Rehearsals 101 | StormCloud Arts & Theatre
As an arts and theatre company, we spend hours and hours of our time in studios and rehearsals. When rehearsals start for a new project, we get a lot of queries from our collaborators, trying to work out what our rehearsals will be like. Are they formal? What do we need to bring? What do we need to wear? Well, have no fear, because we’ve collated all of those questions into a handy blog post! We will be covering what we expect in rehearsals, and what is generally expected from companies and classes all over the world. This goes for those new to working with companies, and you oldies who may have gotten into a slump.
1. It sounds so simple, but bring water. You might not know what you’ll be doing that day but you’ll need to be prepared regardless; it could be an intense workout, singing, vocal work - all those require you to keep hydrated. You may not have time to pop to the shops during your break, and you do not want to stop rehearsals because you are the only person without a drink. Keeping hydrated keeps you safe and means the rehearsals can run smoothly without any breaks or hiccups. Speaking of hiccups, we recommend that you don’t bring fizzy drinks! You don’t want to get the hiccups mid solo, or acid reflux during physical theatre.
2. Feeling worried, or have any questions? Then talk to the creative team. A good director or creative team will always listen to any issues you may have, whether that be then and there, or just after rehearsals. If you are confused about any given direction, make sure to politely say so. There’s no point in getting stuck and scared, or getting annoyed and huffy that it’s all going too fast for you. It’s your duty as a collaborator and performer to talk to the team if you are confused or concerned. It’s more than likely that the team around you will have been in a similar situation. Open and clear conversation is key to a good working dynamic!
3. Make sure to bring your diary (all the time, but especially during the first few rehearsals). Why? You will need to note down the rehearsal schedule! There’s no point in trying to remember all of the dates, times, and locations that are being thrown at you. It also means you are being proactive when the inevitable question arises - “what is your availability for next month?” You can say so right away, and ensure that the ball keeps rolling. It’s important to note that changes will occur in the schedule, as it always does when working with multiple people. Bringing your diary means you can note down those changes straight away, and avoid any awkward moments of forgetting when rehearsals are.
4. Make sure to look after yourself. If you know you have an injury, then make sure you take some extra time to care for it. For example, both of our co-directors have injuries; Rosie has a weak ankle from a previous sprain, and Rory has a knee injury from playing sports. So, they take part in the warm ups, and then take five or so minutes to focus on that specific area, to make sure they are as safe and stable as they can be. The same should go for your voice, as well as your physicality. It’s also important to know your limits. Can’t hit that high note today because you’ve hurt your voice? Can’t do a certain lift because of an injury? Let the team know. A good creative team will respect and understand your needs, and work with them and around them.
5. This one is a StormCloud favourite - bring a pencil. We recommend never writing in a script or a plan in pen, as changes are bound to happen; you can rub out charcoal, you can’t rub out ink. A messy, pen filled page can be confusing to follow and to learn from. Bring a pencil and eraser, and be prepared to make those changes.
6. Finally, we bring you StormCloud’s biggest pet peeve - wear suitable rehearsal clothes. If you are not wearing rehearsal ready clothes, you are not rehearsal ready; simple. Clothes that should not be worn to rehearsals include jeans (I don’t care how stretchy they are or if you can do the splits in them), tight skirts, shoes with heels, anything with studs or frills that can catch; essentially anything that you wouldn’t wear on a run. Ideal rehearsal clothes include leggings, sports bottoms, t-shirts, hoodies, trainers, jazz shoes, and sports bras (if you require them). Culottes and loose jumpsuits are also suitable, if you are looking for something more fashion forward. Clothing rules in the rehearsal rooms are there for a reason. Most of the time it is to do with safety, but it can also be for the sake of the actor’s mentality and physicality. Respect the clothing rules. If you are told to only wear trainers or go barefoot, then do so; don’t walk about in socks. It doesn’t matter what a previous company you have worked with does, it matters what the company you are with now does. If you dress like you are going for a rehearsal, it will help you stay in the rehearsal mind-set. Coming straight from an appointment or work and are wearing non-rehearsal gear? Let the team know in advance, and make sure to pack a bag next time. Anything can be worked around with open conversation.
There are our top six tips regarding rehearsal basics. What are you top rehearsal tips? Let us know in the comments below!