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Making a Pre-Present Guidelines

Being organized earlier than a efficiency retains everybody calm and prevents offstage drama. An effective way to remain organized is to create a pre-show guidelines — a listing of all of the duties every theatrical division should full earlier than the efficiency can begin. Right here’s what it’s essential to do to create your pre-show guidelines:

Begin engaged on the guidelines early.

Earlier than you even begin auditions, you’ll inevitably undergo your script many instances, making copious notes about characters, costumes, props, and extra. When you’re at it, be aware moments that seem within the script that can necessitate a process. For instance, if there are apparent fast modifications within the script, a pre-show process may be to test all quick-change costumes and pre-set them backstage. Or if a personality must eat one thing onstage, a pre-show process may be for the props workforce to get the meals prop from the workers room fridge and organize it on a plate. 

Being conscious of these moments early on will assist you to whenever you get nearer to point out week and your mind is filled with one million different issues. That is additionally a fantastic job to your stage administration workforce. Have them undergo the script and be aware something they suppose ought to be added to the pre-show guidelines that you just may need missed. You’ll inevitably add extra duties all through the rehearsal course of and through tech week, however it’s nice to get a head begin.

Don’t neglect to incorporate entrance of home pre-show duties, equivalent to printing and folding applications, having ample change in your concession and field workplace money bins, and guaranteeing bogs are clear. When you’ve produced or directed a couple of reveals, you’ll have a greater thought of what duties shall be concerned, and you may create a fundamental template that you could modify for every new manufacturing. Take a look at our giveaway beneath for a pattern process checklist.

Decide your format.

There are a lot of methods to format a pre-show guidelines. It’s possible you’ll wish to create one giant grasp checklist for each division and preserve it in a single central location, or you might wish to make mini lists of duties for every division and preserve them in related areas (equivalent to within the tech sales space for the sound and lighting technicians and within the dressing rooms for the costume workforce). It’s possible you’ll wish to publish the lists on the wall and have college students preliminary duties once they full them, have a division chief preserve the checklist on a clipboard and have college students test in with them once they full a process, or use a digital checklist or app for college students to test off on their smartphones. You realize your college students greatest and which technique would be just right for you and them.

My tried-and-true technique is to create a easy three-column desk with the headings Job, Division, and Full (Initials). The primary column lists the duties college students should full, the second column signifies which division is accountable for finishing the duty, and the third column is for the suitable particular person to preliminary when the duty is full. In the event you use this technique, you’ll be able to both print one grasp copy, put every web page right into a plastic sheet, cling it on the wall, and have college students preliminary with a dry erase marker (then you’ll be able to erase it after every efficiency and reuse it on a number of efficiency days); or you’ll be able to print a number of copies and use a brand new copy for every efficiency.

At all times go away further rows in your pre-show guidelines, as extra duties you didn’t consider will inevitably pop up throughout tech week or the precise run of the present. This manner, you’ll be able to write these further duties on the checklist so that you don’t neglect them.

Decide who’s accountable for every process.

It’s normally apparent who shall be accountable for every process — the costume workforce maintains the costumes, the props workforce pre-sets the props, the lighting technicians test the lights, and so forth. However some duties aren’t as clear. Will your stage supervisor be accountable for sweeping and mopping the stage, or will you delegate that process to another person, like an assistant stage supervisor? Can any member of a selected workforce full the duty, or do you wish to assign every process to a particular particular person? As a substitute of utilizing a basic Division header in your checklist, you would possibly wish to checklist the title of the particular one that is accountable for every process (“Mikhail” as a substitute of merely “Costume Group”). You additionally could wish to add a fourth column to the desk with the header “Permitted,” when you’d like a division head or instructor to verify that every process has been accomplished to your requirements. Once more, use no matter technique works greatest to your college students.

Classroom Train: Brainstorm a listing of duties your college students suppose they would want to finish previous to a efficiency. Give college students a scene from a play. Have them learn the scene and make a listing of not less than three duties particular to that scene they would want to finish pre-show.

Extra Sources:

Click on right here for a free clean pre-show guidelines template and pattern process checklist.

Kerry Hishon is a director, actor, author and stage combatant from London, Ontario, Canada. She blogs at

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