How to Get Involved

Membership

This year, in light of the pandemic, we’ve decided to offer free general membership.

If you take part in one of our drama seasons as part of a creative team or as a cast member there will be a small extra membership fee. This will however be at the reduced price of £5.

You can sign up to free general membership on the SU website, which will get you signed up to our newsletters and allow you to sign up for any of our workshops or events!

https://manchesterstudentsunion.com/groups/drama-society-umds

Theatre In a Pandemic World

Covid and social distancing measures undoubtedly mean we have to shift some of the ways we work as a society. Yet the range of opportunities we provide does not have to diminish! In fact, it presents an exciting opportunity for us to challenge ourselves to think out of the box, explore different spaces and experiment more with form. We will be closely monitoring the situation and advice as things progress but for now know that we will be doing everything we can to ensure our members safety whilst engaging you with society activities. It’s a balance we will be continuing to find throughout semester 1 but be reassured that we will be putting on a range of socials and workshops either socially distanced or virtually as well as slightly changing the way our usual Autumn Fringe season works to fit the situation. 

This year we will be holding an Autumn Fringe Festival later on in Semester 1. Rather than 5 shows spread across the semester we will produce a weekend festival of shows towards the later half of the term. This will likely utilise a range of the universities indoor and outdoor spaces with smaller, rotating audiences as well as some virtual work in order to put on a variety of your work in different forms. Doing it in this way will ensure those involved have a longer rehearsal period and are therefore hopefully able to navigate any restrictions more easily. Moreover, we feel putting work on in a festival format gives the opportunity for you to experiment more with ideas, spaces and even technology. Keep an eye out for more information about this soon on our news page and socials. We will also be holding an AGM at the beginning of Semester 1 to further explain our plans and answer your questions. 

What We Do

Seasons

Every year the society produces around 20 shows across 4 seasons. These are; the Autumn Fringe (Semester 1), MIFTA (Manchester In Fringe Theatre Awards) season (Semester 2) and The Shorts season (Semester 3). As well as these we take up 2 shows every year to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. These seasons provide a whole host of opportunities for directors and producers to propose work and ideas as well as many performance opportunities for actors. 

We welcome submissions of all kind; published plays, new writing, works-in-progress, devised work or something else entirely – so let your imagination run wild! 

Additionally, anyone interested in creative team roles can submit themselves to ‘The Pool’. If your application is successful, you will be allocated a show to work on that seems a good fit for you and your interests. 

Freshers Play

During the Autumn Fringe Season we offer an opportunity specifically for freshers which is the ‘Freshers Play’. A play is usually chosen by the Committee and interested 1st year directors, designers and producers can apply to be on the creative team. Actors from 1st year can then audition for this as well as any other plays going on in the season.

Note: This will be slightly different this year as we are unlikely to be able to put the freshers play on in its usual form in semester 1. As a result the freshers play will be transferred into our MIFTA season in semester 2 where we hope it will be able to exist in a slightly more normal way. We will however have a ‘freshers project’ as part of the Autumn Fringe Festival to enable first years to begin working together as part of the society. 

Stay tuned by checking our News page and socials to find out more about the Freshers Project !

Workshops

Throughout the year we host a range of workshops with visiting practitioners. Last year we brought in artists such as Elin Schofield for a directing workshop, Becca Wilson for a stage combat workshop and Temper Theatre for a movement workshop. This year we will continue to host workshops/talks both online and in person which cater to those seeking to find new performance or creative skills as well as opening up conversations about the industry itself. These will be announced on our news page, via our newsletter and on our socials. 

Hive

Hive is an informal performance scratch night with opportunities to share new bits of writing or poetry and get feedback from your peers. Over the next year we are looking at doing joint scratch nights in order to connect with different societies, reach out to potential new members and improve the diversity of our platform.

Socials

From fundraisers to theatre trips we have it all – pub crawls, nights out and various other get-togethers.

Over the next year we will be focusing on continuing to provide valuable socialising opportunities for our members under whatever restrictions we may be facing.  

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