This is such a great question and how awesome that you are being so thoughtful about the experience for all your cast. I had to respond because we have a read through coming up Monday. I get so excited about it because of the way we switched things up a few years ago. First of all we changed our casting process to include casting the crew at the same time. We liked the idea of everyone feeling a part of the process from the very beginning. Because of this, the read through includes more students that don't have lines than those that do. The focus and emphasis is on ensemble, establishing everyone's part in the overall production and becoming familiar with the story. For example, we'll tell the props crew to highlight or note what props they can see that will be needed, etc. We tell ensemble members to start imagining the character they'll create to help tell the story, etc. We guide them and give them some examples as we go. This process has made a very positive impact on the overall tone of the show. We concentrate on true "table read" processes during scene work which has worked well and put the concentration with the actors that need it. We've had success with this system and I'm sure you'll get a lot of great ideas! All the best to you on your run.
Glover M.S. CCLR
Associate Director, Tiger Drama
Assistant Coach, Speech & Debate
Lewis & Clark High School