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rehearsal schedules

Printed From: Community Theater Green Room
Category: Producing Theater
Forum Name: Directing
Forum Discription: For questions about handling shows, actors, crew, board members, children ...or do we repeat ourselves?
Printed Date: 7/18/24 at 12:59pm
Software Version: Web Wiz Forums 8.05 -

Topic: rehearsal schedules
Posted By: sguti39
Subject: rehearsal schedules
Date Posted: 6/07/11 at 1:52am
How many of you post your rehearsal schedules or times at/before auditions? 
I am completely ok with using conflicts in the decision process....but I just got through consoling my heartbroken teenager after a brutal audition process  for Phantom of the Opera only to find out she wasn't chosen because of her time conflicts (this was after she was called up and told that they wanted her for the part). 
She is available every single day of rehearsal (for the next six months, i might add), but doesnt get home from school until 6:00pm and apparently rehearsals start at 5:00pm. 
Directors, do me a favor, at least post a tentative schedule with times.  I understand you may be willing to work around someone's schedule...but for those of us auditioning, there may be other opportunities out there to audition and we want to make the most informed decision in where to audition as well.  I'd compare it to a job posting and not mentioning that its a third shift position on thursday friday and are going to waste a lot of time interviewing people who arent willing or cant do that schedule.


Posted By: dboris
Date Posted: 6/07/11 at 12:45pm

In the shows I have produced we always had a complete rehersal schedule available at auditions and even ask the auditioners to provide us a list of dates that they would have conflicts with. We can normally work around a small number of conflicts, but if they have a lot of conflicts and are we may suggest that they not even audition.

Posted By: KEB54
Date Posted: 6/07/11 at 2:56pm
Part of the audition sheet I use has a place for conflicts and the auditionees are asked to list ALL their conflicts. As they are asked up onto the stage to audition we have their audition sheet in hand. We immediately look at their conflicts.  The frustrating thing for me is when they don't list all their conflicts and we find out later.
A 5:00pm rehearsal start does seem early unless there are a lot of kids in the show. I know that I get flack from parents when I want to start rehearsals at 7:00pm. "The kids have school tomorrow! That is too late!"
And I get flack if I'd try to start at 5:00pm. "Hey! I work until 5:00!!!"
All I can say is that the Producer (or Director) and their staff needs as much information as they can get in order to try to get this very complex process scheduled as efficiently as possible.
BTW My wife directs High School Theatre and they have varied starts to accomodate school activities. Often they start right after school (3:00pm) and sometimes as late as 7:00 and times inbetween. It's all a juggling match.


Posted By: Majicwrench
Date Posted: 6/07/11 at 4:32pm
 When I do school shows or large productions I always have a tentative schedule up.
When doing small cast things not so much.
And I too have a spot for "Conflicts".
Is it just me or is the "juggling match" getting more challenging??
Auditioning/casting is hard on everyone. 
We all have decisions to make.

Posted By: pdavis69
Date Posted: 6/08/11 at 9:24am
I do not post a schedule ahead of auditions.  On the audition form I have a spot for conflicts.  Everyone gets a chance to audition and after auditions the casting committee looks at all of the information (including conflicts) and casts the show.  After the show is cast, we sit down and make out a schedule that will work with the cast.  Unfortunately some schedule conflicts cannot be accomodated.  I recently was not able to cast a very talented young lady due to her college night classes. 
trying to set a schedule before auditions could discourage a potential cast member from auditioning because he/she might believe their conflicts could not be worked around.  The young lady I couldn't cast has at least been in our theatre now and hopefully will be back when her classload lightens.

Patrick L. Davis
Fort Findlay Playhouse

Posted By: PaulyWally
Date Posted: 6/08/11 at 5:46pm
Originally posted by sguti39

Directors, do me a favor, at least post a tentative schedule with times.  I understand you may be willing to work around someone's schedule...but for those of us auditioning, there may be other opportunities out there to audition and we want to make the most informed decision in where to audition as well.  I'd compare it to a job posting and not mentioning that its a third shift position on thursday friday and are going to waste a lot of time interviewing people who arent willing or cant do that schedule.

It's not always that easy.

Auditioning is generally a very painful process.  Not only for the performers, but for the director(s) as well.  There are an incredible amount of responsibilities on the director.  Books have been written on it.  And setting up a production schedule is not the least important.

That said, there are a lot of directors that have no idea what they're doing.  There are some other directors that are simply too self-involved to care about what information they give to their talent.  And there are a small handful of directors that are competent enough to do a good job.  But even with those, someone is bound to be unhappy in the process.  There are simply far too many people involved and the director will never be able to please everyone.

Different directors have different methods for scheduling.  Many directors that I've worked with do not even have a tentative schedule until s/he is deciding who to cast.  Either that, or the tentative schedule is so flexible, that it would be pointless to post it.  Finally, a director might go way out of his/her way if a performer auditions that just knocks it out of the park.

I'm not saying that's the case here.  I'm just saying that rehearsal scheduling is far from an exact science.  There are a lot of reasons schedules are not posted ahead of time.  And it isn't something that will get better as your daughter gets older.

