What is Shattock?
The Shattock School of Defence is a renaissance themed touring company that performs a program of 3-4 different 25-30 minute original shows incorporating comedy, combat and chaos at renaissance faires, Shakespeare festivals and community events throughout the Midwest and beyond.
How did the name originate?
In middle English, a shattock (shattuck) is a shack or out building. When the company’s founder ran away from his life of … ahem, he changed his name to the alias O’Shattock and named his new traveling thespian company after himself. Why he chose to name the company after an outhouse is lost to history.
Do I need to have previous stage combat or theater experience before auditioning for Shattock?
No. While previous experience or skill in stage combat, acting, improv, physical comedy, or theatrical movement will be useful to new company members, the majority of current and past Shattock company members possessed little or no experience in one or more of these areas when they joined the company. Only an enthusiasm to work, learn, and contribute is required.
What kind of time commitment is required of company members?
Shattock’s preseason begins in March with rehearsals, lessons, and program development. During this phase of our season, company members are expected to be available Sunday afternoons, and able to schedule small group work during the week.
Shattock’s season runs from early May to mid October. Most seasons include 5-8 weekends traveling to events in the Midwest. Usually, the company leaves Friday night and returns Sunday night. Once or twice a year we may perform at events farther away necessitating a longer travel time.
While we expect our company members to make Shattock a priority, the company understands that family events and personal schedule conflicts occasionally make certain events impossible for a company member to attend. With enough notice allowances can be made for members with schedule conflicts.
Does Shattock pay its actors?
No. All money made from contracts by the Shattock School of Defence is reinvested in Shattock and Rage Theatrics, Shattock’s parent company. This money is used to maintain company equipment, pay travel costs, purchase new props and weapons, and to produce other shows. Most of the events Shattock performs at allow acts to pass the hat at the end of their shows and accept tips. Money made in this way is divided up between performers to cover food costs.
What kind of equipment do I need to be a Shattock company member? Are there other costs?
New Shattock members are expected to buy a stage rapier or single-sword, and an appropriate costume. Current company members can aid new members in finding weapons, and finding or making costumes. An adequate stage sword can be purchased for around $130, a nice one can be purchased for $200-250. Speak with the fight director before writing a check. Costumes vary widely in cost, but can be found on a budget.
Our lodging accommodations vary. Hotel/motel accommodations are covered by the company when available. More often, accommodations mean a tent and sleeping bag. Members are responsible for these items, although there is usually extra tent space. Company members with reliable cars are sometimes asked to drive to events. Fuel will be purchased by the company.
How does Shattock develop material?
A typical Shattock season includes three or four 25-30 minute shows each featuring 7-9 actors. Developing each show is quite a process. Most shows premises come out of preseason or off season brainstorming sessions. The show premise is taken by our head writer who works up a rough script. The company then table reads this script adding characterization and other changes. The writer then takes another stab at the script and brings it back to the company. We walk through the new show and brainstorm physical comedy bits and combat ideas. The writer finalizes the script, the fight choreographer(s) write and teach fights, and we start working through the show. We also do a large amount of playing with finalized script. If we come up with a funnier joke or gag, the “final” script changes. Our scripts tend to continue to develop throughout the season.
What roles are available? What character might I play?
Shattock members each develop a character to play at faire. Each actor develops a character who is a member of the Shattock School of Defence. These characters may then play other roles in the shows that the troupe performs. Confused? We understand.
New company members will be encouraged to discover what kinds of material their own personality/image lends itself to while playing simple roles in existing Shattock shows, and participating in opening and closing shows. As new members develop this awareness of “what’s funny about them” they can begin to develop a character to play beginning with a name and nationality, an accent if necessary/possible, and a personality. Most existing characters began as caricatures of the actors who play them.
ANY OTHER QUESTIONS?
Contact Nate Mims at firstname.lastname@example.org