Purpose | Good food saves time
Your production week will vary with different theatre groups. The schedules, procedures, and timetables are only one example of a variety of possibilities. Adapt them to serve your needs.


CatsAtPlay.pngProduction week can be particularly daunting for directors, first-time or otherwise. Keep in mind the purpose of this stage.

For the actors it's the transition between the rehearsal hall and performing for an audience. They enter an environment that enhances and embellishes their hard work.

For you it's when you see the fulfillment of those sketches, drawings, and models from design meetings. You and the designers craft your vision of the play through colour, light, shadow, and sound.

It's also the time where, once crafted, you turn over the responsibility of rendering this vision to the stage manager. You must surrender control or she and her crew can't do the job properly and effectively.

You must turn your attention to the designers, stage management, and crew so they can give you their best work. The temptation is to focus on the actors but not now; it's time for the other side. This is synthesis time.

Good food saves time

When planning production week, you must put in proper breaks for meals. This is vital, otherwise all your hard work in rehearsal will be hostage to undernourished brains making fuzzy decisions. Mistakes and indecision cost time, and if you are hungry, your mind won’t be at it’s best.

And it's here, with a little planning on your part, that you can eat well even though traditionally this time finds the director, stage manager, and crew bleary-eyed and eating food out of Styrofoam containers and take-out bags. If you have a personal chef to cook you healthy meals, you are indeed fortunate. There is another route.

Stagehand_Stew.pngPrepare and freeze a week of dinners before production week begins. Also pack a nice set of dishes, utensils, a glass or two and your favorite mug. A napkin and tablecloth complete the package. Transport everything in a picnic hamper if you have one.

Most theatre green rooms have a microwave and perhaps even a stove. If not, bring a microwave from home or borrow one. At mealtime set the table, heat your dinner and sit down to enjoy good food on a nice setting. Share the prep and the meals with your stage manager. You can eat and review notes. It’s a great time saver, you’ll return to the fray refreshed and clear-eyed.

Planning will give you the required time to sleep; whether you can or not is another thing.

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