Festival Players, an amateur dramatics and amateur musicals group based in Cambridge, welcome anyone interested in joining the society. We work hard to stage quality amateur shows, but have a great time while we are doing it. We hold social events for the group all through the year, including a small cabaret-style concert, Christmas party, quizzes, annual dinner, the AGM and trips to see other amateur and professional groups.
The society changes a lot from year to year, and varies its director and production team each show. This gives us a fresh feel for every new musical production, and makes the atmosphere in the group friendly and welcoming. In fact the group usually changes around a third of the cast between each production, although this often includes some people who come back after gaps of a year or two. Our auditions policy is also very open-minded, with new members sometimes taking principal roles – enabling us to make use of the best of the amateur dramatics talent in the Cambridge area. The group is made up of members from all over the Cambridgeshire and Essex area. Although we rehearse and perform in Cambridge, society members regularly travel from as far afield as Peterborough, Ely and Saffron Walden.
The group typically performs one major musical show a year, in May or June. New member and principal auditions take place many weeks before the rehearsal period starts. These are in a friendly atmosphere, in front of a small panel of some of the production team and a few other society members. This usually involves singing a song of your choice (for chorus and new member auditions) or singing set songs, reading set lib and perhaps a little dancing for principal auditions.
We have a rehearsal period of around twelve weeks, with rehearsals three times a week (two for chorus and one for principals), at the end of which we stage six performances. These are presently held mostly at the ADC Theatre, a delightful venue based in central Cambridge, seating around 230 people, with modern technical facilities.
We perform with a live orchestra made up of some of the best semi-professional musicians in the Cambridge area, and have a back-stage crew of Penguins (the local Cambridge amateur back-stage society), theatre staff, costume, make-up and hair, props, lighting and sound teams.
The group has been very successful over the past few years, performing Cambridgeshire premieres of exciting and challenging shows such as ‘The Secret Garden’, ‘Godspell’, ‘Parade’ and ‘Avenue Q’. We have received several accolades for our performances: our 2008 production of ‘The Scarlet Pimpernel’ and our 2002 production of ‘Oklahoma!’ won the National Operatics and Dramatics Association (NODA) awards for Best Musical and Best Show in the area. ‘Oklahoma’ and ‘Hello, Dolly!’ also secured the Combinations Best Musical award.
If you would like any further information about the group or are interested in joining, please contact Suzanne Emerson (Secretary).