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This theater provides...

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  • The theatre itself is in a concerted warehouse with very poor heating/air conditioning that the management refuses to use. In the summer, te heat from the day gets trapped in the building and it gets unbearable onstage. As early as late fall, it is so cold backstage that gloves and coats are necessary. The house seats approximately 75 people, with a stage about 15 feet deep and 30 feet across. There is no backstage crossover. The "dressing rooms" in the backstage area are tables set up with clip lights just offstage. The stage left side has the large heating and air conditioning unit in the middle of the very small area that the actors are allowed to occupy. There is also a small kitchenette (fridge, sink, microwave, coffee pot) on the stage left side, and more actor stations are set up there. All in all, each actor is allotted about a 3 foot square space and it makes you feel rather like a sardine. Privacy in theatre is always a little flexible but in this case it is non-existent. Men, women, boys, and girls alike are packed into the same space. As you can imagine, all of these areas are extremely high traffic places, both for actors and for the volunteer front of house staff. There is one restroom backstage which spent 5 weeks of the 7 week run in disrepair. There is no cleaning service for the theatre and no company manager to speak of (equaling no cleaning duties) and unless one of the cast takes it upon themselves to tidy up, the entire place gets pretty gross, pretty quickly. The right side is a large warehouse/scene shop with no heating or air conditioning. There is a restroom on that side. The floor is poured concrete and has small carpet nails sticking up out of it, making it very dangerous. The backstage door is on the left side and has no outside handle. Non-equity actors are called at hour, equity at half hour, and the children in the cast have a mandatory warm up at 15. For the one musical they produce a year, the only music they provide is a grand piano. They primarily hire local, or semi-local actors, and anyone who needs housing is put up with "friends of the theatre;" such as older board members with guest rooms, parents of children in the cast, etc. The theatre doesn't really have the means to house more than two people. The theatre is a self-professed small, non-profit, educational theatre. When they post their auditions on backstage, they diliberately put misleading language in the breakdown to make non-equity actors believe that they are an equity theatre. The artistic director went so far as to lie to one of the cast members before contract signing and told them that they would be receiving EMC points. When that person received their contract they were furious, but afraid to say anything, as the DC-Baltimore market is notoriously small and they did not want to sully their own reputation by walking out. The "pay" at this theatre is laughable. (They occasionally hire equity guests, and in that case they comply with equity rules.) Any non-equity performer is paid a stipend in three increments. The stipend is around $200 for adults and $50 for children. The artistic director is the director for the majority of their productions, and when she is not directing her presence is constant. She is constantly backstage when actors are trying to get ready and focus, she gives notes during quick changes, and never goes away. The show never really belongs to the cast. The rehearsal process was sheer misery. Scheduling was virtually non-existent and the full cast was called every evening even when they were not needed. Ensemble members often sat around for the entire 4 hour evening rehearsal, waiting to be used, only to be dismissed 10-15 minutes after the scheduled rehearsal end time. Conflicts and schedule restrictions that you give at the beginning of the process are ignored and the artistic director smack-talks the actors when they are not there. I would urge extreme caution before signing a contract here.