Making a Pre-Present Guidelines

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Being organized earlier than a efficiency retains everybody calm and prevents offstage drama. An effective way to remain organized is to create a pre-show guidelines — an inventory of all of the duties every theatrical division should full earlier than the efficiency can begin. Right here’s what it’s worthwhile to do to create your pre-show guidelines:

Begin engaged on the guidelines early.

Earlier than you even begin auditions, you’ll inevitably undergo your script many occasions, making copious notes about characters, costumes, props, and extra. When you’re at it, word moments that seem within the script that may necessitate a job. For instance, if there are apparent fast adjustments within the script, a pre-show job is likely to be to test all quick-change costumes and pre-set them backstage. Or if a personality must eat one thing onstage, a pre-show job is likely to be for the props group to get the meals prop from the workers room fridge and organize it on a plate. 

Being conscious of these moments early on will enable you whenever you get nearer to indicate week and your mind is filled with one million different issues. That is additionally an amazing job in your stage administration group. Have them undergo the script and word something they suppose must be added to the pre-show guidelines that you simply might need missed. You’ll inevitably add extra duties all through the rehearsal course of and through tech week, nevertheless it’s nice to get a head begin.

Don’t neglect to incorporate entrance of home pre-show duties, resembling printing and folding packages, having sufficient change in your concession and field workplace money containers, and making certain loos are clear. When you’ve produced or directed a number of reveals, you’ll have a greater concept of what duties might be concerned, and you may create a fundamental template that you could modify for every new manufacturing. Try our giveaway beneath for a pattern job checklist.

Decide your format.

There are numerous methods to format a pre-show guidelines. You might need to create one giant grasp checklist for each division and preserve it in a single central location, or you could need to make mini lists of duties for every division and preserve them in related areas (resembling within the tech sales space for the sound and lighting technicians and within the dressing rooms for the costume group). You might need to put up the lists on the wall and have college students preliminary duties once they full them, have a division chief preserve the checklist on a clipboard and have college students test in with them once they full a job, or use a digital checklist or app for college students to test off on their smartphones. You recognize your college students greatest and which methodology would be just right for you and them.

My tried-and-true methodology is to create a easy three-column desk with the headings Job, Division, and Full (Initials). The primary column lists the duties college students should full, the second column signifies which division is chargeable for finishing the duty, and the third column is for the suitable individual to preliminary when the duty is full. In the event you use this methodology, you’ll be able to both print one grasp copy, put every web page right into a plastic sheet, cling it on the wall, and have college students preliminary with a dry erase marker (then you’ll be able to erase it after every efficiency and reuse it on a number of efficiency days); or you’ll be able to print a number of copies and use a brand new copy for every efficiency.

All the time depart further rows in your pre-show guidelines, as further duties you didn’t consider will inevitably pop up throughout tech week or the precise run of the present. This manner, you’ll be able to write these further duties on the checklist so that you don’t neglect them.

Decide who’s chargeable for every job.

It’s often apparent who might be chargeable for every job — the costume group maintains the costumes, the props group pre-sets the props, the lighting technicians test the lights, and so forth. However some duties aren’t as clear. Will your stage supervisor be chargeable for sweeping and mopping the stage, or will you delegate that job to another person, like an assistant stage supervisor? Can any member of a specific group full the duty, or do you need to assign every job to a selected individual? As a substitute of utilizing a normal Division header in your checklist, you may need to checklist the identify of the precise one who is chargeable for every job (“Mikhail” as a substitute of merely “Costume Workforce”). You additionally could need to add a fourth column to the desk with the header “Authorised,” if you happen to’d like a division head or instructor to substantiate that every job has been accomplished to your requirements. Once more, use no matter methodology works greatest in your college students.

Classroom Train: Brainstorm an inventory of duties your college students suppose they would wish to finish previous to a efficiency. Give college students a scene from a play. Have them learn the scene and make an inventory of at the least three duties particular to that scene they would wish to finish pre-show.

Further Sources:

Click on right here for a free clean pre-show guidelines template and pattern job checklist.

Kerry Hishon is a director, actor, author and stage combatant from London, Ontario, Canada. She blogs at

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