Amateur dramatics – or ‘amdram’ as it’s also known – has had a large following for years with plays like The Pirates of Penzance and there’s always an excellent Hamlet round the corner!
So if you’re thinking of taking up acting or directing as a hobby there’s a wealth of reasons you should join your local amateur dramatics club – and wanting to act is just one of them.
What you can learn from amateur dramatics
Many people assume that am-dram actors are budding thespians who yearn to make it in Hollywood. And while that’s true of some enthusiasts, many join am-dram clubs simply because they’re looking to meet new people in their area. Amateur dramatics is a fantastic way to meet like-minded individuals in your neighbourhood, and can foster a great sense of community spirit and self-worth. It helps local people come together and plan events in a way that’s more fun than a local town hall meeting. So if you’re new to an area, joining an am-dram club could be the perfect way to get to know your neighbours.
Another advantage of taking up amateur dramatics is that it could help your work life too. If you lack self-confidence when speaking to your colleagues or making presentations, dabbling with acting could help you overcome these stumbling blocks. In fact, many parents send their children to acting clubs to help them overcome shyness, and – if you’re willing to put the work in – there’s no reason that this tactic can’t work for adults too.
Or perhaps you want to start acting to fulfil a lifelong desire to be on the stage, or to direct. This is a great reason – some would say the best – to join an amateur dramatics club. Through hard work and dedication, you could be playing great roles like Othello or Lady Macbeth in no time. And the tide is changing too; as this recent article in the Independent shows, community theatre is enjoying an upturn all across the UK.
Joining an am-dram club
Thanks to the wonders of the internet, finding a local am-dram club is easy. Amdram.co.uk helps you find drama groups near you, in the UK and overseas – simply click on Groups to find out which clubs are near you.
If you can’t find an am-dram club near you, then why not start your own? Bear in mind, this is a job that best suits people who are organised and enjoy meeting new people. Place an ad in your local shop window, community noticeboard or on a region-specific classifieds website like Gumtree. If it gets off the ground, you may want to enlist the help of a secretary to take notes and a treasurer to manage your funds, if you have any.
Then, it’s a matter of choosing a play that you’d like to perform as your opening number and finding somewhere to put it on. Start small – for instance, at your local pub, rather than a large local theatre. If it goes well, you can gradually move up to bigger venues as your reputation grows.
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