Author Topic: Breaks During Run-Throughs  (Read 4547 times)

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Rebbe

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Breaks During Run-Throughs
« on: Dec 12, 2006, 09:52 pm »
I’m in rehearsals for a three-actor, intermission-less show, which is currently running close to an hour and fifty minutes.  The director thinks we should be able to run through the entire show without stopping for the usual 10 minute break after 80 minutes of work.  I agree with him that it’s darned inconvenient to stop in the middle of, say, a Design Run, but I can’t find anything in the rule book (SPT contract) that says that it’s OK to blow through the breaks. 

How would you handle this situation? Is there a rule which would grant an exception to the regularly scheduled breaks under these circumstances?  Is this a situation where you would just run the show straight through, unless an actor specifically objected to doing so, regardless of what the rule book says (now that I think about it, we do just that for Dress Rehearsals that are not open to the public all the time)?
"...allow me to explain about the theatre business. The natural condition is one of insurmountable obstacles on the road to imminent disaster."  (Philip Henslowe, Shakespeare In Love)

nmno

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Re: Breaks During Run-Throughs
« Reply #1 on: Dec 12, 2006, 11:11 pm »
I don't know what the SPT contract says, but LORT 50 (E) (2) states: Except during run-throughs and dress rehearsals, there shall be a break of five minutes after no more than 55 minutes of rehearsal or 10 minutes after no more than 80 minutes of rehearsal for each member of the company. During non-stop run-throughs, there shall be a break of not less than 10 minutes at the intermission point(s).

The trick here is NON-STOP...  I've had to explain to directors that once THEY stop a run thru to "fix" something or re-run something, I now have to stop for breaks. 

ReyYaySM

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Re: Breaks During Run-Throughs
« Reply #2 on: Dec 12, 2006, 11:53 pm »
46(B)(3) [Rehearsals; Breaks & Rest Periods] of the COST contract says basically the same thing as the LORT contract.  However if you cannot find anything in the SPT rulebook, you can always call your AEA rep.   It's always possible that they might make a special concession for your particular circumstance. 

Mac Calder

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Re: Breaks During Run-Throughs
« Reply #3 on: Dec 13, 2006, 06:35 am »
I would recommend a break of 5-10 minutes when interval would normally occur, just to cover your backside no matter what. I think that those 5/10 minutes are essential really to get the flow of the show too.
« Last Edit: Dec 13, 2006, 06:41 am by Mac Calder »

nmno

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Re: Breaks During Run-Throughs
« Reply #4 on: Dec 13, 2006, 10:59 am »
I would recommend a break of 5-10 minutes when interval would normally occur, just to cover your backside no matter what. I think that those 5/10 minutes are essential really to get the flow of the show too.
Mac, Rebbe's issue seems to be what to do when there is no intermission/interval in the show.

Scott

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Re: Breaks During Run-Throughs
« Reply #5 on: Dec 13, 2006, 11:44 am »
[Mac, Rebbe's issue seems to be what to do when there is no intermission/interval in the show.

I would imagine that breaks are required in this situation except for official dress rehearsal -- very curious as to what Equity says.

Personally, as an audience member, I hate  >:(  shows longer that 90 mins (tops!) without an intermission.  Better be as brilliant as, let's say, the original production of Pippin to make me forget my bladder!


LisaEllis

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Re: Breaks During Run-Throughs
« Reply #6 on: Dec 13, 2006, 11:58 am »
I'd have to agree with the "poor choice of programming" to run almost 2 hours with no bathroom break for the audience.

Certainly wouldn't fly with the older audience members!  And I hope they have a big lobby sign about the run time so everyone uses the restroom beforehand and isn't surprised by it in small print in the program...

MatthewShiner

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Re: Breaks During Run-Throughs
« Reply #7 on: Dec 13, 2006, 09:52 pm »
Check with Equity, but I am sure you are allowed to do read thrus. 

If there is no rule in SPT, and Equity grumbles about it - maybe you can take it to the cast and go, "Hey, look, we are going to run this show without stopping, but then we will take a 20 minute break . . . "  I am sure there is a middle ground.

Curse you Rebbe and your intermissionless shows.

My current show has Act 1 reading at 1 hour and 50 minutes. 

Then we have another hour after that.

I dream of an one act play.

« Last Edit: Dec 13, 2006, 09:54 pm by MatthewShiner »
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Anything posted here as in my own personal opinion, and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of my employer - whomever they be at a given moment in time.

Rebbe

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Update on Breaks During Run-Throughs
« Reply #8 on: Dec 14, 2006, 02:52 pm »
The answer I got from Equity is that it is “a given” that if a performance does not have an intermission, we CAN do a true Run Through (uninterrupted for notes) during the rehearsal process, without stopping for the usual break after 80 minutes of work.  However, this “given” indeed is NOT in writing anywhere in the SPT rule book.

This advice came after the Design Run for me, but all of my actors were fine with running straight through anyway.  It was the last thing we did that day, so they got to head home a bit early when it was over.  I’ve done this before, incidentally, with the agreement of the actors, but in those cases the shows were closer to 90 minutes, so it seemed like less of a stretch.

I expressed to my AEA rep that I’d love to see something like the LORT rule 50(E)(2) in the next SPT book to clarify this issue, and he said I should send an email to that effect and he’d pass it along to the committee.  So, colleagues, if you feel the same, please consider contacting your reps about it as well.   Seems to me that it would be helpful for both producers and actors, and leave one less issue for debate if we can just open the book and point to the rule…or exception to the rule. 

P.S.  Matthew, you had a one act play.  You gave it to me for my birthhday (about 200 intermissions ago, for you), remember?  Besides, this is only my 10th Intermission Free show in a row...nothing special, really, I'm sure  :D 
"...allow me to explain about the theatre business. The natural condition is one of insurmountable obstacles on the road to imminent disaster."  (Philip Henslowe, Shakespeare In Love)

nmno

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Re: Breaks During Run-Throughs
« Reply #9 on: Dec 14, 2006, 06:00 pm »
Glad that it has all worked out!
I don't like it when Equity says "It's a given"...  Do you want us to make assumptions about the rules or not?  Because there have been plenty of times where I thought something would be a "given" and Equity hasn't backed me up.
Oh, well...  Here's to hoping that you see your new rule!

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