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REHEARSALS

Copyright © 2018 by Nello Bottari

 

(These Main Topic Outlines are a continual work-in-progress; 

actively re-edited and updated for conciseness and accuracy.)

 

A.   REHEARSALS DEFINED

 

1.  A building, collaborative, repetitive growth process of practicing doing the show.

2.  Re-enforces past accomplishments while introducing new material.

3.  Makes the written word of the script come alive in the performance.

4.  Comprised of individual meetings over a number of weeks.

 

B.   REHEARSAL OBLIGATIONS 

 

1.  Respect the Director's creative vision for the show.

2.  Inform the Director of your updated contact information.

3.  Arrive promptly at or before your assigned call time.

4.  Attend as many rehearsals as possible.

5.  Call the Director if delayed or unable to attend a scheduled rehearsal.

6.  Submit your personal Bio by the scheduled deadline date.

7.  Be “Off-Book” by the scheduled deadline date.

8.  Competently employ your costuming, props and make-up.

9.  Execute proper stage acting technique.

10.  Maintain your Character Decision.

11.  Know your lines and keep your blocking.

12.  Know your music and choreography.

13.  Work well with the Cast and Crew.

 

 C.   REHEARSAL PRACTICES 

 

1.  Read the entire script and comprehend the story line.

2.  Note the Character Description for your role in the script.

3.  Highlight your character’s lines in the script to assist in reading and memorization.

4.  Note your character’s scenes, props, entrances and exits.

5.  With an eraser-tipped pencil, write the Director’s blocking notes for your character in your copy of the script.

6.  In character, progressively memorize and recall your character’s lines and blocking.

7.  Consistently internalize and emote your Director-approved, Character Decision in the portrayal of your character.

8.  Study and memorize your lines prior to rehearsal—not at rehearsal.

9.  Obtain and keep the Director’s contact information: phone number and email address.

 

D.   FIRST REHEARSAL 

 

1.  Receive a copy of the rehearsal schedule and script.

2.  Write your name on your copy of the script and bring it—and the rehearsal schedule—to every rehearsal.

3.  Note all scheduled rehearsal dates and deadlines.

4.  Note specific Act and Scene rehearsals scheduled.

5.  Inform the Director of any scheduling conflicts with your personal schedule.

6.  Note the Off-Book deadline.

7.  Note when actor Bios are due.

8.  Listen to the Director’s opening remarks.

9.  Participate in a sequential introduction of the entire cast and the roles they will play.

10.  Participate in a full read-through of the entire script.

11.  Extemporize a Character Decision while reading your character’s lines.

12.  Note the Director’s critique.

 

E.   ON-BOOK WITH BLOCKING NOTES

 

1.   Actors write their Director-assigned, continuous blocking notations in their scripts.

2.   Read their lines while executing their assigned blocking.

3.   Work with preliminary, conceptual placement of available set elements within the rehearsal space.

4.   Accept that blocking is fluid and may change during the rehearsal process.

 

F.   OFF-BOOK WITH PROMPTING

               

1.  The prompter is a designated person who reads and follows the script silently while the actors perform “Off-Book”.

2.  The prompter alerts the actors of any lines dropped, forgotten, paraphrased, or transposed.

3.  Only when the actor says: “Line”, does the prompter read out loud the first 3-4 words of the line to remind the actor of the exact line.

 

G.   OFF-BOOK WITHOUT PROMPTING

 

1.  By this deadline, all actors are expected to recall their lines without the aid of the prompter.

2.  Failing this, the Director may or may not allow further prompting and may require an actor to improvise or paraphrase their lines or return to their script onstage as a remedial measure. 

 

H.   TAKING STAGE / LOAD-IN

 

1. Rehearsal proceeds within the actual performance area.

2. Actual set elements are progressively installed and spiked over time.

3. Set construction is substantially completed.

4. Lighting and Sound are progressively set.

5. Stage Manager becomes more critically involved.

 

I.   ACTS / SCENES

 

1. Scheduled rehearsals of segmented Acts requiring only certain Actors attend.

2. Scheduled rehearsals with certain Actors to work on specific scenes.

3. Director’s notes during and afterward.

4. May include an Assistant Director’s involvement.

 

J.   COSTUMING, PROPS & MAKE-UP

    

1. Specific actor/character costume assignments.

2. Fitting, tailoring or adjustments to costumes.

3. Acquisition, fabrication and modifications to props.

4. Specific character prop assignments.

5. Make up provided and assigned.

 

K.   FULL RUNS

    

1. Work-through: the entire script is performed without stopping; reveals issues and forces solutions.

2. Running time noted to determine of how long the show is now, and what needs work to reduce the total running time.

3. Triple-time: performing the show at a very quick pace—with characterizations intact.

   

L.   PRESS NIGHT

 

1.  Independent print media attends and conducts interviews with the Director and Cast.

2.  Photos of the Cast are taken.

3.  May affect normal rehearsal process.

 

M.   RUNNING LINES

 

1.  In seclusion, when the stage is not available, the cast may recite their lines to each other at a rapid pace.

2.  May require characterizations to be muted or even eliminated.

3.  May involve reciting the entire script or focus on specific scenes.

 

N.   TECHNICAL REHEARSAL

 

1.  All lighting, sound and special effects confirmed, adjusted and cued.

2.  Active set elements operated and adjusted.

3.  Cue-to-cue: every cued special effect is performed sequentially according to the script.

4.  Certain members of the cast may be required to be onstage during technical rehearsal.

 

O.   “HELL WEEK”

 

1.  The week prior to Opening Night.

2.  Complete, full runs of the entire show.

3.  All issues resolved.

4.  Director and Stage Manager critically involved.

 

P.   DRESS REHEARSAL

 

1.  Performed as if it were an actual performance before a paying audience.

2.  Director may stop the performance at any point for specific critique.

3.  Director’s final notes to the Cast given afterward.

4.  Director declares: “We have a show” and Director Authority transfers to Stage Manager.

 

Q.   MUSIC

 

1.  Musical Director presides over all music interpretation, singers and musicians—with keyboardist in attendance. 

2.  The Score is issued to each singer with exact notes emphasized.

3.  Solos, duets, trios, quartets and chorus work.

 

R.   CHOREOGRAPHY

 

1.  Choreographer presides over all movement to music.

2.  Gradual process; slow and deliberate, eventuating to performance-level complexity and tempo.

3.  Specific scene and ensemble work.

 

S.   DRESSING ROOM ETIQUETTE

 

1.  Establish, label and maintain your make up station and wardrobe slot; bring enough clothes hangers for your own use.

2.  Sensibly stow all personal items; with food & drink, use microwave oven and refrigerator appropriately.

3.  Respect all costume, prop & make up stowage; if it’s not yours, don’t touch it.

4.  Leave critical costuming, props & make up in the Dressing Room; note what you take with you—and need to return.

5.  Within cramped conditions, be tolerant and considerate of others at all times.

6.  Judiciously use the lavatory, dressing areas and mirrors; wear modest, sensible undergarments.

7.  Be alert to your entrance cues and don't distract others from their cues; alert others to their entrance cues.

8.  Maintain good health and personal hygiene; frequently wash hands and use hand sanitizer.

9.  Keep Dressing Room clean and empty waste containers when appropriate.

10. Limit raucous behavior and noise; note minors in the Cast.

11.  "Knock" before entering opposite-gender Dressing Room.