Education | Theatre | Creation
Rehearsal planning in both the studio and distance learning/distance creation environment
It is necessary to have a flexible plan for rehearsal.
In this plan, there needs to be a balance between structure (to keep the activities focused) while being flexible (to allow time for creativity to grow).
During the past four months of distance learning, the foundational practice of tailoring rehearsal to fit the needs of the artist and the production were still valid in the online classroom.
Regardless of teaching in the studio or from the computer, it is important to remember that rehearsal is about growth.
Growth of the piece.
Growth in the confidence of the artist.
Growth of the message.
As an educator and an artist, I have always engaged in flexible rehearsal planning. This practice even transfers to my work in leadership and facilitating meetings. At the start of the process are always the same six questions:
- What’s the goal?
- What’s the message?
- Who are the players?
- What resources do people need to facilitate their goals?
- What are the barriers and how can we overcome those barriers in an equitable, inclusive manner?
- And how can I help facilitate this journey?
To facilitate this work in the distance learning environment, my students received a series of rehearsal choice boards. Brainstorming in small conferences, we focused on merging the six questions above with the element of choice. Asking the students to activate their critical thinking skills, they needed to determine which dramatic element would guide the rehearsal work. This explicit critical thinking encourages a productive and proactive series of rehearsal activities.
The key to this work is the conversation. Although it’s better to be rehearsing in the studio and responding in the moment, in 2020 that’s not currently possible. Using digital portfolios to capture the work, along with direct conversations with students aligning their rehearsal goals with their artistic intentions, ensures that the creative work keeps moving forward with great focus.