Author Topic: First Day of Rehearsal Question?  (Read 3792 times)

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First Day of Rehearsal Question?
« on: Feb 04, 2015, 09:00 pm »
Tomorrow is my first day of rehearsal for the show I'm working on at my university. I'm trying to prepare an announcement to the cast discussing all the important things that I need them to know from the beginning, but I'm having trouble thinking of everything.

So far I have:
- Be here and ready to work at your call time
- Let me know if you're going to be late
- Take care of yourself/don't come to rehearsal sick

Is there anything else along these lines that anyone can think of that would be worth mentioning, just so I know that I put it out there before any issues arise? Thanks so much!


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Re: First Day of Rehearsal Question?
« Reply #1 on: Feb 04, 2015, 09:22 pm »
I always like to hit on a few things; when I'm in academic settings or working with interns, I try not to assume that they're overly familiar with the process.

I like to hit on
  • Keeping the space clean
Often times, our rehearsal spaces are shared. It never hurts to offer a friendly reminder with a younger cast.
  • Attendance policy
Does your school have an attendance policy? It's worth covering. Often schools with theatre programs will give a participation grade, and being tardy several times can ding it.
  • Scheduling
I always like to remind people that the schedule can change frequently; even if it's pretty solid, there's still the possibility.
  • Communication
I always like to cover this one; different directors have different notions on what is an and is not allowed in the rehearsal space. If the director is fine with laptops and cell phones and the like, remind them to silence them for rehearsal. Also, communication for you; I typically give out my cell phone number, and I like to note that I'll respond quicker via text, as I am typically in meetings or rehearsals.
  • Captains and Deputies
This also depends on your school. I like to do this when I'm working with younger casts so that they are familiar with the process should they start working professional and go AEA. Even if the rehearsal won't run according to AEA rules, I like to elect a deputy and a dance captain. It helps ensure the cast can practice the proper way to work in theatre. (Note: I typically select the dance captain with the choreographer, which often doesn't take place until later, but it's worth talking about at the first rehearsal).
Those are the big points I usually hit on.

I'd also be careful how you phrase 'let me know if you're going to be late', as it may make it sound like it's acceptable. I like to remind them they are expected to be here and warmed up at the start of each rehearsal, and of any relevant attendance policy, but if something should come up, that I should always be their first call.
Branden Scott Stewart

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Re: First Day of Rehearsal Question?
« Reply #2 on: Feb 04, 2015, 09:53 pm »
Everything listed above is a great start -

I like to take a minute during the top of day chat and have everyone put my number in their phone, especially if I didn't have time/budget to make wallet cards. In the heat of the moment they may not have your number handy so having it pre-programmed in your phone serves to be easier for them, and also if you have to call them for any reason it shows up on their caller ID.
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Re: First Day of Rehearsal Question?
« Reply #3 on: Feb 05, 2015, 01:18 pm »
I agree with NomieRae, at the first rehearsal I have for my university shows I always make my whole cast take out their phones and program my cell phone number in it. I also make a point to tell them that if they are running late they need to text or call me and me only, not their friend in the cast. I also make a point to say not to text and drive, but thats a personal choice.
I would also highlight any department policies that people might need to be reminded of: no photos of costumes or set pieces on social media, you can't skip class because you are tired from rehearsal, don't cut/color your hair without talking to the costume designer, etc. Also I would recommend having everyone check their information on your contact list. If your cast has people from outside of your make sure they know where the costume shop is for fittings, where the restrooms are, etc. And double check that everyone has the show dates written down correctly. I can't tell you the number of times people have said "I didn't know we had a show that night" two days before the performance.
Good luck with your production!


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Re: First Day of Rehearsal Question?
« Reply #4 on: Jun 22, 2015, 11:38 pm »
This was very helpful to me. I'm stage managing my second show and feel I could be more efficient. This just proved my feelings valid and helped me greatly.

Thanks everyone who repied to this post with tips.


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Re: First Day of Rehearsal Question?
« Reply #5 on: Oct 26, 2015, 10:34 pm »
Some other things you could say are to stay healthy and be focused. This will make your job a lot easier in the long run. Also tell them to keep communicating to you about anything!


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Re: First Day of Rehearsal Question?
« Reply #6 on: Mar 17, 2016, 11:31 pm »
I thought I would touch on this because I'm a big proponent on keeping the attitude professional, even in a university setting.  On the first day, I include in the welcome packet the Actor Etiquette sheet.  It includes reminders about the following:

Receiving (and never giving) Notes
Costume Fittings (ie, how to relay your concerns about movement without telling the costumer how to do their job)
Quiet in the Wings!
Tech Rehearsals
Half-Hour (aka, the SM sets the call for performances and you should welcome your time in the theatre, not bargain for less)
Ad Libs and Changes to the Script
Maintaining a Performance (ie, how to receive notes from the SM)
Respect (for each other, the team, and the space)

After briefly elaborating on each topic, I include a quote from the show that fits the topic (for Props in Hamlet, for example, it was "Neither a borrower nor a lender be") to lighten the message.  It seems to have gone over well every time I use it.  The key is to be concise and clear - it shouldn't take more than a page to get the message across, or nobody will read it!  (People might not read it anyway, which is why it's important to actually talk about the big things like safety and health, etc.)