Have a question about Kearney/Holt Community Theatre? The answer is probably here! Browse the list below, and if you don't see your question, email us.

1. Getting Involved

2. Show Stuff

1. Getting Involved

1.1 How do I get involved in KHCT productions?

Show up at auditions. You can find out when they are by requesting a free copy of the KHCT News , or by watching the entertainment calendars in The Kearney Courier, which is Kearney's local newspaper. Email us at: khct@msn.com. We typically produce three shows each year, and we're always hungry for new talent, on stage and off.

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1.2 I've never been on stage before. Is that a problem?

Not at all. We do on-the-job training! Everybody was new at this once, and many of our most veteran actors got their first parts right here. If you're nervous about trying out for a play, stop by auditions and see what they're like - it's the best free entertainment in town! Talk to the director and find out what he or she is looking for.

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1.3 Yeah, but don't your veteran actors have an edge?

Not necessarily. Our theater welcomes new faces and talent to our productions. We are committed to bringing fresh talent to our stage - and our history shows it. Of the nearly 300 people who take part in our shows each year, on stage and off, many are new to our theater - and some are enjoying their first theatrical experience ever.

Although directors have a lot of leeway in how they cast their shows, we do have one firm rule: Absolutely no roles are to be pre- cast.

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1.4 What are auditions like? Do I have to come with a prepared audition piece?

Different directors handle auditions differently. In general, though, our directors do not require prepared audition pieces, unless you're trying out for a musical, in which case you'll probably be asked to sing a song you've learned. For "straight" plays, auditions usually involve reading from the script with various combinations of other actors. Some directors like to use theater games or improvisations, too. The director will let you know what to expect.

Auditions typically run three consecutive nights, from 7:30 to about 10 p.m. Most directors prefer that you come at least two nights. A few directors will reserve the final night to call back actors being seriously considered for parts; if that is the case, the director will announce it.

Sometimes - when plays involve children, for instance - a director will hold a special audition session for certain roles. That, too, will be announced in advance.

Before auditions begin, you'll be asked to fill out a form that includes questions about your personal and theatrical background (for publicity purposes), your height and weight (for the costumer) and your schedule conflicts. It's especially important to list all your conflicts so the director can create a workable rehearsal schedule if you are cast. The form also asks which roles you are interested in. Be realistic, and be honest. Casting is a tough job, and directors really hate it when someone indicates they'll accept any role and then turns one down when it's offered.

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1.5 I just want to work backstage. How do I do that?

Stop by auditions and fill out a form, indicating that you are specifically interested in working on the crew, and in what area (if you have a preference). Make a point of telling the director or assistant about your interest.

On weekends when no production is on stage, there are almost always afternoon work parties to build sets, hang lights and take care of other backstage needs. Feel free to stop by and volunteer!

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1.6 How much time does it take to be in a show?

No doubt about it, a play is a big commitment. Actors can expect to rehearse from one to five nights a week for four to ten weeks, depending on the show and the size of the part. Our directors recognize that community actors have real lives, and do their best to break early rehearsals into blocks so that only those actively involved in scenes have to show up. For the final two weeks before a show opens, however, you can expect to spend every weeknight at the theater.

Some crew members, such as the designers, stage manager and assistant director, are involved in the show from the beginning. Others are added in during the rehearsal process as their skills are needed; most shows want everyone on board for at least the two weeks before opening.

Even though we try to have plenty of backstage crew, we expect actors to help out with set building, painting and other backstage work by coming to at least one weekend work party. Your commitment also includes set strike, usually from around noon to 2 p.m. the day after your show closes.

If you don't have a lot of time, ask about helping with set construction, scene painting, light rigging or other short-term jobs. If you really want to get involved, we can find a place for you!

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1.6a How long do rehearsals last?

We ask our directors to respect the fact that our actors have jobs, school and families. Most weeknight rehearsals start at 7:00 and are over by 9:30. In the final week or two before opening, rehearsals may run later. Some weekend rehearsals may also be planned. The director will let you know.

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1.7 Who runs this place, anyway?

KHCT is governed by a board of directors, who are elected each summer by our membership. Anyone can be a member by paying the annual dues ( currently single membership - $5; family membership - $10 ).  Membership entitles you to vote on major fiscal matters, each season's play selection and other theater business during our quarterly membership meetings.

The Board meets monthly; visitors are welcomed.

Our membership also provides us with dozens of volunteer managers who are responsible for everything from recruiting our ushers to putting up our advertising displays and maintaining our light and sound equipment.

We're all volunteers. KHCT has no paid employees. Some specialized help (i.e. pianist for large musical productions) have sometimes received token stipends. This is determined by the required commitment involved and must be specifically approved by the Board of Directors.

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1.7a How do I become a member?

Memberships (see above) may be purchased from our house staff during performances, or by mail to:

    Kearney/Holt Community Theatre
    P.O. Box 151
    Kearney, MO 64060

As a member, you have the right to take part in our quarterly membership meetings, where we decide such things as our annual budget, season of plays and and any other special events or group efforts. You get to vote for the Officers and other members of the Board of Directors, have the opportunity to serve as a manager in one of many areas (ranging from designing our lobby and window displays to helping keep our props, costumes and lighting instruments organized) and who knows, once you've had a couple years' experience, run for the Board.

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1.7b How do I donate money or properties to KHCT?

In large bills, of course!

But seriously........ As a not-for-profit organization, KHCT always welcomes donations in any kind or amount - and because we have federal 501(c)(3) status, those donations are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.

At present, we're operating from one show to the next. Having our own facility is only a dream at this point. Any donations may be made payable to ;KHCT. You may also designate your donation for any purpose allowed by our Bylaws. You will receive a thank-you letter which can serve as a receipt for tax purposes - and the knowledge that you're supporting a valuable community resource!

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1.8 You guys really ought to ...

We welcome ideas - even more so when the people with the ideas volunteer to help us carry them out. Becoming a manager, or serving on a committee, is as easy as asking. We survey our members at the beginning of each season to see what they're interested in doing, but you can also corner a board member any time and make a suggestion or volunteer your services.

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1.9 I'm a kid. Does KHCT offer anything for me?

Yes! Many of our shows include parts for children, we recognize that our community is short on performance opportunities for young people. Young people are also welcomed to work backstage, and many of our staunchest crew people are "under age." We only ask that parents recognize the commitment theater involves, and arrange for their youngsters' transportation to and from the theater.

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2. Show Stuff

2.1 How do you pick the shows you produce?

KHCT is a director-driven theater. Each spring our Event Selection committee asks people who would like to direct for us to submit plays for consideration. We recommend that would-be directors choose plays they really want to direct, and that they consider offering a mix of different kinds of plays.

All the scripts submitted are reviewed by an Event Selection committee, appointed by the President from among our board and membership. The committee weighs many factors; including director experience, individuals' schedules and the scripts themselves, and tries to come up with a season that features a balance of comedy and drama, new shows and old, musicals and straight non-musical. They must keep in mind the tastes and preferences of our audiences and our actors. and choose a season which will provide a wide range of opportunities to our community.

The committee recommends its choices to the membership in September each year, at the annual membership meeting. The members vote, and then we can announce the approved season. The season begins in October.

If you have an idea for a Plays or other special event, contact the Board of Directors or the Event Selection Committee, preferably early in the calendar year, when we begin the process of mapping our our next season.

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2.2 How do I get on the Event Selection committee?

Become a member and volunteer by filling out the membership form and then contacting any member of the Executive Board and expressing your interest. Because we try to maintain a variety of interests, backgrounds and theater expertise on the committee, you may not make it first time out, but keep trying!

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2.3 Who gets to direct?

Anyone who submits a play we like, assuming they can convince the Event Selection committee and the Board that they know what they're doing - as long as their choices and personal schedules fit into the coherent season the committee tries to create. The committee looks at would-be directors' experience here and at other theaters. First-time KHCT directors are asked to provide evidence of other theater experience, on stage or off, and to arrange to work as either a stage manager or assistant director on one of our shows. That not only gives us an idea of how they work under pressure, but assures that new directors know how our theater operates.

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2.4 How much leeway does a director have?

Artistically, a great deal. Directors recruit their own crews (with help from our board, if they ask for it); they have complete authority over casting and artistic decisions. The producer of the shows, sets the show budget and meets with the director periodically before and during the rehearsal period. The board intervenes in shows only rarely, in case of serious safety or personnel problems.

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2.5 What if I have a problem with a director?

Because our board members have many other duties (and because directors don't really want board members breathing down their necks), we've established a system of liaisons. A KHCT Board member is named as Executive Producer to liaison each show, serving as a resource person for the director, a conduit to and from the board and a mediator in the rare case where problems arise that can't be resolved among director, cast and crew.

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Updated February 25, 2001