In a Mainstage production, the rehearsal period for a play can run from a 4 weeks to the entire semester. Rehearsals are sometimes held 5 nights and one weekend afternoon a week. They generally last about 3 hours. In other words, this is a major time commitment. Not every actor is called for every rehearsal. Rehearsal schedules for student directed one-acts will be somewhat less intensive and somewhat more flexible.
Actors are given a rehearsal schedule usually on a weekly basis. Actors should attend all rehearsals calling for their scenes. Attendance is extremely important. If one person is missing from a scene, the absence makes working on that scene difficult. No one should miss a rehearsal unless there is an emergency. If an actor must miss a rehearsal, s/he should notify the director or stage manager in advance.
Actors are expected to come to rehearsals prepared and ready to work. They are expected to conduct themselves with a professional attitude which indicates self discipline, initiative, responsibility, openness, honesty, and the ability to work with others. Students should plan to be at rehearsal on time. Tardiness is unacceptable.
Actors should wear appropriate clothing to rehearsals so that they can work with a great deal of freedom and be comfortable Rubber-soled shoes, slacks. and loose shirt/blouse are suggested. The important thing is to avoid clothing that will hinder the freedom of movement needed for the performance.
Cast and crew who are found to be undependable because they frequently miss rehearsals or arrive late, who are found under the influence of alcohol or drugs, have contracted an extended illness or sustained a severe injury, or cannot successfully continue their participation because of extenuating circumstances will be dropped from the cast or crew and replaced according to the discretion of the theatre faculty.
Members of the production staff should check with the director or designer to find out when they are needed at rehearsals. Generally, the stage manager and assistant director should plan to be at every rehearsal. Props manager and assistants should plan to be at all run-though and dress rehearsals starting a week to ten days before opening. Makeup and costume crews should be on hand beginning with dress rehearsals or earlier if special needs require it.
Visitors are generally not allowed during rehearsals. These sessions are work periods and not finished productions, and visitors may inhibit actors or may report unfavorably on the production without understanding the work in progress. Students are to ask the director’s permission before inviting visitors. Visitors are also not allowed backstage before the shows or during performances, but friends are welcome to visit after the performances.