A Crew of Patches Theatre Company
Chicagoland's Professional Shakespeare Repertory Tour
Macbeth is performed almost entirely uncut and runs approx. 1 hour 55 minutes. It is performed in period dress (Scotland, 1140 AD) with period combat and imagery. Please note: broadswords, axes, blood effects, and daggers will be used in performances of Macbeth.
Romeo & Juliet is performed almost entirely uncut and runs 2 hours. It is performed in period costuming: 14th century Italy—and uses period weapons and fighting techniques. R & J has one major change—the combining of two scenes. Please note: rapiers and daggers will be sued in performance of Romeo & Juliet.
A Crew of Patches Theatre Company uses Shakespeare’s First Folio for all its productions, therefore, there may be slight alterations in texts read by schools due to later adaptations and editorial choices. Minor changes may be made to aid in a modern audience’s understanding of the show and are at the discretion of the director.
A Crew of Patches Theatre Company uses minimal stage effects and scenery, but blood
effects, scenes of violence, and what might be deemed “adult content” (ie. ribaldry and innuendo) are common in Shakespeare and part of the production.
There will be no intermission.
Following the performance there will be a 5-15 minute (dependent upon the needs of the school) Question/Answer session with the company.
Questions will be chosen at random from students unless your school asks ahead of time for a different arrangement-- just let us know.
If you have a specific point you’d like us to make or an area of theme or content you know you’d like us to comment on, again, just let us know.
If students have no questions and teachers have no areas to discuss, talk backs will be cut short.
The School must have a theatre space for the performance: A Crew of Patches prefers to not perform in gymnasiums or cafetoriums (the sound quality in such spaces is usually awful and makes the entire experience less than optimal for both the company and the audience.)-- we have performed in studio-sized spaces before, this is not a problem-- we just need to make sure there is A. enough room for the audience and B. enough room for a good sword fight onstage.
The performance space should be cleared of all sets and have basic masking accessible. Many schools have very large theatres, and, if this is the case, sets for plays (or risers for concerts) can be moved upstage and asked by a curtain and we can perform downstage. We prefer to play as close to the audience as possible. The Patches asks that the school take care of this before our arrival.
The Patches must have access to lighting equipment (we bring our own technical director to handle lighting)—whatever is in the air is usually fine—and access to sound equipment which must have basic CD capability. If both sound and lights cannot be run by one person, we ask the school to supply a tech student or other reasonable help.
A Crew of Patches must have access to a room adjacent to the theatre space for dressing and for our belongings—dressing rooms are fine.
Audience Size and Payment Information:
The Patches fee is $10/per student.
If the school has less than 200 students attending, a base fee of $2000 is the cost for the performance. A Crew of Patches is a full-sized professional company and cannot do a performance for less than the base fee. We have many schools on our usual schedule who only have 150 or 175 students, but they still find it cost effective to bring us to them rather than coming to us because they do not therefore have to pay any bus fees.
If the school has more than 200 students attending, the cost of the performance is $10 per student. Performances for more students are more difficult and the company is paid accordingly.
If your school has more than 550 wishing to attend, we ask your school to book two performances-- they can be the same day-- simply because we have learned that the experience is better for everyone if we keep the house size down.
Performances of more than one show are available in a day: for instance, we can do a Romeo & Juliet in the morning (8:30 or 9:30) and then do a Macbeth in the afternoon (11 or 12).
All teachers and chaperones are free.
CPS and small-school discounts are available.
A 10 % deposit is due within three weeks of agreeing upon a date and sending a contract in order for A Crew of Patches Theatre Company to hold the date.
The balance of payment is due two weeks prior to the performance. However, we do know how hard it often is to collect from students or to get payment centers to cut checks. What we often do is accept partial payment two weeks prior to the performance and final payment the day of the performance.
Patches Covid Policy
A Crew of Patches is a fully vaccinated company: all our artists have proven their fully vaccinated status. While in your building, all our artists will be masked, unless onstage, for their protection and yours.
We ask that all students, teachers, staff, and chaperones attending the performance be masked at all times, noses covered as well as mouths, as well as any students or staff helping the Patches with load-in or technical help. The Patches’ responsibility is the performance of the show, not the chaperoning of students or mask enforcement – those are the responsibility of the school whether through the teachers or the administration or extra chaperones – none of whom will be charged to attend the performance.
We also ask that the changing room and any halls between the changing room and the stage be free of students or staff for the time allotted for the set-up of the show, the performance, and the break-down of the show.
As the Patches will be performing at schools across northern Illinois, we know there will be many local regulations and rules that might differ from our protocols. But the safety of our artists and your students is our guiding principle and the above rules are not negotiable. If the rules are not followed on the day of the performance, the Patches will leave your school immediately and refunds will not be issued.
In case a school needs to become virtual due to an emergency, the performance will be postponed until schools are back in session.
The Day of the Performance
A Crew of Patches asks to be allowed into the school’s theatre space 90 minutes prior to the performance time. This allows for fight calls and getting comfortable with your technical capabilities prior to the seating and settling of students and the show to begin on time.
The show can begin at any time between 8:15 and 10 am—we work around your bell schedule. It is not unusual for a show to start at 8:56 or 9:17 because that is what works for that school. Please do not ask for start times earlier than that as we have to do safety and tech checks prior to the show and we are coming from the far north side of Chicago.
Teachers and chaperones are asked to aid with the seating of students.
The Patches ask schools to cluster student seating towards the front and center of the theatre/auditorium. Small groups of students seated throughout a large audience space tends to lead to more talking and more discipline issues.
Discipline is the responsibility of the school and not A Crew of Patches. You know your students best, please seat them appropriately.
Performances will be stopped for extreme or extremely disrespectful behavior. Fees will not be refunded if a performances needs to be halted. We have, in the past, paused a show and called out bad behavior; we have never yet, in our 10 years of existence, completely halted a show and not continued, but we reserve the right to do so.
The School has the right to cancel at any time, for any reason, until two weeks prior to the performance. Deposit will not be refunded without at least one month’s notice.
If the School cancels within the two-week period prior to performance, half of their full payment will be refunded.
In case of a snow day or emergency the day of the performance, The Patches will reschedule the performance with the school.
A Crew of Patches Theatre Company does not cancel performances except in case of major emergency: in which case, all payment will be repaid in full.
Contact / Personnel
The Patches consists of 13 actors and a Technical Director. The Company is hired from all over Chicago and are, by trade and training, professional actors.
Booking is handled by our Executive Director: Janice L Blixt (firstname.lastname@example.org)
These are the nuts and bolts. We're really pretty self-sufficient, just let us in the space and we'll do the rest. If you have questions, please don't hesitate to ask: