So, what does a rehearsal process look like for drama students?
For a start, the student performers have script in hand, each playing a character vital to the story line. The students are taking it in turns to read their lines in their scene, exiting and entering as per stage directions.
The director or teacher is guiding the students to stand and move in certain positions on the stage and discussing character interaction. There are students who are waiting for their turn backstage or in the wings.
What does it feel like then?
It can feel mostly exciting to be able to perform on stage. It can feel challenging with all the lines to learn. It can be difficult, long, boring, repetitive to wait in the wings. It also feels great to be able to learn about presenting skills and watching others perform too.
For majority of kids, rehearsals can feel fun, exciting, a chance to discover something new, to hear and see others perform is inspiring and a learning experience. But more some, it is tedious and being patient is not their forte. So, what are some tips to help them?
Here are 5 excellent ways to help your children survive rehearsals.
1. Be prepared and practice. Look over the script at home and practice using expressive voice and body language to present the character they are playing. Have fun with trying new ways of saying lines and actions to go with them. That way when they come into rehearsals they have something to show the director, and rehearsals won’t seem as long because they aren’t speaking the lines for the first time.
2. Be ready. Listen intently to your director and how they are guiding everyone. Its important to stay focused and follow along with your script and pencil in hand. There might be changes and it might be your turn to enter. If you’re not ready, it makes the process slow.
3. Be Supportive. Don’t talk throughout the rehearsals backstage or in the wings. This shows that you don’t care about your fellow actors and it’s disrespectful. The play is about everyone, not just one person. Always good to help anyone who may have forgotten a line, they can be prompted if you are listening to their scene.
4. Be Patient. Everyone has differing abilities and everyone is on their own journey. Surviving rehearsals means that you acknowledge the differences in your class and learning to be patient.
5. Be and effective team player. It isn’t every day that you get to work with a whole class of kids with exactly the same passion for the theatre, so imagine your class like team mates all training for the same goal. Have fun with them, talk about skills and tactics such as talking about trying something new or be spontaneous in a creative way. High fives and pats on the back of encouragement can lift spirits! Even tell the person how well they are doing, or perhaps offer some encouraging feedback quietly off stage.
It really comes down to feeling positive and being ready and prepared. Lazing around and talking while others are trying to perform just sets a negative tone and it can make others feel like you really don’t care about them. If everyone feels supported, everyone smiles and the process won’t seem so long. Please, try them out next time you are in a rehearsal!
If you have any more tips, please add them in the comments below!