Theatrefolk - The Drama Teacher Resource Company

Addressing Scheduling Conflicts with Show & Student Commitments

We asked drama teachers: How do you address scheduling conflicts? Between sports and students’ activities, how do you ensure that your rehearsals are attended and your students are prepared?

Let’s hear from teachers on the front lines.

Schedule, Schedule, and more Schedule.

Kathleen S. says, "I give all rehearsal dates and times prior to auditions and they turn in a conflict sheet at auditions. Then, I build the actual schedule around the conflicts in order to minimize the number of missing students."

Tatiana B. says, “I put our rehearsal schedule, especially tech and dress in the school calendar as early as possible!”

Sarah P. says “Students submit availability upon auditioning based on a detailed calendar in their audition packet. I do my best to schedule them for their rehearsals around their other school-based and religious commitments.”

Get commitment up front.

Roxanne F. says, “Get learners and parents to sign that they agree to all rehearsals on an audition form.”

Lisa T. says, "I give students a detailed schedule of dates and times in a contract that is to be signed by both parent and student.”

Collaborate with other school groups.

Josh H. says, "Work with the other clubs and sports to know when all major tournaments and events are scheduled before making a detailed rehearsal calendar. This pays off huge in the long run."

Melanie F. says, “For students involved in other activities, I work with the other teacher sponsors as much as I can. Cooperation and clear expectations are so important.”

Susan B. suggests “If you are able to use the same weeks every year, it also helps. If the whole faculty and coaches know for example, that the third week in May is your tech week, they can cooperate better.”

Geoff D.M. says “We work with the local sports clubs. We try and get them onside early and avoid weekend rehearsals where possible.”

Find creative solutions.

Jody P. explains, “Maybe you can’t be in both the fall and the spring musical because you want to play tennis. I’m sorry, you’ll have to choose one - but I can still use you on my stage crew that I won’t need a lot of until tech week.”

Roxanne F. says “Double casting also works well because the learner who misses can catch-up in their own time with the help of the other cast members.”

Be tough when necessary.

Chris E. says, “They know in advance what the schedule is. Can’t make it? See ya next audition.”

Stephen P. says “I tell students that “if you are called then my expectation is they should be at rehearsal” If they miss I’ll say “you missed rehearsal, you better figure out what you missed”. Yes I try to sound mean or disappointed but in a way they know it’s not too serious. The closer to opening it becomes a bigger deal and they will know they are letting down their cast mates.”

Download this Director’s Tip Sheet for dealing with schedules and conflicts.
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The Drama Classroom Companion

by Lindsay Price & Kerry Hishon

The Drama Classroom Companion is filled with articles and exercises to build the skills needed for theatrical performance as well as real world skills like creative thinking, critical thinking, collaboration, and communication.

The Rehearsal Companion

by Kerry Hishon

You’ve chosen the play, paid the royalties, done the script analysis, held your auditions, and cast the show. Tomorrow is the first rehearsal. Are you ready? Really ready? The Rehearsal Companion can help!

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