Stage 1 - Preparation | Stage 2 - Rehearsal | Stage 3 - Production week

Stage 1 - Preparation


TheFunBegins.pngThis is often the longest of the stages in the life of a community theatre director. Sometimes you choose the play, sometimes the play is offered to you.

Activities during this time may include:
  • Analyzing and researching the script for theme and presentation considerations.
  • Making changes or cuts to the script for reasons of content, casting, or length.
  • Meeting with the producer or theatre committee.
  • Choosing the type of audition and selecting material for the audition.
  • Meeting with designers to discuss production and design elements.
  • Meeting with production staff and crew.
  • Setting up a rehearsal schedule.
  • Conducting auditions and callbacks.
  • Casting the play.

You might think that casting the show is a directing must but there have been occasions where the director has left a show and the theatre group is looking for someone to take over the job with a full cast in place. In this case your preparation time is brief to the point of non-existent.

For easy access, the following pages contain the information for this stage:
  • Preparation - The job
  • Preparation - Rehearsal time calculations
  • Preparation - The rehearsal plan
  • Preparation - The rehearsal script
  • Preparation - The unit breakdown
  • Preparation - Audition planning
  • Preparation - Audition publicity
  • Preparation - At the audition

Stage 2 - Rehearsal


This stage starts with the first rehearsal and ends at the beginning of production week. I define rehearsal as when the director and cast explore the play and build characters using a variety of methods. Rehearsal time is creative time.

Activities during this time may also include:
  • Meeting to establish deadlines for design, production, and publicity elements
  • Revising rehearsal schedules
  • Leading the cast in exploratory exercises
  • Blocking the play

For easy access, the two pages Rehearsal - Beginnings and Rehearsal - Day to day work contain the information for this stage.

Stage 3 - Production week

LightPropelled.pngOften called ‘technical week’ or ‘tech week.’

It isn’t necessarily a week. It starts when the cast moves into the performance space, if they’re not already there, and production elements of set, costume, lights, and sound are added. This is synthesis time for you and your cast.

Time seems to accelerate as it gets closer to opening night, so many things to be done and so little time to do them. This happens because all the separate elements of the show come together during production week and all of them need your approval.

As the director, more and more people need to have a moment of your time. If you have followed this guide and met the various deadlines, you WILL have the time for each and every one of them. Do the work in Stage 1, follow your plan in Stage 2 and you will be the calm in the storm of activity that abounds in Stage 3.

Cue-to-cue, tech, and dress rehearsals take up production week.

For easy access, the following pages contain the information for this stage:
  • Production week - Beginnings
  • Production week - Events
  • Production week - Notes and saving time

If you’re running late and need some help with the opening cues for your show, click on Sample opening transition for a simple procedure.

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