Wondering how to get your best work out of rehearsal? Preparation is key!
Before you head to your first rehearsal take the time to pack a bag of all the key items you’ll need to succeed. Based on how the best actors prepare for their rehearsal time, we recommend bringing:
You’re probably thinking, “duh! of course I need my script!” But it’s on those days you forget it (and it happens to everyone!) that you’ll wish you had checked your rehearsal bag in advance. Never a bad idea to remind yourself to check for your script!
2. Notebook, Pencil & Highlighter
Bring a notebook to take down director’s notes, rehearsal schedule changes, or to practice writing out your lines. And ALWAYS bring a pencil to write down your blocking. Pens are never a good idea because blocking will definitely change. Finally, a highlighter will help you mark your lines and line changes in your script.
Sometimes you’re waiting in the wings or in the back of a dark theatre waiting for your time to go up on stage. Make the most of it and bring a flashlight or phone flashlight to study lines and review blocking.
Consider how important timing is to your show - transitions, movement, dancing, and fight choreography are all come down to seconds to really perfect. Keep a timer or timer app on your phone ready for those moments you need to make sure you’re really on time.
You’ll find you have down-time in the rehearsal process. Consider taking advantage of the moments you’re not on stage to memorize lines. Grab your script and record your cue lines so you can practice responding to the correct characters. Or even practice your dialects and listen back to them.
6. Water bottle
Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! Taking care of your body during rehearsal is seriously important. Make sure to keep drinking water, especially if you’re in a physically-intensive show. We’d especially recommend a water bottle that tracks how much you drink just so you can be sure you’re hydrating enough.
Just like drinking plenty of water to stay hydrated, you’ll want to keep a snack on-hand to help you stay energetic. We’d recommend something with protein and healthy fats to keep your brain focused. Sugar crashes in the middle of rehearsal are no good! Try nuts, food bars, and fruit instead.
Bring a small towel for those intense rehearsals where you’re moving, stage fighting, or dancing. You and everyone else will be glad you did!
One of the first ways actors start to get in to character is with shoes! Start your rehearsal process in stage shoes. These could be character shoes, or simple tennis shoes and flats. As rehearsal progresses the costume department will provide you with your characters shoes or make recommendations on what you should wear. Once you’re assigned shoes bring them to every rehearsal to practice in so you can start building your character (literally) from the ground up.
10. Rehearsal Outfit “Blacks”
Your character should be bold and colorful, not your rehearsal outfits. Come to rehearsal ready to wear your “rehearsal blacks”. This means dark colored clothing that is very easy to move in. Definitely not jeans, dresses, or clothing that would impair your movement unless the director has specifically requested you do so.
Bonus: Bring a sweater! Rehearsal spaces and theaters are known for being chilly. Take a sweater to stay warm!
Download the rehearsal checklist for actors so you never forget what to bring!