The Rehearsal Process

It is important to ensure the rehearsal schedule is carefully divided into units that will allow adequate rehearsal time for the whole play. Time and availability of actors and crew must be taken into consideration. Productions are prioritised in order of their performance dates.
 - It is prudent to include rehearsal time for “pick-ups” and unforeseen events.


1. Creating the rehearsal schedule
The rehearsal schedule should be drawn up taking into account availability of cast and crew. It should be created in consultation with the NVT Production Coordinator.
 - Key deadlines should be identified, such as the date by which all actors are expected to be off book, running of acts and stagger-through.

2. Booking rehearsal space

All rehearsal space must be agreed and booked with the NVT Production Coordinator.
 - This should be done once the play is cast and the actors’ / director’s availability are all known.

Diary
 - The theatre diary can be consulted online on www.newventure.org.uk/diary

3. The rehearsal process
The following section breaks down the rehearsal process into a number of distinct phases:
 - Exploration and development
   These early exploratory rehearsals provide the opportunity to discover what the play is about

First company meeting
 - The first meeting of the whole company for a show is usually 8-10 weeks before its opening night.

Read-through
 - This may happen at the first company meeting.

 - Essential attendees
   NVT Artistic Director
   Director
   All cast
   Designers – lighting, sound, set, costume
   Production Manager
   Stage Manager
   Props Manager

First rehearsals
 - Break play into smaller workable units.
 - Rehearse those units.
 - Ensure the whole play is rehearsed.

 - Essential attendees
   Director
   Cast
   Prompt (Stage crew on the book)

Stagger-through
The first complete run-through of the play. Please inform the Health and Safety Manager at the PPM what date this will be, or as soon as possible.
 - The stagger-through provides a rough overview of the whole piece. Its purpose is to identify needs, constraints and problems. 

 - Essential attendees
   Director
   All cast
   Health and Safety Manager
   Additional attendees as appropriate
   NVT Artistic Director
   Designers – lighting, sound, set, costume
   Production Manager
   Stage Manager
   Props Manager
   All crew

Nuts and bolts
 - These mid-section rehearsals go more thoroughly into practical and artistic issues.

Pick-up rehearsals
 - Pick-up rehearsals pick up specific issues raised in stagger-through
 - Identify gaps

 - Essential attendees
   Director
   Cast
   Prompt (Stage crew on the book)

Main rehearsals
Main rehearsals deal with the mechanics and practicalities of how the smaller units come together as a whole
 - Focus on detail
 - Look at continuity
 - Ensure the story is clearly told
 - Rehearse with props
 - Look at stage business
 - Ensure all actors are learning their lines.
 - Identify date by which all actors must be off book.

 - Essential attendees
   Director
   Cast
   Additional attendees as appropriate
   Stage Manager

The bigger picture
This later stage of the rehearsal period provides the opportunity to consolidate, to fine-tune and to make any big decisions e.g. potential cuts, please avoid any infringement of copyright.

Running the play
Run entire acts, or the whole play
 - Ensure continuity in artistic and practical terms.
 - Identify running time of whole play.

 - Essential attendees
   Director
   Cast
   Stage Manager

 - The following should be invited to at least one full run:
   NVT Artistic Director
   Designers – lighting, sound, set, costume
   Production Manager
   Props Manager
   Health and Safety Manager
   Photographer

Get-in, technical rehearsal process, dress rehearsals

These rehearsals are an opportunity for the director to receive objective feedback and advice from the creative team, the Artistic Director and any other consultants / advisers.

 - Clarify the dramatic journey
 - Consolidate creative decisions
 - Assess how the piece is working as an artistic whole.

 - These crucial stages involve the whole company and form the final phase of the rehearsal process.

See specific sections - Get In, Technical Rehearsal Process and Dress Rehearsals

4. The Artistic Director

It is the Artistic Director’s role to provide advice, encouragement and support for individual productions. The AD also is responsible for deciding whether the finished piece is of a sufficient standard for public performance.

In the final instance the Artistic Director has the authority to recommend to the NVT Management Committee the cancellation or postponement of a production.

Artistic Director attends rehearsals
The Director invites the Artistic Director to attend a number of rehearsals. The purpose of these visits are as follows:
 - To ensure the Director’s concept is working and that the original artistic vision for the piece is achievable.
 - To monitor progress.
 - To give objective feedback to the Director and advise on possible ways forward.
 - To monitor and comment on conduct of rehearsals where appropriate.