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1.  Practice schedules

Not sure my post went out, but I was wanting any information you have regarding times you practice, why those times, how long you practice.  Parent complaints about those practices, etc.  My administrators are wanting me to have practices right after school next year, which will pretty much shrink the program to nothing since the kids are all involved in other things right after school, sports, music stuff like jazz band, madrigals, solo/ensemble, jobs, etc.  Would love some input as soon as possible so I can go in with information enforcing practicing in the evenings.  Thanks
Carol Allen
Head Drama Sponsor
Mahomet IL

2.  RE:Practice schedules

I also am the assistant director for our high school program and the majority of our rehearsals are scheduled in the evening (6:30 to 9:00).  If there is a conflict with using the auditorium, we will either move to a different space (band room, cafeteria) or schedule for directly after school.  We do have another staff member who directs one of the 4 shows we do each year, and she does schedule her rehearsals after school.

Lynda Gibson
Jr. Troupe 88305
Flushing MI

3.  RE:Practice schedules

I prefer to do as much rehearsing during classtime or immediately after school as possible. There are conflicts with after school rehearsals, but there are always conflicts, no matter when rehearsals are held. How to manage conflicts, and choosing how to spend your time are important skills to learn.

I have also found that no matter when you set your schedule, set a time positive of when rehearsal will be over, and stick to it. Start on time and end on time. Set your schedule as far in the future as possible, and make sure everyone has multiple copies.

Billy Houck
Fremont High School
Sunnyvale CA


4.  RE:Practice schedules

We rehearse our main-stage shows in the afternoon right after school 2:45-5:15 for 6-8 weeks for a play and 8-10 weeks for a musical.  We have one 10-10 rehearsal the Saturday before we open when we go through each light, sound and shift cue.  Finally, during Tech week, my Techs and I work on finishing the show in the afternoons (we break fro dinner while the actors arrive and get into makeup from 5:30-6:00) then we use evening rehearsals 6-9PM for dress rehearsals. Our rehearsal schedules are set BEFORE auditions for each show.  Parents must sign off on a conflict calendar their child auditions. Conflicts DO effect casting. Once the play is cast, a more detailed rehearsal schedule is distributed to each cast member, on our website, and to parents at an evening parent meeting.  Happy to send anyone examples of one of our rehearsal schedules or conflict calendars if you want to see one - just let me know.

Jeff Bengford
Performing Arts Chair & Director
Campbell CA

5.  RE: Practice schedules

I would love to see what you have for a schedule. It's been awhile since I have been in the role of overall director and I could use some help. Thanks!

Scott Hamilton
Choir/Drama teacher
Ridgefield School District
Ridgefield WA

6.  RE:Practice schedules

We rehearse directly after school Monday through Friday 3:30-5:30 for straight plays 8-10 weeks and 3:30-6:30 for musicals 10-12 weeks, or longer for both depending on the calendar and show needs. Because I have a weekly staff meeting for two hours on either Monday or Tuesday, sometimes I cancel rehearsal or have my SM run rehearsal. Often on Friday I have crew work days instead because I can't access my building on the weekend.

Jo Lane
Theatre Teacher and Director
Portland Public Schools
Portland OR

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7.  RE:Practice schedules

Until this year we have practiced at night from 7-9 in the beginning weeks and 6-9 as we get closer to the performance. We only rehearse three nights a week in the beginning. I do not rehearse on Fridays or weekends.  This year, at the request of the students we have been rehearsing after school. This worked very well for us until the last week or so when we had to rehearse through dinner due to our tech. director's availability.   In the spring we also ran into conflicts with sports which we try to avoid so students can do both.  It comes down to what works best for your particular schedule and school.

Cathy Archer
Rutland VT

8.  RE:Practice schedules

Before practices even start, I have a full practice calendar for kids to look at. I also cross reference this schedule against sporting events. 

The kids and I work together to have a good mix of sports practices with drama practice. The coaches have been pretty good to work with, as we all know it's a small school here (346 students this year), and I have usually 50+ kids involved with my productions.

Kids are expected to be present all of tech week and for shows. If there is a sports game during tech week, we work it out on a student-by-student case. 

Our practices are 5 - 7 p.m., Monday - Thursday. We usually practice for eight - 10 weeks.

When I came in, it was a free-for-all with drama. The kids hated the practice calendars at first, but they've grown to love them and really use them.

Jared Grigsby
English and Journalism Teacher / Drama Director
MSD of Boone Township
Hebron, Indiana

9.  RE: Practice schedules

I have to split my rehearsal time each week between my main stage production and my competitive improv team. The main stage gets rehearsal on Mondays and Wednesdays from 2:15-4pm and Friday from 3-4pm (after ITS meetings). Before auditions I post a rehearsal schedule. Kids know that they are going to have to pick where they want to spend their time. I avoid doing evening practices (except hell and show week) so that the students are able to get to their jobs. I also create a track list for the cast. I only call the specific kids I want to work with and give everyone else the day off. This has worked really well on 2 fronts. One, it keeps the numbers in the rehearsal smaller so the distractions when kids have nothing to do is down, and two, it shows the kids that I am not "wasting their time". I have gotten a lot more accomplished in rehearsals since I started this. The kids know that if they are called it is because they are needed, so they usually have a better work ethic while they are there. 

Shira Schwartz
Chandler Unified School District
Chandler AZ

10.  RE: Practice schedules

On my audition form, which both students and parents sign, it states

"The specific schedule will be made once we see the needs of the cast and crew.  However, we generally rehearse after school until 5 or 6 each night with some Saturday rehearsals as well.

The rehearsals will get longer and more intense the closer we get to the show.  Please plan accordingly!

Every actor is expected to be at each rehearsal for which he/she is scheduled.  Unexcused absences may count against an actor and if an actor is frequently absent without permission, they may be dismissed from the show."


"I understand that, if cast, I am expected to be at all rehearsals and performances.  I understand that failure to attend scheduled rehearsals without permission for an absence may result in disciplinary action, including being dismissed from my role."

Our rehearsals begin right after school and go until 5 most nights, 6 or 6:30 for musicals as they take more time.  Once I have a cast, I get them a rehearsal schedule that works around conflicts as best I can.  I only call the kids in that scene for rehearsal, whereas my predecessor called everyone everyday and if they weren't rehearsing they were to sit in the auditorium and watch the others.  I can't manage that many kids doing nothing, so I prefer they just not be there and use that time to stay caught up on school work and household things instead.

 I insist that the kids take enough rehearsal schedules for themselves and the households they live in.  I encourage them to highlight the days/times they're rehearsing instead of just handing their parents the schedule so it's easier for the parent/guardian to find the days their kid is rehearsing.  I also keep a facebook group for each show and the parents and students involved are added to it.  Rehearsal schedules are uploaded to the facebook groups as well.  I am very strict about keeping to my rehearsal schedule and if I hold the kids late it's no more than 15 minutes and no more than 2x per show.  It's really important to me that everyone learn that the schedule is the schedule, period.

Laura Steenson
Theatre Director
Reynolds High School
Troutdale OR

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