I don't know how old your daughter is.  I also don't know if she wants to pursue a performance career.  But at some point, it's important for her to learn that auditioning needs to be taken at face value.  There are no participatory awards for auditioning in theatre.  But every audition has it's benefits - even if she's not cast.  I think it's great that you are there for her.  I also think you can take that one step further by also encouraging her to learn from her experiences.  I'm not saying it's not OK for her to be upset.  But after she has vented, she can take the time to evaluate how she performed in the audition.

I hope that helps.

Posted By: jayzehr
Date Posted: 6/08/11 at 6:15pm
I think what happens sometimes is that you have good actors who really want to be in a show despite serious conflicts and directors who are tempted to cast them anyway. I've always tried to schedule around people's conflicts but in the future I think I'll look at listed conflicts and not even read those whose schedule looks like it would be a pain in the neck. That would avoid the temptation of saying "He's perfect for the part. Maybe it doesn't matter that he's going to be in Bora Bora until two week before opening." :)

Posted By: falstaff29
Date Posted: 6/09/11 at 6:53pm
Depends on the director and the logistics of the show.  When I direct, I am very much into "actors' plays"--typically, small cast ensemble efforts with minimal set and longer but fewer scenes where the focus can be on text and characterization.  Because I choose these types of shows, performance matters, and so I will build rehearsal schedules around the right actors.  Because I prefer shows with more intimate casts, it's also more reasonable to work around actors' schedules.  I've made the mistake in the past of casting worse actors who are more available, and it wastes my and everyone else's time.  That being said, if I recognize at auditions that an actor's schedule is simply too impossible, I will tell them so and not read them at all.  So, either your daughter wasn't completely forthright about her conflicts, or the director is a d**k.

Posted By: Rorgg
Date Posted: 6/13/11 at 2:12pm
Had a response a couple days ago that vanished into the ether.  Let me try to reconstruct:

I follow pretty much the direct opposite approach.  You don't make a rehearsal schedule until after you audition and figure out who you want.  It takes some flexibility on all parts and maybe some non-standard rehearsal times, but it generally works out best for the finished product.

That said, you have a great point about the notification method.  I recently had a somewhat similar experience as an actor (posted about it in Other Topics) where I auditioned for a big musical with an 8-week rehearsal period, of which I was booked for the first 3 1/2 of 4 weeks due to another show.  The director called me on casting day and told me she loved my audition and wanted to cast me in the lead, but was having trouble due to my conflicts.  I explained that the conflicts were due to another show, and I couldn't move them, but given that the part had pretty much no dancing, I thought I could make it work and would be happy to put in some extra time on weekends to make it work.  She asked me to wait, called back some other candidates, then called and asked me to wait again, before finally telling me (when I had to call HER) that rather than deal with the conflicts, she'd had someone give a "good enough" performance at the impromptu callbacks, and they wouldn't be needing me.

Obviously, I went into the process completely aware that my conflict schedule might have rendered me unavailable for the show (much less the lead) and was prepared to take a no on that basis (or any other really) but the drawn-out wishy-washy tenterhooks method was really irritating.

Posted By: MusicManD
Date Posted: 6/26/11 at 2:05am
Wow, that's painful.  When I direct school shows, I'm pretty well locked in-

-Wednesdays are the unofficial "church night."
-Fridays (especially for the fall musical) are football games which takes out the band, cheerleaders, players, and folks who just want to watch the game... which includes me!
-Saturdays and Sundays are tough to do on a regular basis, because people are always going camping, special church events, weddings, etc...

So that leaves me with Monday, Tuesday, Thursday.  I have enough kids in sports that I can't actually start rehearsal until 7 and I hate asking them to stay later than 9.  So... Mo, Tu, Th 7-9 is the standard rehearsal schedule, and I reserve the right to call people in early if they're free.

Now that said, I also schedule around those conflicts.  JV football plays on Monday nights and volleyball games are on Tuesday and Thursday night.  I just schedule my volleyball girls later, knowing that they'll be in around 8, and make sure I don't schedule my JV football players to rehearse on Mondays.

Flexibility is the key here... and the situation the OP poses is bizarre.  5:00 rehearsal time?  I've never heard of that.  Must be a high school show?  If rehearsals are 2 hours long and she would be consistently an hour late, I can understand the dismissal.  If they are any longer, however, SURELY they could have scheduled around her... especially if your daughter was willing to sacrifice her school conflict every once in a while to be at rehearsals on time.

Really, really strange... but I can relate.  I don't even go to auditions much anymore unless I know that my schedule is free enough that I can meet any rehearsal schedule... and that only happens during the summer.

Posted By: avcastner
Date Posted: 11/12/12 at 8:39pm
My parent contract always includes at least an idea of what I expect rehearsal times to be.  Since so many of my parents in the past have claimed, "I didn't know they would be out that late for so many weeks," I demand a signature before auditions that they agree to the schedule.  I even put Tech Week times in bold.  If I anticipate pulling the kids out of class for Tech Week rehearsals, I'll even put that in.


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