We open The Real Inspector Hound by Tom Stoppard in 9 days, and the Senior playing Birdboot hasn't memorized his lines. Today he was crying to me that he's tried and tried but there doesn't seem to be anything else he can do - the lines aren't sticking. He doesn't see how he can put any more time into it b/c of school work and college apps, but he's trying and he works every evening and it's still not sticking.
Oh, and he wants to miss tech so he can go away for the day with his friends for his 18th birthday. No backing down on that one.
It seems this kiddo is sending conflicting messages. On one hand nose to the grindstone, doing everything possible, over the top memorization tutor and still can't get lines straight (in a shorter show no less) and on the other having no respect for the rehearsal process. Without knowing the student, I would tend to believe the second and not so much the first.I've always subscribed to the idea of "assume positive intent" so I should believe first that the student is working to get memorized. BUT I also subscribe to the idea that as Educators, we need to think of the entire group in the process and draw the appropriate lessons for them and support them when they fall short.I would absolutely not put this student on stage with the script. You would be sending a clear message to everyone else that there is no need to memorize their lines. I would probably talk to the student and parent and discuss the situation and remind them that I had given the student several opportunities to show progress and that has not happened so I will need to recast.Bottom line - if a football player can't remember the routes they don't get to play. Lines are the bare minimum expectation of an actor and without them the character, blocking, business, energy etc...will be lackluster and certainly not adding anything to the team. We need to set a standard, help them get them and hold them accountable when they don't.