Creating the plan | Rehearsal plan surprise check Project_Update.png
You read all the scripts. You make your selection. You contact the committee member with your decision.Its_Not_Real.png

  • Modern dress
  • Cast of ten
  • One setting

Creating the plan

It’s May 29th. The play opens next April. "Wow," you think, "no worries, I have nearly a whole year." That year can slip away quickly. Better to get your preparation done now, forget about it for six to eight months, and then pick it up.

Last night you and some friends read the play aloud. Ninety minutes. The one-minute rule converts that to ninety hours of rehearsal.

First_Timeline.pngYou begin at the end.
April 1st - opening night when your job is done. You start with that date and work back to today.

Go back 7 days from April 1st for production week. It might be shorter but plan on that for now. It's March 25th.

Always give yourself some fudge or wiggle room when you first make schedules. The extra time is for the unexpected. Make it generous.


Go back 10 days from that for the rehearsals and run-throughs where the actors are off-book and struggling to bring lines and actions together. It's March 15.

Still haven't taken any time from the 90 hours of rehearsal time because remember, production week and off-book rehearsals don't count.

The theatre group asked you to do all the scheduling but you should check a few things before proceeding.

Hmm.pngThings to consider about rehearsals, the cast, and the crew:
  • Does the theatre group have specific times that you're allowed to rehearse?
  • Is the rehearsal space shared so there are access restrictions or can you use it at any time?
  • Is there some sort of 'traditional' rehearsal time that people are used to?
  • How many hours a week can people work, and it is work, outside of their regular jobs and lives?
  • How many hours can you work under those same circumstances because you have to be at every rehearsal?

Points one and two are different e.g. the theatre group may say, “We never rehearse on Friday nights,” even though the rehearsal hall is available. If this is your first show, be reasonable about your time.

After you research the 'best rehearsal times' question, you come up with the following weekly rehearsal plan:

Store the information for use on your audition notice.

That plan gives you 15 hours/week for rehearsal. Divide 90 hours by 15 hours/week and you get six weeks.


Backwards from March 15 for 6 weeks lands us the first week in February, say the 5th.

You still have to schedule auditions and callbacks but that’s covered in Audition planning. Right now you have to check for surprises.

Rehearsal plan surprise check

Before you move on to preparing a rehearsal script, do your first surprise check. That's where something pops up and says, 'surprise,' and you have to make a change.

For example: Somewhere in the late Feb to mid March time frame local schools take a break for a week. How is that going to impact your rehearsal schedule? Are you planning to rehearse during that time?

If so, you must make sure you point that out to everyone who is auditioning and be prepared to accept the fact that some people have already made plans for being out of town during that time.

Do you want to say, "thanks but no thanks," ahead of time to anyone who falls into that category and lose potential talent or will you try to remain flexible to maximize your talent base? Whatever you decide, it's another thing to add to your audition notice.

Check about the use of the performance space for the last weeks before opening, in this case, the last two weeks of March. You might assume that you have first call on the space but it’s always good to check.

Chances are there will be a hitch in your perfect plan and you'll have to make some sort of adjustment. For now let's say you've checked everything, made the appropriate decisions, and have a plan that takes you from the first rehearsal until opening night. Good job.

Once you’ve put your rehearsal script together, you make a unit breakdown. This means you can:
  • Prepare for the auditions.
  • Prepare for design meetings.
  • Create a rehearsal schedule.

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