In our experience rehearsals are treated too casually by all who attend, but as with most situations, the problem comes from lack of planning. So what are some keys to a productive rehearsal? The following is an excerpt from our “Countdown to CurtainUp” rehearsal manual.
The initial few minutes at the opening of the rehearsal is a low energy, low productivity time as people settle in, so use this time for prayer and for creating overall focus, a time for building team spirit and awareness.
The middle portion of the rehearsal time is when participants, (and leaders), will be most energized and will have the greatest opportunity for learning. Since this is precious productive time, plan to introduce new material and work on harder material during this time
The closing minutes is a lower energy time where there is likely to be less learning and retention. View this as low productivity time, using it for review of material covered.
Very carefully review all activities planned for the rehearsal as to where they best fit in the overall rehearsal curve, (opening, middle or closing). Determine which are the most crucial subject areas to be covered, place these in the middle portion. Allocate the other subject materials between opening and closing segments in the most appropriate manner. Always rehearse in that order.
At the rehearsal all leaders must have a good appreciation of the rehearsal plans, guidelines and subject material ahead of time, fully understanding what is to be covered in each rehearsal. This saves time and ensures that time is not wasted on a subject which is to be to be dealt with in an upcoming rehearsal.
Start rehearsals on time with whoever is there, do not penalize those who arrive on time by waiting for those who are tardy. In this matter it is critical that leaders set an example, if cast and crew see the leaders arriving late this sends a very clear message as to acceptable practices for everyone.
Work diligently, being friendly but firm if this is necessary, but try to always end on a positive note. As a general statement, we tend to remember the initial and the closing actions and reactions from our leaders.
Remember that assistants, cast and crew are all volunteers, they have given up a very substantial amount of their free time, treat them with respect and gratitude. Do all you can to make this a pleasant, rewarding, worshipful experience for them. Their future involvement in the drama ministry, and also the possible involvement of their friends and acquaintances, will be largely dependent on their present experiences.
Never lose your temper in front of the cast and crew, they expect you to lead, not make them look foolish.
Encourage worship of the God we are glorifying through drama. Be an example by, without great build-up, simply pausing for a moment of prayer or dedication, at any time during the rehearsal. Allow free praise.