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Performing a technical rehearsal

This check list is aimed primarily at clubs or club members who have no, or only limited
experience of Festival procedures but should also provide a convenient aide-memoire to all Festival entrants.

Always remember that the main objectives are to check stage settings and to set the various cues for the production; not necessarily to run through the whole play. This is especially critical at District level where time may be quite limited.

Before rehearsal

  • Think through all your lighting (LX) and sound (SFX) cues and mark them up on cue sheets or scripts. Remember that the level of light in the lighting box may be quite low.
  • Plan the sequence of cues for the beginning and end of your play including house lights, LX, SFX and tabs.
  • Identify potentially difficult sequences during the production so that they can be prioritised.
  • It is advisable to have a team member(s) who is/are familiar with the production to cue the technicians running the lighting and sound for the Festival.
  • Raise any potential problems with the Stage Director or technicians at the earliest possible moment. If you wish to use more than one or two specials make sure that they are available. The Stage Director must be advised if you wish to rig additional lanterns or use strobe lights.

During rehearsal

  • Only essential personnel should be on stage or in the auditorium.
  • Priority is for the club Stage Manager to erect the set. Do not mark it until you are sure that its positioning is final.
  • Delegate responsibility for stage dressing and minor props.
  • Meanwhile the club lighting person should be checking states and any specials and practicals with the technician so that he/she can plot them in the lighting desk. They should then run the sequence of cues to check that they are correct and that levels are appropriate. This should only be done once the set is in place.
  • As soon as the set is in place allow the cast to walk around to get used to it. They should check entrances and exits carefully.
  • Run all sound cues to check levels. Get members of cast to run through sequences to check that they will be audible at the very back. This is especially important for scenes played upstage or voices from offstage.
  • Run the opening and closing sequences; several times if need be.
  • Run potentially difficult sequences.
  • Be sure to mark your set in conjunction with the Festival Stage Manager before striking it. Do not interfere with any existing stage markings.