Classroom Rehearsal Process

IMG_6242Students are ready to perform our Junk Yard Drill Team Routines. They have been rehearsing for about two weeks. Here’s how they set up and followed a classroom rehearsal schedule

Initial Brainstorm

Since you are creating your scene from scratch, brainstorm like crazy. This is the part of the rehearsal where you hammer out details from the project page or rubric. Things to discuss include:

  • What’s required of each person, including the stage manager?
  • How long will your performance be?
  • Any changes to your slate?
  • Do you need props or costumes?
  • Ideally, what should it look like?

This part of the rehearsal process is typically done sitting down in a circle onstage or in the house. Lots of talking. That weirdo idea might be a keeper, so be mindful of your theatre etiquette.


Who goes first? The stage manager. Who goes next? Figure it you and make sure to take the stage in that order. Write your slate order on your card, too. As the year progresses, your slates will become more detailed. Rehearse your part and refer to your rubric. It will typically be rehearsed and then presented to the other groups.

Blocking Rehearsals

Blocking refers to an actor’s movement on stage. In this part of the process, you start putting the scene on its feet. All those ideas you brainstormed about earlier get put in action. It’s best if you collaborate in how and where you move. Remember: Rehearsals are opportunities to try things in many different ways until ideas click. You may change things a billion times—so be sure to be flexible.

Run-Block Rehearsals

Once the entire play has been blocked, run through your scene to see how things look. Do it a couple of more times to see how you like it.

Working Rehearsals [Discovery]

This type of rehearsal comprises the bulk of your process. Bring in something new each time you work your scene. Don’t wait for the stage manager or most director-like person to give you ideas on what to do. If props [something an actor holds or interacts with onstage] are allowed, bring one in to help build your character/scene. You will stop, start, and then stop again and change things a billion more times.

Run Thru

Your scene goes up in a few days. Running the act or scene means just that: start at the scene’s beginning and go until the end. No one gets to stop. It’s like a mini-performance. Even if someone is confused, messes up, or can’t remember their part, carry on. Improvise if you have to. Under no circumstances are you allowed to cue them [remind them of their lines, etc.]. Pretend there’s an audience. Don’t forget to perform your slate too. While you do your run-thrus, try not to add anything new. Save it for when you go back in and work the scene.

Peer Critique

Getting another set of eyes to look at your performance is crucial in the rehearsal process. Find a group, watch their performance, and offer some warm and cool stems. Use the words from your handout and offer specific things you liked and things that need work. Stage managers will need to record the discussion. Put the advice into effect right away.

Dress Rehearsal

Your slate is perfect. Under no circumstances should you be adding new ideas OR PROPS to this final rehearsal. NO NEW STUFF. Discovery time is over, so run with what you have. No one stops the show unless someone gets REALLY hurt.

Opening Night

Of course we are really performing our scene in class during the day, so you can just call it, “Opening” for short. The day your scene goes up, make sure you have all your props and any paperwork completed. You will always get a short period to run-thru your scene.  Break a leg!

Following this classroom rehearsal process engages the following California Theatre Standards:

Artistic Perception 1.1, 1.2, Creative Expression 2.1, 2.2. 2.3, Aesthetic Valuing 4.2, Connections 5.1, 5.2

Categories: Rehearse

Tags: , , , ,

%d bloggers like this: