About Rehearsals

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Rehearsals: 

All actors are expected to attend all required rehearsals. Rehearsal schedules will be set by the Director. Any special consideration of a performer's schedule will be made by the Director.  At the time of the first rehearsal, actors will be asked to sign an actor’s agreement outlining expectations and responsibilities of the actors during rehearsals and performances of the production.

Rehearsals are usually open, which means that others may come to the theatre and observe.  No children, under grade 4 will be admitted to rehearsals unless 1) They are cast members in the productions or 2) permission has been obtained from Director or other member of the production staff.

Occasionally, the Director may desire to have a closed rehearsal at which time, only those directly involved in the scene are allowed admittance to the hall.  Closed rehearsal notices will be placed on the door in this event.

Commitment

Cast members are expected to make adjustments to their life as necessary to attend all required rehearsals. If making this commitment is beyond your capability, you should consider waiting until another time to audition. If the Director believes that you are not committed to this production, they have the option to replace you with someone who is.

Your Responsibilities as an Actor

Read the etiquette sections, do what they say, become responsible..

You are responsible:

To improve your skills (year-round)

         Voice and acting lessons

         Study, study, study

         Practice, practice, practice

         Be up to speed - vocally “in shape” -  by auditions

         Tape your music – always bring a tape recorder to music rehearsals!

To maintain your health – body, mind, emotions, spirit, and voice

         Hydration – drink plenty of water, and then some more

         Blood sugar – Healthy meals, always bring snacks

         Hygiene – bathe, wash your hair, brush your teeth, etc., etc.

         Adequate sleep

Theatre Etiquette

About Respect

Our Philosophy: Respect Everyone! -- If anything is key to a joyful experience, it is this. Basic Golden Rule stuff.

How do you do this? Read the manual and follow its recommendations, especially the sections on etiquette. Pay attention. Be aware of what’s going on around you at all times. Be aware of how you are talking to or about others. Know when to hold your comments.

Know who’s who and who’s in charge, The Director, the Stage Manager, the production staff (including the Music Director, the Choreographer, the Costume Designer, the Prop Master, the Hair, Make-up and Wig Master), the professional crew.

The less you worry about how everyone else is doing their job, the more opportunity you will have to improve, and shine! Everyone who is working the production has a role to play as determined by the Director and his production staff. If you have an issue with the Director’s choices, consider becoming a Director yourself. In the mean time if you have to talk about it, see the Stage Manager in private. Bottom line, there is only one Director!

1. Theatre Etiquette: Back Stage

  1. Absolutely NO GUESTS are allowed backstage or in the dressing rooms before, during or after the show.  Not only is it tacky and unprofessional to have friends in the dressing rooms and backstage, but it is unsafe for valuables and expensive props that may be lying around.  (Not to mention the fact that people are undressing and may not want strangers watching).  Arrange to meet your family and friends in the lobby after the show is over.

  2. Don't ever give another actor a note about their acting.  This is the job of the Director and in some instances, the Stage Manager.  If another actor has changed something or is doing something that you think is inappropriate, you should let the Director (if you are still in rehearsal) or the Stage Manager (if you are in performance) know and let them give the note to the other actor.

  3. Be responsible for your props (and yours alone).  Always check your props and the set pieces you move before the show.  If something seems wrong with someone else’s prop or set piece, check with the Stage Manager, but don't move it yourself.  There may be a reason it is there.  Never touch anyone else’s props, even if they are really cool.

  4. Don't use other people's make-up without asking first.  Always return it when you are done.

  5. Clean up the dressing rooms as you go, so a big mess doesn't grow into something uncontrollable that swallows up costume pieces.  No one else is going to clean but you, so do it.  Also, the theatre space is often used by more than one group at a time, so there may be another group using your dressing room. Please keep it clean.

  6. Do not stand in the wings unless you have an entrance or a scene change coming up.  And if you need to be there, be sure you are not in the way of someone making an entrance or exit.

  7. Be quiet in the wings!  Cloth is not sound proof.  If you are talking backstage, chances are we can hear it in the audience.  You wouldn't want people making noise offstage during your scene, so be respectful of your fellow actors.

  8. You and you alone are responsible for being ready for your next entrance, so if you are waiting away from the offstage area, be sure you can hear what's going on.

  9. Remember, if you can see the audience, they can see you.  Be careful about where you stand backstage and ABSOLUTELY NO PEEKING AT THE AUDIENCE FROM BACKSTAGE BEFORE, DURING OR AFTER THE SHOW.

  10. Never be outside the theatre or in the lobby when you are in costume before show. We are trying to create the illusion that we are different people in a different time and place.  To show off for friends and family in costume before the show destroys that illusion and is very unprofessional.

