Panto Information

Next panto: Peter Pan

Our next panto will be 'Peter Pan'!

We had so many incredible auditions for the principal characters, and are proud to reveal our cast list:

Peter: Charlotte Berry
Wendy: Imre Hartog
Tinkerbell: Lucie Thomas
John: Tom Shone
Michael: Kyle Buijs
Hook (villain): Michael Connelly
Mrs Smee (dame): John Hall
Pirate Spy: Eva Büscher
King/Queen of Fairies: Julia Wright

And also announcing our fabulous production crew who will put the panto puzzle together:

Jenny Hall - Director
John Hall - Writer
Sarah Rothenburg -  Assistant Director
Stephanie Hazenjager -  Producer
Martin Hartog - Musical Director
Lale Uribe - Head Choreographer
Helen Short - Choregrapher
Reeja Vinod - Choreographer
Amanda Santos Royo - Band Singer
Erica Verkerk - Set Design
Megan Walch - Production Coordinator
Emma de Moel - Stage Manager
Kaiden Hannis & Fred Milders - Props Managers

Use the buttons below to sign up yourself or your child for the chorus:

General panto info

What is a panto?

A traditional British pantomime is a fun, colourful stage play that is usually (loosely) based on a popular story or fairy tale. Pantos are full of song, dance, silly jokes and larger-than-life characters. They're completely child-friendly, but adults also enjoy the spectacle and have an excuse to be a bit immature for a couple of hours!

The most important part of a panto is actually the audience. There is no fourth wall in a pantomime, meaning that the characters often speak directly to the audience, getting them involved with what's going on in the story. The characters sometimes encourage the audience to shout out certain traditional phrases, such as "It's behind you!" when something horrible is sneaking up on the hero, and "Oh no you're not!" when someone needs a reality check.

The pantos we produce are usually written by AATG members, so they're often brand new experiences. We put our heart and soul into each production, and having our audiences respond so enthusiastically is our greatest treasure.

How do we do panto?

We usually hold our panto performances in one of the first weekends of December, but the production process starts as early as January! We spend lots of time planning and preparing, and then we hold the auditions for the main cast (principal roles) before the summer, usually May or June.

Rehearsals start in September, the main cast having two weeknight rehearsals at our Warehouse, and the chorus rehearsing on Sundays at the dance studio in the Warenar Theater in Wassenaar.

In the weeks leading up to the performances, we bring everything together! We run through the full play on Sundays, and get all hands on deck to finish off the set, props and costumes.

The performance weekend is jam-packed with activity. We start with a technical session and a dress rehearsal on the Thursday, then the first performance on Friday evening, with two more performances on Saturday and two more on Sunday. The atmosphere in the theatre is electric! The actors and crew can hardly contain their excitement and energy, which is a good thing since that's what the audience loves so much about us.

After the performances, we all take a well-deserved and desperately-needed break (after we leave the theatre clean and clear, of course!) and set our sights on the spring productions in the new year.

Which jobs are there to do?

As you can imagine, there are many different facets of panto production, and we need skill, talent and effort of all types to help bring the show to life. The AATG has a dedicated core of crew who come back year after year because they love what we do, and we call in helpers and specialists from all over our social circles.

If you're looking to get involved in panto production, here's a quick list of the typical jobs where we can always use some help:

Set construction: physical building of the set pieces, including carpentry, metalworking and a little engineering as needed.

Set design/painting: we have a head designer for our sets, but input is always appreciated, as is help with putting paint to canvas (or wood, in this case).

Props: crafting and arranging of the physical props used by the actors on stage, including organising them all during the performances, because the actors sometimes don't pay enough attention...

Costumes: sourcing and creating the costumes for the cast and chorus. We have a large repository of costumes and extras at our Warehouse, so the costume people's job consists of digging through the racks to find what we have, and then sewing or buying what we don't have.

Makeup: design and testing of the makeup patterns for the various characters, and the eventual application of makeup before each performance. Bear in mind that panto makeup is more like face painting than 'normal' makeup, and your creativity can really shine through!

Lights: design of the lighting scheme for each set and scene in the play, as well as running the light board during the performances.

Sound: design of the sound effects throughout the play, as well as running the sound board during the performances. The actors use radio microphones when performing, so a crucial part of the sound crew job is to ensure that the mics are working properly.

Stage crew: the people dressed in black who change the set and scenery as needed throughout the play.

Who can you contact to get involved?

If it's your first time with the AATG, we advise to attend the introductory panto meeting that we hold before the summer. This is the best place to meet the director, stage manager, producer and the other core panto crew members to see how you can get stuck in with something that sparks your creativity!

Next to that, you can also attend any other AATG production or event and talk to us there. We're always happy to hear from prospective members and anyone who wants to lend a hand to help create a magical panto experience!

What to expect at an audition

The AATG is open to everyone who wants to contribute to the theatrical arts, and our panto auditions are no exception! Our auditions are casual events with a focus on getting engaged, showing your creativity, and having fun. Whether you're a die-hard actor like some of our regulars, or this is your first time stepping into the limelight, you'll have every opportunity to strut your stuff during our panto auditions.

We typically begin with a light warmup to get everyone loose and limber. And then, because panto involves plenty of musical numbers, we ask everyone to sing along with a simple song.
Certain roles ask for stronger singing voices, so this gives us more of an idea of which role you'd fit best. But don't worry if you're not that comfortable with your vocal skills! We also want to see how willing you are to step up and get involved.

Next up is the actual script readings. Don't worry, you don't need to prepare anything, and we actually prefer if you don't! We'll have selected certain pieces from the script for you to read, printed out and ready to go. Auditionees are called up solo and in groups to read through particular characters. This is your time to shine!

We hold two audition sessions during the same week, after which the director and their team decide on the casting. Then they start calling the auditonees who they'd like to play the principal roles. Calls usually go out within a week after the second audition session.

If you don't get cast, there's still plenty of great ways to get involved in the panto! Joining the chorus is a fantastic option, since you'll still be in the thick of the action on stage (more info below). Or, if you'd prefer a behind-the-scenes alternative, there are many jobs available to help with the production in other ways (more info above).

How the chorus is involved

Every panto has a chorus! Any role that isn't played by the main cast is taken over by the chorus, whether it be a villager, a town crier, a castle guard, a party-goer, or one of the various animals and other creatures that are a staple of pantos (especially ours).

Having additional actors to play these roles is vital, not only because they bring the stage to life, but because the pantos often need interactable characters to help the story along.

The chorus is not just involved in the acting side of things! They form the main core for dancing (and often singing) during the many songs that each panto includes. They are the ones working the closest with the choreographers to create memorable performances for our panto songs at every Sunday rehearsal. Learning the movements, steps and positioning isn't easy, especially when there's a partcularly complicated scene or piece of music, but we all come together to create some magical moments in the end!

The chorus is roughly divided into three categories: kids (under 12), teens (13-18) and adults (19+). They will usually have different roles assigned to them for a panto. For example, the kids might be woodland fairies helping the heroes on their way, while the teens could play the part of nasty beasties who only want to eat people who get lost in the woods!

One thing to note here: parents of children in the chorus will be required to help out with the panto in some fashion. There's always plenty of jobs that need doing, so ask the director or chorus coordinator how you can get involved!

This is why we need YOU in our chorus! We can't do it without you. To sum up, the chorus:

• takes on all the other roles in the panto

• brings the stage to life with their well-rehearsed songs and dances

• rehearses each Sunday afternoon during the panto season

We look forward to welcoming you to our panto family!