is the third year of holding a Summer Festival. We are not wedded to this idea and if people have other suggestions as to how to use this slot, we would welcome that — for example a “big” show that would require additional get-in time, or a pair of related shows.  Or even a mini-season — we would love to hear suggestions as to how to use this.

We also like to perform cabarets and devised shows. We produced the successful Eurosedos for a few years, which is being revived this year, as well as the well received devised cabarets Too Darn Hot and Red Hot and Black.  

NEW TEAMS / ENCOURAGING NEW PEOPLE TO DIRECT

We encourage new people to pitch for shows. It is true, however, that we do tend to favour those who have been involved with the society in other ways before giving them a show — this is because we find that the best way of being able to assess whether we think that someone is going to be “right” for Sedos, is knowing them already! We therefore encourage people who are thinking of pitching to get involved with the society first — for example by assistant directing, producing, acting, stage managing etc. That being said, there are no hard and fast rules, and we have been known to award a show to someone who has not previously been involved with a Sedos production. If you are not so well known to us, you might want to consider pitching something to form part of the Summer season, or otherwise a “smaller, less risky” title. That is also true for people involved with Sedos already — for example actors, chroeographers etc, but who have not previously directed. It has to be admitted that we are unlikely to entrust a two-week musical to an untried director — unless of course they are an established member of the society with a strong team around them.

We will accept pitches from anyone — including choreographers and producers — and will assist in pulling teams together if we think that there may be other suitable people to complement the team.

We do not insist that directors have a full team when they pitch, however, we have to be confident that they will be able to pull a team together.

WHAT SHOW SHALL I PITCH

Sedos is a pitch-led society. We want to create a balanced and varied season to ensure that across the year, we can appeal to as wide a cross-section of our membership as possible. Whilst breaking even is important, we are not seeking just to put on “money-makers”/”blockbusters” for their own sake. We also prefer shows that we believe work well in the Bridewell space  — so if a pitch appears to be for “set-heavy” show, we would want to understand how the vision would work at the Bridewell. We also tend to favour shows where we are confident that most of the cast (and certainly most of the main principals) can be cast from our own members. While we have an open-audition policy, we want to ensure that our membership have a reasonable chance of being cast!

A number of people have asked us for suggested "titles".  It is really for the pitchers to propose titles they are passionate about. That said, we note the following shows have recently been made available to amateurs (or will be soon): Soho Cinders, Lend Me a Tenor, Zorro, The Beautiful Game, Bonnie and Clyde, Legally Blonde, The Addams Family and Candide. [Note, we previously mentioned that we had heard that Sunset Boulevard was being released to amateurs – whilst that is true, we have been told that it is not currently being released to Central London based companies.]  Note – if you are thinking of pitching one of these “new” titles, please contact us via pitches@sedos.co.uk

For inspiration, look at the websites of the major rights holders:

  • Josef Weinberger, www.josef-weinberger.com,
  • Musicscope, www.musicscopeuk.com
  • Really Useful Group, www.stageamusical.com
  • the Rogers and Hammerstein organisation www.rnh.com/shows.html
  • Samuel French, www.samuelfrench-london.co.uk
  • Theatrical Rights Worldwide  www.theatricalrights.com

A word on rights
Often the biggest headache with putting together a season is rights availability. Shows that we would all love to do are not currently available to us.  Particularly with plays, a number of rights holders won’t give us the rights to perform shows that are regularly on in the West End.  That includes most modern American works (eg Arthur Millar, Tennessee Williams) and also a fair amount of popular titles by the likes of Alan Bennett and Tom Stoppard.  If you are not sure whether a title is likely to be available, it is worth approaching the committee / rights holders to find out. We are very happy to assist with this process.

BUDGET CONSIDERATIONS

We work to disciplined budgets, which we balance with artistic excellence. This is a challenge, but one that we expect all producers and teams to rise to. Template budgets for one- and two-week musicals and a one-week play are set out at the end of the Application Form.

JEREMY LEWIS LEGACY

You may be aware that Sedos received a very generous bequest from a former chairman of the society, Jeremy Lewis. The terms of Jeremy’s bequest are to support productions or production values that we might not otherwise be able to achieve. We are happy to receive pitches solely based on an enhanced budget — where it would not be feasible to achieve it on a “normal” budget. We are also interested in “regularly budgeted” shows requesting additional funding. Note, any award of additional legacy funding will only be made on the basis of enhancing the audience’s experience or doing something we might not otherwise be able to do — not to simplify and ease the burden on a show producer! Further details are set out in the Appendix to these guidelines.

PROCESS

The whole committee is involved in making a decision about the season choices. The committee includes directors and non-directors and people with a musical as well as a play background. This ensures that the choosing process is as fair as possible. But please remember that we are also trying to put together as balanced a season as possible, as well as trying to accommodate the availability of teams and deal with the inevitable frustrations with rights!

This document is for you to tell us all about your show, your team and other bits and bobs; feel free to add anything you think will help us to understand your choice. We don’t believe everything fits in a box; so if you want to add something that doesn’t fit, please feel free to add more details at the end of the form. We love receiving applications that include pictures, sample marketing materials and generally show creative thought!

TIMETABLE

The committee will be making its selections in time to announce the full season at our EGM scheduled for the end of September (exact date to be confirmed).

Please make sure you send in your completed document and any other details to pitches@sedos.co.uk.

The closing date for submissions is Sunday 3rd August.  Applications received after this date may not be considered.

Please note, we may ask you to come and share your vision with the committee — this is likely to be at the start of September.

MAXIMUM NUMBER OF PITCHES

Each director can submit a maximum of three pitches for the 2015 season and must be committed to each pitch equally. 

In addition, a director may submit a separate pitch including a request for Jeremy Lewis legacy monies. This could also be one of your other proposals, but demonstrating how the additional monies could be spent, or a different title. 

ANY QUESTIONS?

If you have any questions about the process, about rights, or indeed anything else, please contact any member of the committee, or drop a note to pitches@sedos.co.uk.

We look forward to hearing from you — and to receiving some fantastic, innovative and interesting pitches from which we can derive a great season for 2015!

The Committee

DOWNLOAD THE 2015 SEDOS PITCH DOCUMENT


The current Sedos committee






Have you joined our online community?