The Georgetown Gilbert & Sullivan Society is a student organization of the Georgetown Law Center that has been active for nearly thirty years. GG&SS typically produces three shows during the academic year: a Broadway musical in the fall, a (student-directed) play in the winter, and a Gilbert and Sullivan operetta in the spring. For more information on who we are and the history of the group, visit our "About Us" section.
Our Purpose and Creed
The Georgetown Gilbert & Sullivan Society performs a great service to the Georgetown Law Center: We give tired, frustrated, bored, and overwhelmed law students and lawyers an outlet for their creative energies and talents. Our goals are to inject whimsy, fun, and creativity into a situation that is typically laborious and boring--law school. To further that objective, you will find our policies and decisions are guided by three objectives:
- HAVE FUN. Even though what we do is often hard work, theater is still recreation for the majority of our members. We try to keep it that way as much as possible.
- BE INCLUSIVE. GG&SS prides itself on the diversity of talent and tastes that it encompasses.
- PUT ON A GOOD SHOW. Yes, this is the third goal. Don't be alarmed, we do like to produce good shows. It is important. But it is not the most important thing. If we lose sight of the other two objectives, the show cannot be "good" for us.
GG&SS is run by a seven-member elected Board of Directors. All Board members serve for one term, and thereafter must be re-elected. With the exception of the Alumni Representative, all Board members are Georgetown law students. Major decisions about the operations of GG&SS are put to a Board vote whenever possible. Of course the Board members rely on the Directorial staff for artistic input and direction, but in the event of a dispute, final decisions will be made by a Board vote.
- Everyone who auditions (for a musical) gets (at least) a part in the chorus.
- No one may be cast in a lead role without going through the formal audition process.
- Because we are a student organization, with a student organization budget to sustain us, we maintain a casting policy with regard to the casting of law students. This policy has three parts:
- No one who is neither a law student at Georgetown, nor an alumnus, may be cast in a designated lead role unless he/she has been in at least one show previously as a member of the chorus.
- When casting a show, the director/musical director/choreographer must give preference to law students who audition; such that, among three comparable candidates, the (Georgetown) law student would receive preference over the alumnus, and the alumnus would receive preference over the community member.
- A majority of the designated leads must be Georgetown law students.
In the past, Directors have occasionally expressed frustration with this policy. Please bear in mind that we maintain this policy in order to justify ourselves as a STUDENT organization and, thus, justify our budget to the Law Center administration. However, this policy can be overridden by a Board vote, in extenuating circumstances.
GG&SS generally plans its first read-through of a show immediately following auditions, with rehearsals starting immediately after that. The Directorial staff will meet with the Board at a time prior to auditions to outline a rehearsal schedule. As a guideline, we recommend that directors plan to rehearse chorus members no more than two to three times a week (perhaps more often with leads) and gradually increase the length and frequency of rehearsals as the show draws nearer. We generally like to hold music rehearsals (or some other rehearsal that requires everyone to be there) on Friday nights, because we have a cast party every Friday night. We also have a party every night during the run of the show.
GG&SS generally hires a director and a musical director for each of its musicals. The directors/musical directors are selected through an interviewing process prior to each show. Directors and musical directors are hired for the run of the show. They are required to sign a contract with the University. They are expected to attend production meetings, conduct auditions, set a rehearsal schedule, and to run reasonable, organized, and efficient rehearsals. They are also expected to remain within their set rehearsal schedule. They are compensated in flat lump-sum payment, to be determined prior to hiring and to be paid on the last night of performance of the show.
Music directors are generally expected to play (piano) for their rehearsals and for performances and to oversee the recruitment of a band/ensemble (with the help of the Board). Exceptions to this have been made in the past, but arrangements must be made prior to hiring.
Student directors are not paid, but do receive a budget for all expenses connected with their production. Student directors can of course always count on the full support and assistance of Board of Directors and other members of GG&SS. If you have questions about the submissions process, please feel free to contact us at email@example.com.