Since plays (or scene studies) must go from start to finish in front of a live audience, rehearsals are important and extensive.
Read-through First Reading: Actors sit around a table and read the entire script from start to finish and make notes in pencil on the script. The read through is not interrupted, but notes are taken to discuss later. Second Reading: During this read through, actors discuss the meaning of the script, characterization and blocking ideas. Actors also ask questions to clarify their character and their characters role in the plot. Actors should continue to record their thoughts on their script in pencil.
Blocking with Stage Directions Done after a few read- throughs, blocking is where the actors will be and move to on the set. Therefore blocking must be created on the set. Blocking can also help to uncover problems in moving from one part of the set to another. Actors must record their blocking on their script in pencil, since it may change. Actors will still be on-book (actors will use their scripts).
Scene Work For different reasons, the cast may decide to rehearse individual scenes. Be prepared to rehearse scenes out of sequence – do not always start rehearsing from the start of the play, otherwise the cast will never rehearse the end of the play as much as the start. The emphasis at this point is still on learning your lines; actual props and sets should be used. If sets and props are not available, use appropriate substitutes. This is the stage when actors must start to memorize their cues to speak and enter or exit the stage.
Work-through These rehearsals take the cast through the entire play from start to finish in order, performed on the set (or an appropriate substitute). This helps actors get used to doing the entire play. Also helps identify (and correct) any logistical or technical issues. At this point the actors must be off-book (have your lines memorized). Scripts should no longer be on stage. If you forget a line during rehearsal call out Line, and another cast member will help you out.
Run-throughs A full rehearsal from start to finish without interruptions. At this point of an actor forgets his or her line, they must improvise and keep going; treating this rehearsal like an actual show. IF you miss a cue to enter or exit the stage, make a mental note, but keep on performing. It is a real performance without the pressure of an audience.
Technical Rehearsals Gives the cast and tech crew a chance to rehearse the play with the technical aspects of the play. A proper promptbook must include all lighting and sound cues. The sound cues must be present at the technical rehearsal.
Dress Rehearsal/Preview Everyone wears their full costume, including hair, make-up (if necessary) and shoes. Held on the stage where you will be performing. This is a final check for any problems (technical or other). This is also when your teacher and peers will give you constructive feedback to focus on during your final performance. You will also be able to see a videotaped version of your performance.
Final Rehearsals This is the casts final chances to polish any scenes with issues. Focus during these last few rehearsals is of the utmost importance.
Performance The full play is performed from start to finish including: costumes, set, props, lighting and sound. The actors do not bring their scripts on stage, and the cast improvises if someone forgets a line.
Reflection What did you learn about yourself from this performance? What are your acting strengths, and what do you need to continue to work on? What worked well in the rehearsal process and what would you have done differently?