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#StayAtHome: Putting on a play from your living room?

Self-isolation has thrown a bit of a spanner into the works of many people’s plans, and we’re now seeking something to do as health organisations race to stop the spread of COVID-19.

One way to pass the time is to work on a long-term project, and the Friends of Theatre Society (FOTS) might just have you covered. They’re looking for actors, backstage crew and designers!

Coronavirus may have put an end to Mixtape for now, but August’s major production is still charging ahead right on schedule thanks to an isolation-friendly rehearsal plan. It means you can get involved even if you’re not on stage. Director Jake Hunt has taken the pandemic as an opportunity to change the way he approaches the production, and to get the wider UNE community involved in FOTS in ways they never have been before. Where a window for an uninterrupted rehearsal schedule has closed, a new one has opened for something new and exciting. So, while you’re stuck at home, FOTS is giving the call out for all hands on deck, and they’ve got plenty to do to help you pass the time.

Here are some examples of how you can get involved:


A play needs costumes, props, sets, lighting, sound and make-up, which is the perfect opportunity if you’re going to be spending some extra time on your hobbies!

They’ll be looking for people to help design and make costumes and props, design the set and design make-up for each of the characters. The play specifically needs costumes and props from different time periods and for characters of different shapes, so there’s something for every area of expertise! There’s also sound designing to be done if you like to work with music and sound effects. The more hands on deck, the better!

Gratefully, you can do it all from the comfort of your own home over Skype, a phone call or email with the Director! Send an email to Friends of Theatre Society (friendsoftheatresociety@gmail.com) if you’d like to get on board and be part of a show that will be a salute to the incredible UNE community and our ability to band together during difficult times.

Actors & backstage crew

The Pillowman planned to audition groups in April 3rd & 4th, and FOTS are sticking to those dates. However, the information night has been cancelled and replaced by an online information package available here.

Group auditions have also been cancelled and replaced by one-on-one auditions by appointment. Applications are open for those now.

As for rehearsals, the scheduled first reading will be held over ZOOM to allow the cast and crew to get to know each other from the comfort of their homes. From there, the director is limiting rehearsals until the end of May to online or small-gathering sessions where possible, with the remainder of the schedule to be reassessed once it is clearer whether larger gatherings will be appropriate after that date.

Never been involved in the FOTS production before? Well, now’s your chance! Check out the information pack to learn more about the play and book an audition slot.

FOTS are working to make sure that you’ve all got something to help you while away the hours of isolation, and they have other event ideas in mind as well. Keep an eye on their Facebook page for more information.

When The Pillowman finally rolls into the A1 Theatre in August, it will be an incredible testament to the UNE community’s solidarity and high spirits during these challenging times.

Remember to keep Acting Friendly while you #BunkerDown!