Sample Rehearsal Schedule

CT generally uses a six to eight week rehearsal cycle (with six being closer to the norm). This sample schedule could be for any play and simply sets out the main deadlines for being off-book, hanging lights and getting a rough focus, completing blocking, etc. Of course, prior to this date, you should have already lined up key support staff (assistant directors, stage managers, properties and costume people, set and lighting designs, and ordered books, backdrops or other third party items.
You'll want to adapt this calendar to your own schedule, depending on your production, the work you're performing, and the particular needs and resources of your group. Consider using "french scenes" and "italian run-throughs" to meet particular needs and goals as director. If you're unfamiliar with these terms, consider one of the books on community theatre listed in our bibliography or take a moment to review the terms in our glossary.
Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday

Auditions

Auditions

Call-Backs

Post
Castlist

First Read-Thru

Off

Construction Crew Meets

Block scenes
with leads

Block scenes
with
Full Cast

Block scenes
with leads

Begin Set
Construction

Block scenes
with
Full Cast

Off

Work on
Set
Construction

Work scenes
with
Full Cast

Work scenes
with leads

Work scenes
with leads

Work on
Set
Construction

Work scenes
with
Full Cast

Work on
Set
Construction

Hang Lights
and Set
Construction

Work through
Act I
off book

Work through
Act II
off book

Work on
trouble spots
leads only

Finish Hang
and
Rough Focus

Act I
Run-thru

Work on
Set
Construction

Full Cast
Paint and
Work Day

Act II
Run-thru

Act I
Run-thru

Act II
Run-thru

Work on
Set
Construction

First Full
Run-thru

Complete Set
Construction

Final Setup
Tech
and Lights

First Tech
Rehearsal
with Cast

Run-thru
Full Tech

Run-thru
Full Tech
Costume
check

Tech Crew
Trouble
Shooting

Run-thru
Full Tech

Finishing
Touches
On Set

Work on
problem areas

Full Dress
Rehearsal

Full Dress
Rehearsal

Full Dress
Rehearsal

Full Dress
Rehearsal
No Makeup

Performance

Performance

Performance
As with any schedule, the ultimate goal here is to get the most value for the time spent on task. However, with amateur talent, community theatres need to be especially sensitive to the real-life schedules of an all-volunteer cast. Care should be taken to schedule rehearsals in such a manner as to avoid cast members "waiting around". Accordingly, you'll want to schedule rehearsals with leading characters only, and give the rest of the cast the night off, particularly in the early stage of rehearsals. The primary rule is: don't ask your volunteers to show up unless you have something for them to do!
Oh, . . . and remember to schedule a strike set, with all hands (including cast members) the day after your final performance. Get the dirty work done while everyone is still feeling up from a great run!
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Tupelo Community Theatre, P. O. Box 1094, Tupelo, MS 38802, 662-844-1935, or e-mail us