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Handbook Appendices Forms Theatre Scholarships For Theatre Majors, Minors, and Intendeds University Theatre Handbook Table of Contents Theatre Home

B.5.b  Actor’s rehearsal and performance behaviors.  

By signing the back of the audition card, you have committed yourself to certain patterns of behavior.  If cast, you must agree to the following:

ATTEND ALL REHEARSALS AND OTHER CAST CALLS AS ANNOUNCED.  In the event of illness or other genuine emergency, you must personally notify the director, director’s assistant or the stage manager.

These include memorization, written character analysis, costume fittings, etc. as scheduled by the director or the stage manager.

ASSUME COMPLETE RESPONSIBILITY FOR A PROPER BUDGETING OF TIME to perform your acting, academic and employment obligations.

MAINTAIN A SCHOLASTIC LEVEL equal to, or higher than that of the previous quarter.  (A cumulative gpa of 2.00 is required for your participation.)

YOU WILL SEEK NO EXCUSE FROM A CLASS OR COURSE ASSIGNMENTS using as argument your participation in a University Theatre production.

SCHEDULE OR RESCHEDULE YOUR COURSE LOAD to avoid major interferences with scheduled rehearsals. 


YOU WILL REQUEST MODIFICATIONS TO YOUR WORK SCHEDULE to accommodate rehearsal and performance schedules.

YOU ARE SUBJECT TO CALL AT ANY FREE HOUR shown on the schedule on this card.

This informal contract beween you and the production summarizes the essential elements of rehearsal behaviors, with the possible addition of two additional expectations.

You will arrive at rehearsal PUNCTUALLY (or even early), FOCUS, WARM-UP and WORK HARD, putting aside the other issues of the day.  A professional attitude is required. 

You need to WORK ON YOUR ROLE OUTSIDE OF THE REHEARSAL PERIODS, either alone or with other cast members.  Rehearsals are a time to show your character developments, the direc­tion you plan to go with the role.  You must be self-actuating!


The rehearsal period will normally go through a time-proven format:

1) cast read-throughs for comprehension and style,
2) character and action analysis,
3) on-feet read-throughs for clarity and discovery,
4) blocking,
5) off-book scene work,
6) section run-throughs for pacing and rhythm,
7) technical rehearsals,
8) dress rehearsals,
9) preview,

10) the performance run.

From the technical rehearsals onward, the stage manager assumes control of the production.  It is imperative that performers give this individual strict attention, since she or he is the one link between cast, crews, and house activities.  Observation of rehearsals, an understanding of performance intent, and intense attention to production concerns will have occupied the stage manager’s time for the past several weeks.  Hypothetically, no one knows the production better than this individual.

Some specific regulations order your activities at times of performance.  It is of highest importance that these become part of your performance rituals.

Arrive at the theatre no later than your call time.  The Stage Door is your entrance.  Sign-in on the call sheet just as soon as you arrive.  Do not leave the building under any circumstances short of a flood, earthquake, or fire.  Toilet overflow does not count.  Once signed-in you are not permitted in the public spaces of the building, which means any place an audience member might encounter you: the lobby, the public restrooms, the Kreider Gallery.  No mixing with the audience!

Apart from your preparations of costuming and make-up, you must check your hand properties for placement and availability.  This must be done before the half-hour call, since the house will open at that time.

Prepare yourself for performance through physical and vocal warm-ups.  The Studio Theatre is available for your use.  Before and during performance, avoid idle or distracting chatter.  Focus on the task at hand.  Allow your fellow performers their own space.  Keep your decorum in the Green Room at a professional level.  This is no time for a party.

It is our practice to join in group prayer before places are called.

Between your scenes, actors are not permitted to linger backstage.  All of the spaces downstairs are equipped with speakers which allow you to follow the flow of the show.  There is also a closed circuit TV monitor in the Green Room. You are responsible for your own entrances.  Do not depend on the stage manager to call you to place.

If you use the kitchen for any purpose, clean up after yourself!  This is a good rule to follow for all spaces you use.

After performance, you may greet friends and family members in the Studio Theatre, not on mainstage or the Green Rooom.  Ordinarily it is required that you change into street clothes before you do this.  Costumes belong in the performance setting.  Showers are available, but you must provide your own soap and towels.

Before you leave the theatre, report any costume or properties repairs you require.  Sheets are provided for this purpose on the call board.  It may also be prudent to notify the stage manager of major difficulties with hand or set props.

Exit up the stairs and through the Stage Door.  That’s our special privilege.  Our special right, since the audience is forbidden use of this access. It helps to keep us focused as performers, and is just one of the many patterns you need to invent to keep what you’re doing special and focused.

Next Section: B5c: Running Crew Behaviors

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