Time is one of the biggest challenges for a drama teacher trying to put on a production. There’s never enough rehearsal time. Some rehearsals drag on forever, while others speed by in the blink of an eye. We agonize over our schedules, trying to use every minute as efficiently as possible, only for it to go out the window when an issue arises out of nowhere.
But we can work towards using our time effectively by planning ahead, creating useful rehearsal schedules, and helping students develop their own time management and accountability skills. Time management takes practice, and you’ll get tons of practice by doing shows with your students. Here are some of our best articles about time management and scheduling:
First things first — creating an efficient rehearsal schedule is essential for your production. When are your performance dates? How many times per week do your students need to rehearse? How many total hours of rehearsal will you need? Will your rehearsal schedule conflict with the current cafegymatorium bookings?
You’ve got your rehearsal schedule planned out. Now, let’s go deeper. How can you use your time most effectively? How can you ensure your time and your students’ time isn’t being wasted? What policies do you need to establish to ensure that students show up to rehearsal? How does your crew fit into this puzzle?
Students need a hard deadline to have their lines memorized by. Students are busy and it’s easy to procrastinate on learning lines. However, memorizing lines is only the tip of the iceberg with acting. If students are struggling to remember their words, they can’t focus on every other aspect of acting, such as characterization, subtext, physicality and movement, connecting with fellow actors, volume, and diction.
Many things need to be rehearsed with your students in addition to the typical acting, singing, and dancing list. This article makes suggestions for additional rehearsals you may wish to add to your schedule, such as a transitions rehearsal, a sitzprobe, and a costume run.
Experienced teachers share their tips for dealing with conflicts and scheduling issues. Think about the five C’s: being clear about your expectations, having students and parents sign commitment forms, collaborating with other student groups, finding creative solutions, and being upfront about consequences for missing rehearsals.
Participating in a school production not only gives students an opportunity to perform or work backstage, it also teaches them about time management, which will serve them well in their lives outside of school. This article features seven tips to help students manage their responsibilities, including school, part-time jobs, social lives, and (of course) theatrical rehearsals and conflicts.
This hands-on exercise helps students practice elements of time management: knowing all their commitments and writing them down, prioritizing their to-do list, breaking tasks into manageable chunks, executing a plan of attack, and reflecting on what went well and what could have gone better. Then, they can consider how to apply this practice to their everyday lives.
Accountability is important in every area of a student’s life. Start with rehearsal basics: be there, be on time, and be ready to work.