Rehearsals should be ‘fun’
oWell-organized not painful
oEfficient not draining
oProductive not a waste of
oJoyful not emotional
Have a clear plan
• You need to free the director and actors to
concentrate on bringing the play to life
• Free and unstructured rehearsals can lead to
interesting results
• Structure enables the creative process by freeing
the brain and heart
Director’s checklist
Preparing for rehearsal
Organize the schedule (integrating actor conflicts)
Make rehearsal plans
Prepare a DPN (Director’s Production Notebook)
Organize the rehearsal props
Define the role and responsibilities of the PSM
Develop a sign-in system, if needed
Clearly communicate expectations to actors
Set rehearsal rules
Compile a contact list
Display groundplans and elevations
Create a safe environment
Request that the actors prepare for each rehearsal and set goals
Rehearsal Schedules
Rehearsal Schedules
Equity Calls
Actors are on call for all rehearsals
They are required to attend whenever called
Typical work week is TU-SAT from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
During Techs and Dresses, Equity rules allow for later
o EIGHT OUT OF TEN. A schedule wherein actors can be scheduled for up to
eight hours in a ten hour day.
o TEN OUT OF TWELVE. A standard call for tech and dress rehearsal periods.
o Equity requires five-minute breaks every hour or ten minutes if you work an
hour and a half…PSM monitors these times carefully
Ten minutes early is on time.
Call PSM if you are going to be late.
Warm up on your own
Be prepared
No complaining
No cellphones
Breaks on the hour or hour and a half
No “directing” other actors
Problems? Speak up!
Finish eating before, after or during breaks
Come to rehearsal “high” on art, nothing else
Come to rehearsal with goals and plans
Bring something to read when not onstage
If you need help, ask for it
Have fun, don’t take it too seriously
College & community theatre
• Students and working people have thousands of
things going on in their lives
• Even when the director insists on no conflicts, they
are an inevitability
• As such, it is better to cast a good actor with a few
conflicts than a mediocre one with none—but not
• Once you cast, use the audition form to help guide
you in planning your rehearsal schedule
• Keep the list of conflicts at hand as you schedule,
make sure the PSM has a copy
Creating a schedule
• Break the script into french scenes/rehearsal units
• For musicals, add songs and dance numbers to the
• Make a list of all scenes everyone is involved in
• Note how much time is needed for each “unit”
• Consider carefully the scheduling of first runs and
designer/crew watches
• Note dates for techs, dresses and performances
Schedule the ‘landmarks’
• First day
• Table readings
• Blocking rehearsals
• Off-book
• Runthroughs
• Crew watch
• Final runthrough
• Spacing rehearsals
• Technicals
• Final Dress
• Opening Night
• First day
• Music rehearsals
• Dance/staging rehearsals
• Off-book
• Runthroughs and brushups
• Crew watch
• Final runthrough
• Spacing rehearsals
• Technicals
• Final Dress
• Opening Night
First Meeting
Designer presentations and readthrough
Already scheduled rehearsals
Add your crew watches, techs, dresses,
performances into your grid…
First runthrough
This should be between the halfway point and ¾
point of the rehearsal process before the Techs
Table reading
How much time you need depends upon
what your goals are
Blocking rehearsals
• Schedule scene by scene
• Try to schedule actors
back to back
• Breakdown each rehearsal
• Double-check conflicts
• Be respectful of everyone’s
For a musical…
• Music rehearsals – non-musicians will need more time
• Read and sing-through should be added to the schedule
• Staging and dance rehearsals will often need to be scheduled
out of sequence
• Music and dance reviews will always be needed
• Full runs are trickier since so much more in involved
Review the schedule
• Check and double-check before publishing…
Prepare the rehearsal room
 Rehearsal props/furniture
 Water and restrooms
 Director’s table/chairs
 Prop table
 Rack for rehearsal clothes
 Chairs for actors and staff
 Ground plan
 Set renderings
 Costume renderings
Final Thoughts
The first rehearsals set the tone for the entire process
• You need to review as often as you can