GDS is really welcoming and relaxed and we like to have as much fun as possible. Membership is open to everyone – we have members up to 70 or 80 years old! If you are under 18, you must be accompanied by your parent or guardian, who must also be a member. We positively encourage people from all sectors of the community to join us as members, particularly those who are currently underrepresented.
On-StageIt doesn’t matter whether the stage is your home-from-home or you’ve never been near a theatre before. We have lots of members who joined us with little or no experience, and they all enjoy getting involved and come back for more. Everyone has an equal chance to be cast; you don’t have to be a member for a certain time or ‘pay your dues’. If you don't get cast you'll be invited to help out with other aspects of the production. Our shows are cast through round-table readings (we sit down and read the play out loud) which is much more relaxed and less stressful than a formal audition. Everyone has the chance to read for a part, but you don’t have to stand up on your own and perform. It's informal, and gives everyone a taste of what each play is about and what the characters are like.
Off-StageDon't want to act, but fancy getting involved? There are many off-stage roles to fill with each production – it’s a true team effort. In fact, if you don't have an onstage role we still need you to help. From costume to sets to technical, it all has to get done! Plus, if you want to have an acting role in future, it's a great way to build your confidence without the pressure of having a role immediately. You can see what happens at rehearsals, learn about theatre craft and be involved when we're at the theatre which is great experience.
RehearsalsRehearsals are generally every Tuesday and Thursday evening, from 7.30 to 9.30pm at ‘The Green Room’ when we are rehearsing a production, although this can vary so it's best to contact us before you come. At other times meetings may vary, so please get in touch before coming along. 'The Green Room' is our rehearsal space at R/O 85 Westgate. See the ‘map’ page for directions.
SocialWe do lots of other things too, such as social events, theatre trips, smaller productions at local events and making videos. Fundraising is also really important with the significant costs associated with taking our new premises and to enable us to undertake a diverse range of activities. You can get involved in planning these events, too.
Try Before You BuyWe recommend you come along to a few rehearsals or an open event to get to know the group before you join properly. We're a very welcoming bunch and you're sure to make some great new friends. Keep an eye on our website, or like our Facebook page to keep up to date.
Membership FeesAll active members of the Society are asked to make a contribution towards its running costs. You may also be asked to make a donation if you wish to keep your script after a production. As users of the Green Room, member fees go towards premises rent, insurance, water and electricity. Member fees also contribute to stage insurance, theatre hire and transport costs. Monthly standing order: £6 standard, £2 student/social member Annual cash or cheque: Student or social members are able to pay on an annual basis if they wish: £24 payable at the Annual General Meeting.