Technical rehearsals are the part of the production where everything starts to come together. Costumes are on and under the lights, the set is up (hopefully) and the creative team are working harder than ever to finalise the production. But how can you plan for this time and ensure you’re using the time as best you can?
Why are good technical rehearsals important?
This is your chance to put together all the technical and design elements of the show. It’s often the first time the cast will have worked on the set, in costume, and to learn about anywhere they need to stand for the lights and speak/sing with a microphone on. Using this time well can really make the process easier (and happier) for all involved – good planning and preparation is very much involved!
Be clear about what you want to achieve
- Set out your plans at the beginning (or in advance!) so that everyone involved knows what to expect
- Be clear with yourself about your aims and plan the time accordingly
- Check in throughout the technical rehearsals to ensure everything you’re doing revolves around the aims you set out at the beginning
Plan with your tech as far in advance as possible
- Have regular production meetings in advance of and during rehearsals to keep all members of the team communicating
- Check in with your technical team regularly to ensure you are still on track to deliver the show you’ve been planning
- Be aware that technical team members are often working on several shows at a time so their time is usually at a premium
Have a schedule and try and stick to it
- Write a detailed schedule in advance of the technical rehearsal starting
- Allow extra time in your schedule for things which go wrong (something will go wrong!)
- Distribute your schedule to all members of the team as far in advance as possible – even if you don’t have specific timings just dates and times are good to have in advance
- Be firm with team members about sticking to your schedule and maximising time within it
Call actors for the right amount of time
- Actors will be eternally grateful for efficient calls so that they are sat around waiting for things as little as possible
- Try grouping scenes/actors together in order to maximise efficiency in technical time
- Ask your technical team in advance what specific one-to-one time they will need with individual cast members
Ask your creative team what they need
- It’s so important to listen to your creative team, and ask them far in advance exactly what they’ll need during tech time
- Remember this time is for the team members who haven’t had time in rehearsals yet and not the Director’s time to finish rehearsals
- Keep checking in with your creative team throughout the process and operate an open-door policy to encourage good communication with the team
Implement these tups to make your technical rehearsals as good as they should be. If you have tips of your own, do send me an email, I’d love to hear them!