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  • Meg

a director's POV: preparing a script

Preparing a script is a marathon task and it takes weeks or months to prep a script fully for

work. I have made a list of a few things I do to prepare my script for a rehearsal into

performance process.

1. French scene the entire play: a French scene is denoted by any entrance or exit.

Anytime the characters onstage change, a new ‘scene’ is created. In a farce, these

scenes might be very short or even not marked by dialogue. It is very helpful when

creating my call list to know when each actor is onstage and for how long.

2. Character notes: as an actor, I would make a list of all the facts about my character, the

quotes of what my character says about themself (including page numbers), what my

character says about others in the text and what the other characters say about my character. As a director, I do this, but for every character in the show. It really helps me

to get to know the show inside and out.

3. Objectives: in each scene, I write down a series of objectives for each character. Rarely

would I tell the actor what I want right away, but it gives me options to try out in rehearsal if we need a bit of inspiration and helps me to centre in on what is important for each of these characters.

4. Research: I make a document of everything I research for the show. If it’s a historical

piece, this might be a lot. I can continue to add to this and often will depending on what

the actors bring into rehearsals. I like history, but I also like making informed choices

and doing research into the topics helps me to do that.

5. A list of quotes: I will keep track of every line that I think is poignant or speaks to a

larger theme or message in the play. I will then print these out and hang them up in the

rehearsal room to use as inspiration during our work.

6. SFX and LFX: Writing down every time there is a sound or lighting cue (either noted in

the script or what I want to create for the performance). It’s much easier to pass this

along to tech in one solid list and it helps to shape the play.

7. Props and costume list: this is a list of all the props and costumes (including

shoes/hair/accessories) that I need for the show. I include the item, page number,

character that wear/use it, a description of the item (if included in the stage directions),

my request (what I want to see) and a reference photo.

These are a few things that I would do to prepare a script before any show. My list for

Shakespeare or classical work is quite long and has many items specific to classical work, but I also do these as well. My list is always growing and changing.


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