2. Theatre Etiquette: Rehearsals

  1. Get a folder or binder for your script and some blank paper to write any notes on.

  2. Always bring your script and a pencil to rehearsal.

  3. Highlight your lines with a highlighter to make them easier to read.

  4. Always write down all of your blocking.

  5. Never walk in front of the Director when a scene is being rehearsed.

  6. MEMORIZATION TIPS:       

    a. Use a tape recorder.  Record all of your lines and cue lines.  When you playback, pause the recorder before your line, say your line and then let the recorder play to see if you got the line right. It is also critical to bring the recorder to music sessions and tape your music and the music director’s instructions.

    b.  Use a piece of paper to cover your lines, so you can see only your cue line.

    c.  Write out all of your lines on a piece of paper.  Sometimes the act of writing them down can help you to remember them.

    d.  Have a friend or family member read your cue lines while you recite your lines.

    e.  Write each cue line on one side of a 3x5 card and then write your line on the other side.  These will then serve as theatre flash cards.

    • IMPORTANT THINGS TO MEMORIZE:        

    • Memorize your lines/ music.  A general rule of theatre is that once a scene is blocked, your lines should be memorized at the next rehearsal.

    • Memorize your cues.  Many performers forget to memorize the line that comes right before their line.  If you don't do this, you won't know when to say your line.

    • Memorize your blocking.  You must memorize what you do and when you do it.

  7. Work on physicality.  Work at home on how your character is different from you physically. If you have a different walk you must practice this so it will seem comfortable and effortless onstage.

  8. Work on your voice.  Singing and even speaking onstage can be very demanding.  It is important that you practice at home to keep your voice strong.  If your character speaks in a different way than you do, this must be practiced so it will seem comfortable and effortless onstage.

  9. Think about what you can try in rehearsals at home.  Don't expect the Director to give you everything.  

  10. Be creative.  Try new things!!!  Be bold.  Rehearsal is a time of exploration.  Open your imagination to what is possible for your character.  Use the rehearsal to share those thoughts with the Director.  Together you, the Director and the other actors create the play.

3. Theatre Etiquette: On Stage

  1. Be alert and on time for all entrances, lines and scene changes.

  2. If you make a mistake, ACT like that was the way it was supposed to happen (if possible).  The audience will probably never know the difference.  If you giggle, make a face, or say, "I'm sorry," you'll give it away.

  3. If someone else makes a mistake, you may need to "cover" for them by filling in a missing line, or by jumping in with your next line.  Always stay alert for these changes.  Don't go on autopilot or space out on stage.  Even if you have no line, stay involved in the scene.  Remember that one of the keys to great acting is LISTENING.  See Performance Terms, COVER.

  4. The audience is there to peek in at the world you have created.  You are not there to peek at them.  Even if someone in the audience tries to get your attention, or you are wondering where your parents are sitting, or how many people are in the house, YOU MUST NEVER LOOK AT THE AUDIENCE unless it is part of the scene.

  5. A common note given to performers is to "pick up your cues".  This means to come in with your line immediately after the line before yours is ended.  There should never be a pause before your line unless you are directed to do so.  Theatre is meant to be exciting and fast moving whether we are playing comedy, tragedy, romance, serious drama, musical comedy or any form of theatre.  Keep the energy of the story moving forward.  See Rehearsal Terms, PICK UP CUES.

  6. If there is a laugh, you can hold your next line until it the sound of the laugh peaks and starts to die down, then come in with your line loudly.  Don't wait until it is completely silent.  They'll be quiet once you start talking.  See Performance Terms, HOLDING FOR LAUGH.

  7. If you have an entrance that overlaps the end of the last scene (If there is not a blackout after the last scene) you must enter as soon as the person who ends the scene turns to go.  Do not wait for the stage to be empty.  An empty stage means that the play has stopped.  If the play stops, the audience will lose interest.

  8. Never talk during a scene change.

  9. Never cross the stage during a scene change, unless you are directed to do so.

  10. When crossing on stage you should move with energy and purpose.  Don’t saunter or shuffle to your spot (unless directed to do so).

  11. Curtain Call Etiquette: When entering the stage for the curtain call (the bows at the end of a performance), you should enter as quickly as possible as soon as the group before you has bent over for their bow.  Once you arrive at the designated spot for your call, you should bow slowly and then move aside quickly for the next call.  The audience wants to thank you for a great performance.  Don’t make them wait a long time for you to arrive to be thanked.

4. Theatrical Reviews (Professional Expectations)

  1. Do not bring reviews back stage, positive or negative.

  2. Do not provide your comments to the reviewer, positive or negative.