Simple steps save time | Near production week | Pre-production week reminder
Your unit breakdown is your lifeline. Use it to track the number of hours you rehearse each unit.

The one-minute rule is worth repeating.

Follow it if you want time to completely explore the creative elements of the script with your cast.

Stay on time. If you schedule a rehearsal to end at 10:30, make sure people are walking out of the door as close to 10:30 as possible. If you have to put away things after rehearsal, stop a bit early and ask everyone to help. Your stage manager needs to get home too.

Simple steps save time

Have an order for what you want to accomplish. If you have your actors trying to do too many things at once, clarity disappears and may never come back. Decide what you want mastered first. Pick a task to complete for each rehearsal. What that task is will depend completely on the show.

It could be the rhythm of a dialogue exchange, an emotional arc to a monologue, the speed of something, the fluency of something else. One thing takes precedence and once that's established, move on. Simple steps build strong foundations. You build on each completed task through successive rehearsals. It’s a great way to maximize creative time.

Teach everyone that the stage manager is the only one who knows administrative answers. You create the rehearsal schedule but always defer to the stage manager regarding rehearsal times. You are training everyone for production week when they all must depend solely on the stage manager. As the leader you have to slowly transfer control over to the stage manager. The cast and crew will follow along if you do so. This will save a great deal of time in production week.

Near production week

Charge!.pngYou are rehearsing longer sections of the play, perhaps running an entire act. The stage manager is timing the show, designers are observing to put the finishing touches on their work, and perhaps tech operators and crew are watching to become familiar with the show.

Everybody has learned her or his lines. If they haven't, don't waste time. Have line rehearsals, people MUST know their lines before you can proceed. Do not try run-throughs when people aren't off-book, it wastes time; re-organize, and work smaller sections.

Only when the cast is off-book can you get the performances back to where they were in previous rehearsals and beyond.

Pre-production week reminder


It can be a grueling period. You will save time if you are rested, comfortable, and alert.

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