Venue Selection

Page Type:
CRLT Players
Course Type:
All
Event GoalsVenue SelectionPublicityTravel LogisticsDay-Of DetailsEvaluation

 

Please note: As of 2020, the CRLT Players offer a select number of virtual sessions. We are happy to discuss the varying considerations for virtual sessions in our initial phone call with you. The information below pertains only to in-person events.

The CRLT Theatre Program can work within a wide range of spaces. We can perform many of our sessions in a classroom with minimal tech, although we are also able to stage our pieces in larger auditoriums or traditional theatre spaces. Our team will work with you to ensure that the performance space you select can accommodate your chosen performance and anticipated audience.

There are several questions you will need to consider before finalizing a space selection.

The space you select will obviously need to accommodate the size of your anticipated audience. Be mindful, though, that there is almost always a drop-off between the audience you target (and even those who RSVP) and those who will actually attend an event. You want your venue to closely match the size of your audience. A space that is too large for your group can dampen conversation and unnecessarily dissipate the energy of the performance. In large auditoriums with more seats than the anticipated audience size, we recommend cordoning off the back rows and encouraging people to sit towards the front of the space.


Often one of the primary goals of a Players' session is to encourage conversations between attendees about the issues they see in our performances. When deciding how to arrange audience seating, carefully consider the goals for your event. We have found that round tables set in a crescent style are often best for promoting discussion and allowing an optimal view of the performance. We also encourage you to consider accessibility needs. Will there be enough space in between seats/tables for participants to move around easily?


An audience member who cannot adequately see the performance will understandably disengage. Choosing a performance space that provides all audience members a clear view of the performance is essential. Rooms that have support pillars are not always conducive to presentations of this kind. Another common obstacle to visibility is actually the heads of other audience members. Larger audiences may require the performance to be elevated on platforming.


For accessibility purposes, whenever possible, we ask that our facilitators and performers have lavalier microphones, and that we can have a handheld microphone for audience participation. We recognize that this is not always doable, so please consider the information below when selecting a venue.

It is almost impossible to assess the acoustic quality of a room without being in it. All of our performers are trained to project their voices, but some spaces--because of size, ceiling height, design, or equipment noise--swallow sound. We will do our best to troubleshoot sound problems when we arrive in the space, but it is imperative that you visit the space or speak with the resident A/V specialist well in advance of our arrival so that you can anticipate any issues that we may encounter. Depending on the size of your audience and the space that you choose, it may be necessary for you to secure lavalier microphones for the actors and facilitator, table microphones for the performance space, and/or a wireless handheld mic or stand microphones for the audience's use. As a general rule, it is useful to consider amplifying actors' voices if an audience of 60 or more is expected. The Theatre Program does have its own sound equipment and can travel with it when necessary. It is often, however, more cost-effective to use on-site equipment.


A writing surface can enhance facilitation by providing a space for the facilitator to record audience observations/ideas. If one is not available in the space, we ask that you provide a moveable whiteboard or two flip charts (with adhesive paper) and easels. 


Many of our sessions require the use of a projector for slides. If securing a projector will be a problem, please let us know so we can discuss other possibilities. 


The CRLT Players are committed to cultivating accessible, equitable learning environments.In addition to the basics included above, it is CRLT's practice to invite participants to request accommodations as they register for events. We strongly encourage external clients to do the same. If we know about participant needs in advance, we can better prepare for our session. For example, we may need to reserve a particular area of the event space for a sign language interpreter or restage a performance to allow for better visibility for lipreading.


Send any information you have about the selected venue (e.g. room dimensions, diagram of the space, photos, etc.) as well as any event-specific needs (e.g. food/drink table, registration table) to the Players Company Manager. She will work with you to create a space plan for your event that maximizes accessibility that you can then share with those responsible for setting up the performance space.


Our company will need to visit the space prior to the start of the event to rehearse and make any necessary changes to the room's arrangement. Our preference is to use the hour immediately preceding the performance for this purpose. Some sketches will require a lengthier set up time. Please contact the Players Company Manager to verify the amount of time necessary to set up/rehearse for your event.


Yes. Offering food can be a great way to boost attendance at your event. Doing so, however, will necessarily affect both the length of your room reservation and the space plan for your event. The Players will not perform during food set-up, service, or removal. Arrangements must be made with your caterer to have food set-up and removal occur outside of the event time. Please also be sure that you account for the time participants will need to pick up or be served their food. This will likely increase the total session  length. Please contact the Players Company Manager to discuss how food service may affect the timing or set-up of your event. For accessibility purposes, we encourage you to ask audience members and Players company members if they have any food allergies and/or dietary restrictions if you choose to serve food at your event.  

Our actors will need a room close to the performance space where they can do final preparation once the audience begins to arrive. We will also use this room for a company debrief following our session(s). We ask that you reserve this space from 1 hour prior to the first event to 30 minutes following the end of the last event. If this space cannot be locked, it may be necessary for your organization to provide a staff member to safeguard the company's belongings while they are working in the performance space.