Picking the Right Date for Your Easter Program
In order to honor the hours of practice your team will invest, it is imperative to choose the right production date. If you schedule your production during a big sporting event or another scheduled production, you are setting yourself up for low audience attendance. Low audience attendance not only limits your production’s potential impact but also may discourage team members who have put in months of practice and hard work. Make the sacrifices of you and your team count! Be aware of potential local, regional, or even national scheduling conflicts. Your goal is to maximize your production’s impact and honor your team members’ dedication. With conservative planning, you will maximize your impact.
Rehearsal / Practice Schedule
Check for conflicts!
- For large drama performances, schedule at least two dress rehearsals
- Hold separate music and dramatic practices initially
- Be clear to all participants from the beginning which practices are mandatory and how many of the others should be required
The key for all practices is clarity. It is very important to ensure that team members understand what they are committing to. “I cannot come to the dress rehearsal because I’m spending the night away at a buddy’s house” is not an excuse to miss practice. Be sure that everyone is aware of the time commitment involved before trying out to play a lead role. It is phenomenal that little Suzie runs track, plays soccer, cheerleads, sings in the choir, is studying for the ACT, participates in Model UN AND holds down a part-time job, but all of those commitments might not make her a great candidate for playing Mary! Those who want to be involved but cannot commit all the time required may enjoy helping with other behind-the-scenes aspects of the production.
It is also important to not waste your team’s time. At first, you should separate drama practice from the musical side as much as possible. This allows for efficiency and prevents one group from potentially distracting another. Only when both groups have “owned” the material will combined practices be beneficial. Lastly, do at least two dress rehearsals of your production. Use the information gained from the dress rehearsals and modify any aspects as needed (especially timing).
For key parts in larger productions, it’s important to have multiple performers available. If you’re doing several performances, try to use different leads for the performances. If an illness or emergency arises for one, the other can handle both performances. This is most important for leads and those with difficult vocal passages.
This is also very important for certain instruments. Drummers and pianists can be difficult to replace at the last minutes and in many programs, they’ll drive the music portions of the program. Have an additional drummer and pianist familiar with the music in advance!
Planning for Copyright Clearances
If your program will not be held during a religious service, it is not exempt from requiring performance licensing. The CCS PERFORMmusic Facilities License allows churches and non-profit ministries to legally play or perform more than 20 million songs from ASCAP, BMI and SESAC for non-exempt activities such as special programs, concerts, social and youth events, funerals, conferences and seminars, music-on-hold, exercise classes, and playing music throughout church facilities. No reporting is required unless it is a ticketed event. The license covers church premises, which may include satellite or campus locations that are under the licensee’s legal and financial umbrella. If it is a ticketed event, an additional performance event license is required and can be easily obtained at Christian Copyright Solutions.
If you want to stream your program, WORSHIPcast Streaming License is the only church streaming license that covers internet performance rights for 20 million Christian and secular songs from the catalogs of ASCAP, BMI, and SESAC. The easy online reporting tool allows you to browse and select the songs you stream so your fees help support your favorite songwriters.
We hope part three of our Easter Production series has been helpful! Don’t forget to start from the beginning and read about how to follow the correct copyright protocol before your performance and finding the right production for your particular church. Tomorrow we will tackle auditions.
If you have questions regarding copyrights and your Church please contact us at 877-394-5566 to talk to a copyright expert. Or log onto our website and chat live now.
Susan Fontaine Godwin is CCS’s founder/CVO, an educator and long-time member of the Christian arts community with 30 years of experience in the Christian media industry, church copyright administration and copyright management. Susan is an author and speaker and frequently writes for several Christian magazines and online publications. She serves as an adjunct professor at the University of Mobile.
About Christian Copyright Solutions: CCS’s quest is to help churches and Christian ministries “do music right.” CCS is an expert on church music copyrights and our primary focus is providing licensing and clear educational resources to churches, as well as representation, administration, and advocacy for copyright owners. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. The information contained herein is for informational purposes only and is not legal advice or a substitute for legal counsel.