Voices of a People's History
Voices of a People's History


get started
find partners
cast your performance
spice it up
promote your event
plan for your event
the day of your event
after your event

  1. Pull together a team of people who can fully commit to organizing an event, publicizing it, organizing all the logistics, and doing it professionally.
  2. Request that one person from your organization or network be designated an Event Coordinator here. No event can be performed until we have approved an Event Coordinator. The Event Coordinator is responsible for correspondence with Voices, for filling out the Evaluation Form after your event, and for handling the donations and finances.
  3. Choose a venue for your performance. Nothing is worse than a large venue with no one in it. It’s better to have people overflowing a smaller venue than have a few rows in a huge auditorium. A key part of any Voices reading is the connection between the performers and the audience, so it’s best to find a space with a) excellent acoustics b) good site lines for the audience c) an intimate feel (even large venues can have this) and d) the technical infrastructure for a good event — good sound, good lighting, space for tables and for people to gather, a green room for performers, a sound board with outputs for video and audio recording. Location is key — is your venue accessible on public transportation? Is it well known to the community? Does it provide its own ticket services and security? Does it have its own community audience? Cost is also an important factor. Some venues have nonprofit rates. Halls with unionized workers sometimes are more expensive, but generally provide much better support and also fit best the spirit of voices. All that said, do try to get as large a venue as you think you can fill. Audience participation is vital. And we want as many people to be able to see Voices as possible. A larger event (or series of smaller ones) can also raise more money for Voices, our featured partners, and your own work.
  4. Choose a date (or dates) for your performance(s). Keep in mind that Mondays are “dark” nights for most theaters, so often a very good night for actors. But most important is to pick a date far enough in advance that you can properly publicize it, and a night when you can get the most people to turn up, which might mean choosing a Friday or Saturday night instead. Also, every year, we will be encouraging people to organize events on or near Indigenous People’s Day — traditionally known as Columbus Day — to challenge the traditional telling of the conquest of the Americas, and our nation’s history more generally. Be sure to look at local and national calendars to avoid conflicts with religious holidays, school holidays or exam periods, and major political, sporting, or entertainment events.
  5. Set your ticket prices and find your ticket vendor. Keep in mind that while we want to raise as much money as we can through Voices performances, we don’t want to create barriers to people coming. So consider making a special student rate, a low income rate, a main ticket price, and then a higher tier of tickets for people who will pay a “solidarity rate” to support our work. Be sure to read the fine print on any ticket service charges that come along with a venue that has its own box office (these can be high) and especially if you set up an account with an outside vendor.
  6. Download the script here.
  7. Create and distribute your script. In addition to the standard script (see previous item), check out the optional readings and guidelines on adding or cutting readings here. You will want to make these decisions early, so you can cast your show accordingly, so actors have time to prepare, and so anyone working on lighting, staging, sound, or recording can also anticipate the technical needs and features of the program. Generally actors want two versions of the script: a coil-bound version that allows them to follow long and see their place in the overall show and then loose print outs of each reader’s individual sides, clearly marked, generally in a larger, more readable font (16 or 18 point font tends to work well). Make sure page breaks only occur at a line break (a period) or paragraph break, to eliminate danger of your readers missing words or having an awkward pause when turning pages.