Monday, October 26, 2009

The very important work of the adult rehearsal assistants

We used to call them "Shush Moms," with the occasional "Shush Dad" or "Shush Grandparent." I like to call them Rehearsal Assistants, because without this much needed help, rehearsals often grind to a halt while noisy actors are called out and lectured to by the director.

I wish there were a way to wave a wand and make every child actor suddenly realize that talking backstage and in the auditorium during rehearsals is not a good thing. They are told this and many of them do their very best, by bringing a book to read or homework to finish. However, there is always a group of students who think the auditorium is a place for racing around and talking loudly to their friends. No matter how many times I tell them this, they will forget after two minutes and the noise returns.

We need quiet during our technical rehearsals so that the crew can take instructions from our Tech Director, Buffo. The actors on stage deserve quiet so they can concentrate on developing their parts. The director needs quiet so she can concentrate on all the things that need to be fixed.

This is where you, the adult rehearsal assistant comes into play. You are my roaming eyes and ears and when necessary, you give them the same directions I would give them:

No talking backstage.
Talk very quietly in the halls outside the theatre.
No running.
No eating or drinking anything other than water.
No fooling around.
No Public Displays of Affection! (This is always a problem during the musical, for some reason!)

Should a student (usually an 8th grader, because they think they know it all) roll their eyes and give you an attitude, please tell me right away. This kind of attitude must be stamped out if the students really wish to succeed in the theatre. Most theatre people I know are kind, generous and cooperative. That should be the goal of all of us working on every production.

It's a difficult job, but absolutely essential -- so please sign up to help us on this and every show!


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