Below you will find questions that frequently come up when people are considering bringing the Players to their department or campus. For questions regarding planning your event, please visit our Plan for Your Performance page.
Booking the Players
How do I book the Players?
What is a typical timeline for scheduling a performance? When should I get in touch?
The Players are in high demand, and it is always best to send an initial inquiry (even if you are still unsure of specifics!) to secure your preferred dates. U-M requests must be received at least 6 weeks before the desired performance date. Requests for off-campus performances must be received at minimum 3 months before the desired performance date. It is not unusual, however, for the Players to book performances a year or more in advance. Early inquiries increase the likelihood that we will have availability in our calendar to perform at your event.
I’ve submitted my initial request, what happens next?
Our performance coordinator will contact you to set up a phone meeting with a theatre program staff member. In preparation for this meeting, it may be helpful to visit our Identifying Goals for Your Event
page. During this meeting, the theatre program staff member will discuss with you the ways that the Players can best meet your needs. You should be ready to discuss your target audience, your goals for the event, and possible dates/times for the performance. If you are interested in booking the Players as part of a joint venture with another group or institution, it is important for a representative from all parties to participate in this conversation.
Do the Players perform only at the University of Michigan?
No. While the Players’ primary mission is to serve the U-M community, we perform regularly at other universities and professional conferences. Since 2000, we have performed off campus for over 7,600 individuals at over 60 different institutions. Due to our on-campus performances, however, we generally limit our off-campus performances to 5-6 per year.
What kinds of audiences do you serve? Do you perform for undergraduates?
The CRLT Theatre Program primarily presents on topics applicable to faculty, academic administrators, and graduate students in the areas of teaching/learning and institutional climate. We also occasionally perform for university staff and medical professionals. We do not perform for undergraduate audiences. The U-M Educational Theatre Company (ETC) provides similar applied theatre services for undergraduate audiences at the University of Michigan (http://onsp.umich.edu/current_students/spotlight.html
How many people do you typically perform for?
Our audiences range in size from less than 10 people to more than 500.
What sketches do the Players perform?
How were the sketches in your repertoire developed?
All of the Players’ sketches are created to meet an identified need and are based on extensive research. During a typical development process, we conduct interviews with relevant stakeholders and do literature-based research on best practices. Scripts in development are previewed for clients, focus groups, and the CRLT Faculty Advisory Board
before being added to the repertoire.
I don’t see a sketch that matches my needs. Will you create a new sketch for a client?
Sketch development is a lengthy process, and the creation of new work is often cost-prohibitive for clients. Facilitation plans for existing sketches can often be adapted without cost, however, to more closely match a group’s goals. To discuss how a sketch might be reframed for your audience or to explore the possibility of commissioning a new work, submit an inquiry, and we will schedule a meeting for you to talk with the Artistic Director about the objectives you have for your event.
What else does the Program include, besides sketches? Do you offer additional services?
In addition to our longer sketches, the Players offer trigger vignettes. Trigger vignettes are short (2-5 minute) scenes that are customized to meet the specific needs a group may face within their own institutional context. Our ability to create trigger vignettes depends both on the Players’ availability and the alignment of the proposed vignettes’ content with CRLT’s mission. We also offer facilitated workshops, as well as consultations that focus on strategies for integrating applied theatre in university programming. Please contact us
to discuss these additional services.
How long is a Players session?
A typical Players session runs 90-120 minutes. In rare instances when the nature of an event demands it and the material allows it, sessions may be shortened or lengthened.
Who facilitates the event?
Players’ performances are facilitated by the Artistic Director or another member of CRLT’s professional staff. Hosts/event organizers are encouraged, however, to actively participate in Players’ sessions. They should plan to provide any necessary opening or closing remarks to situate the Players’ performance relative to their goals in hosting the event.
What are your space and/or technical requirements?
The CRLT Theatre Program prides itself on being able to work within a wide range of spaces. Many of our sketches can be performed in a classroom with minimal tech, though a small subset require larger venues or more traditional theatre spaces. The Artistic Director will consult with you to ensure that the space selected for your event meets the needs of the performance and your anticipated audience.
How do I get people to come to events/performances that I host?
The Players and our clients have developed a number of helpful strategies
for advertising performances and recruiting audiences.
Do you have publicity materials that we can use to promote the performance?
The Players are happy to provide you with a PDF flyer advertising the relevent details for your event. Click this link to view a sample flyer. We will customize the date, time, location, photo, and sketch description. We are unable to offer customized promotional materials beyond this point. Please contact our Performance Coordinator to request a PDF flyer.
Can I photograph, videotape, or livestream your performance?
As long as it is not disruptive to the actors or the audience, we do allow photography. The CRLT Theatre Program does not allow videotaping of our performances, due to actor contract rules. Likewise, due to the interactive nature of our performances, we do not allow livestreaming.
How much does it cost to engage the Players to perform?
Costs vary based on many factors. Once we determine your specific needs we will provide you with a detailed estimate of applicable costs. Please contact us
to request a cost estimate.
What is included in the cost of a performance?
The cost includes 1-2 phone or in-person meetings with the theatre program staff to discuss content and goals, all rehearsal time, and one performance with facilitation. The client is responsible for securing appropriate space and, in most cases, arranging for any necessary technical support. Off-campus clients are also responsible for the company’s travel costs.
Are your performances covered by grants?
The Players have been written into many grants, including ADVANCE and NSF grants. We do not offer assistance in grant writing or administration; however, we are happy to provide your organization with the information necessary to complete your grant applications and/or reports.
Are your scripts available for purchase?
Our scripts are not available for purchase, nor do we offer rights of performance to external groups. Players’ scripts are the copyrighted property of the University of Michigan Board of Regents.
Can you help us hire actors for our event?
We are unable to book our actors for non-Players events, but we can circulate information about outside employment opportunities to our company members who have expressed interest in receiving notifications of this kind. If you are interested in us circulating such a notice, please email our Company Manager
with the following information:
A brief description of the event or recording for which you are seeking actors
Any information about the identity characteristics needed for the project you are casting (gender, race/ethnicity, age range, etc...)
An indication of the number of actors you are seeking
A list of dates/times actors would need to be available for rehearsals or performances (if such times have been set)
An indication of the payment range actors might expect for participating in your project (As a point of reference, actors in our company are paid at least $17 an hour for their time in rehearsals and performances. Actors are typically paid at a higher rate for videotaped performances.)
Your contact information (email and phone number)
Once our Company Manager has received your email, she will forward this email to our company members, and they will contact you directly in they are interested and available.
How do I get involved with the Players?
We are always looking to expand our troupe - we employ actors, dramaturgs, stage technicians, and musicians. As a company committed to the exploration of diversity on a number of fronts, we value working with individuals with diverse backgrounds and identities.
Do I need to be an experienced/professional actor to act with the Players?
Our troupe contains people of all backgrounds and levels of experience. Whether you are a student, faculty member, staff member, or professional actor, contact us to set up an audition