Cindy Says: The Rehearsal Schedule – A Game Plan You Can’t Live Without!

Cindy Says: The Rehearsal Schedule – A Game Plan You Can’t Live Without!

By Cindy Ripley on November 14, 2016

I just returned from assisting with an early makeup call for a HS production of the Addams Family. The 6 a.m. call rivaled those early flights for me, but I adore this teacher and having my hands back in the greasepaint was way more fun! 6 a.m. might not have been my choice to start my day, but I never have waivered following a rehearsal schedule.  Never. It is one of those keys to a successful production that I always talk about, at any age - elementary, middle, high school, adult!

Rehearsing a musical without a well-thought out schedule is like putting a toy together on Christmas Eve with no directions. You end up wasting time, repeating steps and the basic structure may collapse at any moment.

Here are a few strategies to create a rehearsal calendar that will work for you and your kids.

Set up a Rehearsal Schedule.  It’s all about specific choices that involve you, your team and your school/facility.

  • List the factors that will affect when you can rehearse. Creative team conflicts, school calendar, athletics, holidays, community events and major life events all come into play here.
  • Select a performance date.  While many times this comes down to performance space availability, remember to check for conflicts ahead of time so the performance date works for everyone on your team.
  • Decide how much rehearsal you need. One of the questions we are often asked is “How many hours of rehearsal should I schedule?” There are a lot of factors that will determine this for you, but here is a standard formula for 60 and 30 minute shows.
  • JR/60- minute show, plan 75-100 hours of rehearsal
  • KIDS/30- minute show, plan 40-65 hours of rehearsal
  • Make the rehearsal schedule efficient for everyone.  Calling every student for every rehearsal wastes valuable time - think about scheduling a weekly ensemble rehearsal and moving forward with scene work. Save the full company calls for when you begin putting the pieces of your show together later in the rehearsal process.
  • Don’t struggle with factors that are beyond your control, be creative and think out of the box.
  • Take the first rehearsal to welcome the cast, introduce the crew and creative team and play a theater game that lets everyone get to know each other, then discuss your general expectations.
  • Now the “anticipation magic” of a musical that you create with your kids can begin.


And we all know there is nothing that can equal that!  CR


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