Skip to content

Home / Guides

A New Guide

Checklist: performing outdoors

Who needs a building?

Here is a checklist of things you could consider if planning  an outdoor performance.  It’s not exhaustive but hopefully raises a lot of the questions a club would need to think about in order to successfully and safely perform outdoors. Please feel free to adapt the format to suit your club needs.

Visibility & marketing

Play

Do we have a suitable play to perform?

Audience

Will our audience come, do we need to market to a new audience?

Contingencies

What elements are beyond our control and what contingencies do we have for them? (e.g. weather or midges. There is an app called Will it Rain Today that may help if you want to delay rather than cancel.)

Performance licences

What performance licences do we need and how long does it take to get them? (In some places it can take up to 3 months to obtain all necessary permissions from local council. Are there any limitations on number of people allowed and does this include cast and crew?)

Risk assessment

Have we carried out a full risk assessment of the venue from both an audience and performers/crew perspective? (What new policies and risk assessments do we need to put in place and how do we communicate them to everyone?)

Ticketing

Will we ticket the event and if so how will this be managed? (Think about taking payment and managing queues. What will people be willing to pay and do you offer a full refund if the event is called off?)

Insurance

Do we need any additional insurance for this event?

Audience preparation

How do we ensure our audiences are prepared? (Look at how others have done this i.e. Bard in the Botanics FAQs. ‘Educate’ your audience in advance to enhance their experience – warm clothes (even on hot days if it is an evening production),umbrella etc.

Venue

Suitable venue

Is there a suitable venue?

Included facilities

What facilities are included in the hire of the venue? (e.g. toilets, cleaning, first aid, security. Are there any other options to provide more toilets if there are only a small number at the venue?)

Limitations

What limitations does the venue have and how can we navigate them?

Keeping belongings safe

Is there a place for cast and crew to leave their belongings that is secure? What do we need to communicate to them?

Tech

What tech do we need and how will we store it? (You will need to consider lockable storage for anything to be left at the site/venue).

Moving the audience

Do we need to move audiences around and if so how will that be managed?

Refreshments

Can we offer refreshments and if so do we understand how this needs to be done at the moment? (Perhaps consider including in the ticket price to avoid further unnecessary payments)

Audience comfort

What can we do to make the audience as comfortable as possible and will this affect the length of performance?

Accessibility

How accessible is the venue and does this affect start and end times? (Is there free parking? How easy is it to find? Do we need to include specific details in the marketing?)

Artistic

Experience

What experience do we want our audience to have?

Entrances and exits

How do we manage entrances and exits for actors?

Technical requirements

Lighting, sound, costumes and props, remember costumes may need to be washed and dried between performances.

Dressing rooms

Do we need dressing rooms and storage for costumes and props?

Performance skills

What performance skills to actors need? (e.g. vocal projection, non-naturalistic ‘larger than life’ acting style, more use of the body to communicate)

Rehearsal

How much can we rehearse in the venue for the director to help the actors to be bigger and louder – if this isn’t possible how can we replicate the conditions?