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  • Meg

a director's POV: rehearsal room must-haves

Updated: Feb 23

I am a master list-maker. So, in the spirit of list-making, I have compiled a list of 5 items I love

having in a rehearsal room.

1. My notebook: when I was assistant directing an outdoor Shakespeare production, I

wanted a notebook that would have a writing pad already attached so I could get up

and move with it (in outdoor Shakespeare, you rarely have the luxury of tables and

always have a chance of wind). I have used this notebook for every project since. It has

room for me to keep a pen (the four-colour version, so I can colour code my notes

depending on whom they are directed towards), my plan for the day, the script, a thick

notepad with tearaway pages, little sticky notes and tabs to keep me organized and a

fully bendable spine so that I can fold it all in half and pop it on my lap.

2. Tea: I do not go into a rehearsal without a cup of tea. It’s my favourite rehearsal

beverage (I don’t drink coffee) and there is something really comforting about holding a

warm cup while watching rehearsals. Many spaces in the UK don’t have air conditioning

(which, as a born Canadian, I had come to expect). So, in the summer, I use my cold-

brew tea container and keep the tea flowing just as strong as in the colder months.

3. Balls: as a director, I love to get the actors in their bodies and out of their heads. I

always have some tennis balls to use for warm up games and often bring in a beach ball

to play keep-up while running lines. For longer contracts, I also love bringing my big

exercise ball to sit on. I find it keeps me sitting up straighter and bouncing on it a bit

helps me to focus in the afternoons after lunch. It’s a real game changer for my body

and I find it immensely helpful.

4. Computer: I always keep this in the room so that I can look something up, play music

from my show playlist, respond to production emails on my breaks, refer to something

in my prep document, and access previous iterations of the script. While I rarely use it

during rehearsals, it is my go-to pre and post rehearsal item and I never like to be

without it.

5. Sweets: I believe that full artists are happy artists, so I always have some type of candy

or sweet in the room. It varies but I love the variety packs of mini chocolate bars

(Cadbury Heroes all the way), Scottish Shortbread cookies, mints, chocolate biscuits or

grapes. It makes me a happy director and I hope keeps the actors I’m working with

happy as well.


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