How can I Start my Own Experimental Theater Company?

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  • Written By: Diana Bocco
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 12 November 2019
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An experimental theater company is just what the name implies: a group of actors that does not follow traditional standards when it comes to performing. This may be because they have agreed to different rules, because they are trying something different, or because they are amateurs who can only dedicate a few hours a week to rehearsal and performances.

Since an experimental theater company does not have any official back-up, when starting one, you will have to deal with everything yourself. This includes finding and renting the performance space, which can turn out to be the most difficult part. Small local theaters are the obvious choice for an experimental theater company, but this may not be a viable choice because of budgetary reasons. If that's the case, look for alternative venues, including coffee shops, school gymnasiums, basements and cellars, and even church space. Remember that you will need the space both for practice and for the actual performances, so make sure the room can be used for both.

If you don't have enough of a cast, put out a call for it. You will need actors, writers, a director, and a group of people to handle the background stuff, including lights, music, and dressing. Do not try to impose too many roles on one person, as this can mean disaster, especially since you are dealing with non-professionals in an experimental theater company.


Once you have the right group of people assembled to form an experimental theater company, decide on the type of performance you will put out. It can be a regular show, or it can be short-sketches of 10-15 minutes each. Just because you are dealing with an experimental theater company does not mean you have to work for free. Set up the place so you can sell tickets on the spot, or agree that everybody must bring a certain number of people to the performance. The earnings can be divided equally between the participants of the experimental theater company, or everybody can get money according to how many people they brought in.

Above all, be original when creating an experimental theater company. You don't have the budget of a regular group, so you need to rely on raw talent to entertain the crowd. Pick out-of-the-ordinary scripts, use creative lightning, and do not forget to have fun.



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