Between 10 and 12 houses may produce a play in a typical year. Productions are split between the Farrer Theatre and the Caccia Studio, with occasional productions in converted sites.
Houses differ in the frequency with which they produce plays. Some do so almost annually, some more occasionally. However almost all will produce at least one play in a students’ five-years at the school. House Plays tend to be inclusive — large casts, large backstage crews — so as to involve as many of the students in the House as possible in order to give them the full theatrical experience. For this reason they are usually directed by a member of the teaching staff or on occasion a freelance director.
Productions vary from the minimal to the lavish, and budgets for House Plays are typically generous. Performance standards vary, of course, but many House Plays achieve brilliant results and attract large audiences. The repertoire is extremely wide, including classics, musicals, comedies, and the best contemporary drama.
The House Drama Competition
This takes place in the Lent half. Houses enter a piece of theatre lasting not more than 30 minutes. This can be a complete play or an excerpt. There are no restrictions on the choice of play or on the size of cast. All directorial, production, and performance work must be done exclusively by students from the house. Adults may only assist in the choice of play. The final round of the competition is judged by an outside adjudicator, typically a professional actor or director, and a trophy is awarded.