Two slots in the amateur theatre calendar set up by ACTS (Association of Choral and Theatrical Societies set up by the major amateur theatrical groups in Brussels) are allotted to BLOC. Once the dates are fixed, BLOC endeavours to book a theatre for these two slots.
The BLOC committee decides on the next show to be performed based on one or more proposals submitted by a team of Stage Director, Music Director and Producer(s).
For the show performed in May or June each year, auditions are typically held in December or January for the principal roles and chorus. These auditions are open to BLOC members and those who wish to become a BLOC member. Anyone accepting a role must become a member of the company – the fee is €40 to be a performing member and €20 to be a non-performing member. The fee is waived for members under 16 years of age.
Rehearsals are held on Monday evenings for soloists and Tuesday evenings for chorus, increasing to Sunday afternoons as well as the show gets nearer.
The last week of any production requires considerable commitment from all the cast, a typical diary being as follows:
|Saturday or Sunday am
|Orchestra rehearsal, sometimes with soloists
|Italienne (when the orchestra/band plays through the music of the show with the entire cast for the first time)
|Monday all day
|Get In to the theatre of set, costumes, etc. by stage crew
|Technical Rehearsal with accompanist/some orchestra
|Dress Rehearsal with full orchestra
|Matinee and Evening performance
|Matinee performance followed by striking of set
|After show party
|Get Out for stage crew
There is usually one week off and then the cycle starts again with preparation for the next show!