Frequently Asked Questions
Launch Day, which sometimes happens over the course of two days, is like the first day of school! It’s an opportunity to get to know everyone, learn about what’s in store for the rest of the season, and to sing, act and/or dance for the creative team, so they have a better sense of how to cast the show. The general mood of Launch Day is meant to be welcoming, supportive and FUN rather than competitive and stressful.
A couple weeks before Launch Day, your Stage Manager will send an email with information about what to expect and what to prepare. The email may include song cuts and scenes or monologues to choose from. There is no need to memorize anything. Many people show up to Launch Day having prepared absolutely nothing in advance and end up having the most fun! Otherwise, just dress comfortably, wear comfortable shoes, and bring some water and snacks. Anything more specific will be included in the email!
Our Creative Teams have a lot to consider in their casting choices! On Launch Day they create a really fun and supportive environment for seeing and hearing people dance, sing and act in order to help place people into parts. They also consider everyone’s prior casting in AWT productions in order to make sure everyone gets a chance to shine, and to avoid casting the same folks in large parts repeatedly. They additionally look to challenge the way a production’s history or society’s inherent biases have often kept certain identities out of the spotlight, so that anyone who walks through our door can feel eligible for any part. We actively seek to break with tradition in our casting choices, but there are times when the story dictates that certain characters be portrayed by specific identities, as determined by the Creative Team, the AWT Executive Director, and an independent team of people committed to this thoughtful work. In these cases, we will make known what those casting requirements are prior to Launch Day.
To a certain extent, yes! The days and times of the week that each program rehearses is pre-determined and advertised with the program, but you can let the team know about your conflicts prior to Launch Day. They will then place you into the cast that makes the most sense, and do their best to work around your schedule when it comes to rehearsing specific scenes, dance numbers or songs. There can be anywhere from 16–40 people per cast, so they will not be able to accommodate everyone 100%, but they will make resources available for you to review and learn the material you will miss.
Yes! It is very common for new cast members to join with a friend, so they already have a familiar face in the cast. Just let your Stage Manager know prior to Launch Day. If you are a returning member, you probably already know the drill at AWT and have made many new friends. We encourage you to lean in and let the chips fall where they may, if your schedule allows, as the more scheduling requests there are, the more challenging it is to accommodate everyone’s requests.
“No audition required” means if you register, you’re in the show! There will be no disappointing phone calls or sad lists that your name isn’t on, as everyone who registers gets a part in the show. There is a very fun and supportive process that involves singing, acting and/or dancing for the Creative Team, so that they can have more information to place people into parts. This process is totally optional for anyone who doesn’t want to be considered for a lead or featured role.
Well, first the answer is no, all ability levels and experiences are welcome. Second, we encourage you to not doubt yourself! Everyone who comes through the door has a story to tell, and these stories are what makes our community as valuable and unique as it is. Our Creative Teams have a special talent for bringing out the best in people and shining the light on everyone in a way that showcases what makes everyone special.
Your tuition helps cover some of the many costs associated with putting on a production, such as rehearsal space, theater rental, hiring creative and production teams, props, costumes, set pieces, playbills, royalty payments for the scripts/music, orchestra musicians, and the cast party. Additionally, this income helps support the ongoing operations of running the business of AfterWork Theater, such as employee salaries, software subscriptions, insurance, website hosting, contractors and consultants (like accountants, lawyers and web developers). To try and keep costs down, we run a very lean operation with a very small staff. Despite that, the combined revenue of tuition and ticket sales does not cover 100% of our costs and we also rely on donations and grants to keep the lights on.
PWYC is a new tuition model at AWT. We set the price for each program, while also offering the opportunity for participants to opt into lower tuition amounts. It’s part of our effort to make programs more accessible to all, and removing the barrier of cost. This model is dependent on those who are able to pay full tuition to pay full tuition. It is also dependent on additional donations to help us fund this model. We are still experimenting with this model and hope it continues to work for us economically!
If none of the PWYC options work for you, you can apply for Financial Assistance, which has relief options up to 100% of the tuition cost. The application for each program is available on the respective pages. Take a look and then get in touch if you have any additional questions!
AWT You(niversity) is where we run classes in theater, acting, music, singing and dancing! We have both class series as well as one time workshops and classes. AWT You upholds AWT’s mission to deliver fun, community and creative self-expression and to celebrate the diverse voices in NYC and in the arts. This is reflected in the way we develop our classes and determine the subject matter to be included.
When the pandemic began, we felt it was important to find a way to keep the community together and in touch with each other. We were not focused on making money, but we also wanted to make sure our Instructors were getting paid for their time. We set up the donation-based classes as a way to provide a platform to make classes available, while also removing ourselves as the go-between. Instructors were encouraged to promote their own income channels (Venmo, Ca$h, Paypal) directly to the participants, so they could donate what they can to the Instructors for the fabulous work that they do in each class.
Theater and Arts programs help build confidence, lift people’s spirits and enrich relationships. AWT seeks out communities in NYC who share these goals for their constituents, and create custom programming with and for them, at no cost to their members. If you are a member of a community group that would benefit from in-house theatre programming in the spirit of AfterWork Theater’s mission, please check out our Community Partnerships page.
We have recruiting periods periodically in order to expand our roster of talented and compassionate individuals. At times, we might be looking for Directors, Music Directors, Stage Managers, Designers (sets, costumes, lights, sound, props). We may also add positions to our internal team in the areas of marketing, operations, business development and fundraising. Our Hiring page will always list any current open positions. While it is best to respond to a specific opening, you are welcome to send your resume to firstname.lastname@example.org at any time. We’ll save your information, but we cannot guarantee a response.
We are always looking for new Board members who exemplify our values, share in our mission, and are invested in the success of our organization. If you are interested in learning more about being on the Board of Directors, you can reach out to our Board President or any Board member on our Meet the Team page.
As a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, we are always looking for supporters of our programs. A donation to AfterWork Theater helps us lower tuition by providing Pay-What-You-Can affordable options, as well as tuition relief up to 100%. We also offer programs to our Community Partners at no cost to their members, all made possible through the generosity of our donors. As we work to lower tuition even further and make programs more accessible, we will need help with some of the expenses associated with putting on a show. We’ll be providing information about these needs, which will include volunteer opportunities, on an ongoing basis, and would appreciate your support! You can also always make a tax-deductible donation on our website, and it will go toward our general operating costs (of which there are many!)