For theatre... online, non-professional, amateur
How to make the most of the Sardines website

How to make the most of the Sardines website

The new and improved Sardines website – launched in the autumn of 2020 – brings the UK’s amateur theatre societies and their members a modern and stylish purpose-built online theatrical option suitable for today’s non-professional sector as well as the amateur arena for years to come, as we eventually move into a post-Covid ‘new normal’ world of theatre.

What this much-talked-about new normal will be is anybody’s guess but, what we can say with some confidence, is that the website, which has been a long time coming, has finally been launched not a moment too soon.

(click on images to view full size)

STEP 1Register and/or logon

Regular visitors to the website will need to register and logon. However, the website will automatically recognise you each time you return which means that once you have registered and logged on for the first time you should stay logged on for the foreseeable future.

To register, a minimal amount of essential details will need to be entered. The amount of information in your ‘profile’ may be expanded later after the initial registration process has been completed. This extra information includes general location and various theatrical preferences.

Another reason for registering would be that only logged on website visitors can upload posts and society details (including productions, auditions and reviews). Productions may date back as far as 1 January 1900.

When you are a registered user you may then create a new profile for a society that is new to Sardines. You may also apply to become a ‘Society Admin’. This means you will then have the power to add productions to and edit a society’s basic details as well as request an official Sardines review of an upcoming listed production. In addition you will also be able to add you involvement (on or offstage) to an unlimited number of productions listed on your society’s profile.

When you are logged on you will also be able to comment on posts and join in or start other conversations.

You will also be able to upload a ‘User Post’ under one of five subjects: Announcement, Appeal, Conversation, Show or Society.

Registered users may also subscribe to Sardines magazine via the website, edit any of their previous submissions (including their own personal account details) and add/edit details of a theatrical service supplier. Subscribers to the digital issue can also read magazine articles online.

Note: The website is compatible with PCs, laptops, notepads, smartphones, iPads and other mobile devices.

STEP 2 – Subscribe to Sardines

Once you have registered you’ll be able to subscribe to our bi-monthly magazine for UK amateur theatre companies, societies and charities – the only one of its kind.

Due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, we haven’t been able to print a paper edition of Sardines since our Apr/May 2020 issue (no.48). However, we’ve not been idle. No.49 and no.50 have been published as digital-only issues in Aug and Dec respectively. As a result, we have temporarily withdrawn the print versions from the website’s subscription options.

This means that for the time being we are publishing further digital-only editions to cover issue nos.51 & no.52 (This issue, Feb/Mar & Apr/May 2021) with a view to recommencing print production from the Jun/Jul edition onwards.

All new digital versions of Sardines are entirely readable via the website in the form of listed Contents, editorials, listings and adverts. Subscribers are the only registered users who can read Sardines magazine; everybody else can only see the first few lines of each article. In addition, subscribers are also able to download a fully designed PDF of every print version of Sardines we have ever produced (fifty to date).

The price to subscribe to the digital edition is: £7.50 for six months subscription or £12.00 for a full year. If you click on the green Subscribe Now button before registering you will simply be taken to the logon page. In other words you cannot subscribe without first registering and logging on.

All payments are completely secure and all types of debit and credit cards are accepted using the Stripe payment gateway.

Whether registered, logged on and subscribed or not, all website visitors can click on the main ‘Magazine’ tab at the top of each page and see our current/past issues displayed, right back to issue no.1 if desired. All you have to do is click on a cover to open up an issue.

STEP 3 – Find your society

Search for your society/societies by clicking the ‘Societies’ link at the top of the page or by using the Societies panel on the Home Page. By default, if you have entered your (hidden) postcode into your personal user profile then the closest societies to your location will automatically show up. Otherwise, you will need to select an area or type part of a society’s name instead. Click on any society in the results list to open its profile page.

We are aware that various design aspects of the website are inadequate and require updating. The society profile is one such area, including the way listed productions are displayed. Please bear with us; this re-design will be carried out as soon as we are able to get it done. However, there is a lot of data to process and, as such, it will take a little time to get right.

Only society ‘Admins’ are able to edit the page’s main details and upload productions (past, present and future), auditions and submit review requests. Therefore, it is recommended that a society appoints as many admins as possible in case any contacts should move away or lose contact. To become an ‘Admin’ a registered user simply needs to send a request to the current admins to become an ‘Admin’ – which will either be accepted or not.

STEP 4 – Find a show

You can find an upcoming or current production by clicking the ‘What’s On’ link at the top of any page, scrolling down the Home Page to the What’s On panel or finding a specific show via a society’s profile page and clicking on a production from a selected year.

A production page can either show the basic details of a show or it may be a more comprehensive listing.

STEP 5 – Add yourself to a cast & crew list

Registered users who have been involved in listed shows can also add themselves to a production’s cast & crew list. On a production page, logged on users will see links to add their names and type/level of involvement, from a leading performer to box office admin. The cast & crew listings are another area in need of a design upgrade so – while the listings themselves will be safe – please bear with us while we work on this.

The aim is to eventually have enough people registered and listed with Sardines that the cast & crew lists of each production show a comprehensive list of credits – both onstage and off, those in front of the spotlights as well as the unsung heroes that deserve recognition.

STEP 6 – Add/Upload/Me

When you are registered and logged in, click on the ‘Add/Upload/Me’ link on the top-right-hand-side of any web page. This is how you can control your profile and uploads. Here you can update your own information (My Account), add a profile for a service supplier (Add Supplier), create a new profile for a society/company/charity/youth group/fringe company/professional company/receiving house/drama school (Add Society), upload a user post under one of five subjects: Announcement/Appeal/Conversation/Show/Society (Post Something), list an unlimited number of productions (Add Show), link a detailed audition notice to a listed show (Add Audition), and finally edit or delete previously uploaded listings (My Submissions).

You can filter the My Submissions page to show just Societies, Suppliers, Auditions, User Posts, Shows and Reviews that have been previously listed. Here you can edit or delete your submissions.

STEP 7 – Newsletters, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube

On the Home Page you will be able to register to receive our newsletters and, at the footer of each page you can visit our social media pages through the appropriate links:
YOUTUBE: /channel/UCn8ulUE4MvRSikFDUZvvTSA
FACEBOOK: /sardines.magazine
TWITTER: /SardinesMag

As well as making sure you sign up to receive our newsletters you can also subscribe/like/follow us via each social media source.

Visit the website, have a look around, have a play around… and good luck!