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WWYD/What would you think if this happened?

(41 Posts)
EvilTwins Sun 09-Feb-14 19:23:29

I need advice from strangers grin

I'm a drama teacher. Doing school play next week. I'm obviously very involved, and so I need an outsider's perspective.

Two girls have been quite lax in their attitude towards rehearsals. We have had 4 full day rehearsals at weekends (I know - it's a lot to expect) and they have been very well attended. Where cast members have let me know in advance that they can't attend weekend rehearsals (for example if they spend weekends with NR parent) then I have been very understanding. Today was a really important rehearsal - the show is next week. Two girls didn't turn up. One emailed to tell me that she wasn't feeling well, but this is on the back of emailing yesterday to say that she had a "dance thing" and so would be late. Last time we had a Sunday rehearsal, the same girl emailed on the morning of the rehearsal to say that she had a dentist appointment (on a Sunday?) The others told me today that it was a lie (which I'd figured out already...) The second girl just didn't show up. She told one of the others to tell me she had to "go somewhere".

I am very sympathetic usually, as many of my students have complex lives. However, I think it's unfair to the others, who have put in so much commitment, to allow these two to continue, and obviously I'm also worried that they won't know what they're doing in the performances because they've missed so much important rehearsal.

So - I need opinions. What would you do if you were me, and how would you feel if one of these girls was your DD, and was asked to leave the play two days before opening night?

LaurieFairyCake Sun 09-Feb-14 19:26:16

Are they the type to pull it together at the end?

Surely it's too late to recruit someone else unless there's an understudy ?

EvilTwins Sun 09-Feb-14 19:28:47

They're in the chorus, so could be removed without any fuss.

I am not convinced they'll pull it together, but my biggest concern is how it would make the others feel, who've put in 8 hour days over the last two weekends, if the two who couldn't be bothered to turn up still get the same glory as them. I would be pissed off if it was me.

Clobbered Sun 09-Feb-14 19:29:42

Speak to the parents? I'd be pointing out that they made a commitment to be in this production and that they are letting everyone else down with their attitude. It sends a bad message to the other kids if you let this go.

disclaimer currently struggling with a situation involving badly behaved kids that no-one is prepared to take a stand about and it's driving me insane!!

Morgause Sun 09-Feb-14 19:30:55

I'm a drama teacher and I'd remove them. They showed no commitment and lied.

Clobbered Sun 09-Feb-14 19:31:11

Ah, just read your last post. Definitely phone the parents and sack them, no discussion.

Clobbered Sun 09-Feb-14 19:31:46

Just read your last post. No brainer. Phone the parents and sack them. They have let everyone down and need to learn the lesson and you need to be seen to do the right thing by everyone else who has made the effort.

LaurieFairyCake Sun 09-Feb-14 19:34:49

There's hardly a lot of glory in the 'chorus ' grin

Just don't use them next year for main parts, do the whole 'I'm very disappointed', contact their parents etc

EvilTwins Sun 09-Feb-14 19:37:52

There's loads of glory in the chorus wink

Being part of the ensemble is really important. The whole show hangs on it. I've been saying that for MONTHS grin

Floggingmolly Sun 09-Feb-14 19:39:53

I'd remove them without a second thought. In fact this happened to some students in DD's LAMDA class recently. The one's who put the effort in were relieved actually, especially as they take group exams; so are dragged down by the ones who don't rehearse properly.

MrsSquirrel Sun 09-Feb-14 19:41:39

I agree, they haven't shown the commitment, missed too many rehearsals and should not be in the show. No need to phone the parents IMO, just tell the girls.

ApplySomePressure Sun 09-Feb-14 19:43:42

I'm a Drama teacher and would also remove them.

Picturesinthefirelight Sun 09-Feb-14 19:47:10

I run drama classes & have had this happen. One of the girls broke down in years as she realised we'd had to reset a scene for some reason & she had no idea what she was doing.

I'm also the parent of a young actress/dancer. Dd never commits to things she can't do. She probably would not have done your school play as her weekends were already commuted to dance class/other show rehearsals. I would be annoyed if the weekend rehearsals had been announced done time down the line.

Bowlersarm Sun 09-Feb-14 19:47:16

Well, it's only my opinion as I'm not a teacher and my kids aren't into drama so i'm unsure of drama etiquette, but they don't deserve to be in the production. They haven't worked for it, contributed when they should, so why should they benefit from it when all their classmates have?

morethanpotatoprints Sun 09-Feb-14 19:50:03

Hello EvilTwins

I know you work hard and really enjoy your work as I remember other threads, so please don't think me awful for saying this as I have a lot of respect for your commitment.

Why on earth have you arranged rehearsals for weekend? There must be many who have other commitments and have had to choose between the two.
It's not just those who see a nr parent, and I can why the one who dances may have had to have put that first.
I know they should be committed once they have agreed to this, but maybe in future rehearsals during the week would be fairer for all.
I wonder how many weren't involved because they knew that rehearsals would fall at the weekend.
Unless I have read your posts incorrectly, this is a normal not specialist school isn't it?
Sorry I don't agree with you but you wanted strangers answers and as a parent my dd would have been fulfilling her usual obligations at the weekend.

MuttonCadet Sun 09-Feb-14 19:50:47

I'd get rid of them, as long as it wouldn't impact on the rest of the chorus.

And absolutely call their parents (although I expect that they're colluding in it).

TheReluctantCountess Sun 09-Feb-14 19:54:38

Pull them out.

Bowlersarm Sun 09-Feb-14 19:56:25

Then, morethanpotatoprints, your daughter shouldn't commit to a school production.

ShatnersBassoon Sun 09-Feb-14 19:56:33

I'd call the parents and ask them if they know anything about it. There could be complicated circumstances at home that the girls don't want to tell you about.

I wouldn't kick them off until I knew they were able to attend rehearsals but chose not to.

Ragwort Sun 09-Feb-14 19:57:42

Just get rid of them.

My DS has a lot of sporting commitments, also at weekends, he (and DH and I) fully understand that if he doesn't attend the training sessions he won't get in the team. There is no discussion. I can't remember the last time we have done anything 'as a family' at weekends (unless it is driving to and from matches wink).

Morethan - lots of extra curricular activities have to be rehearsed at weekends - when else would you suggest they rehearse? Surely it can't all be done in school lunch times and if you use lesson time that would annoy parents; children are just as likely to have after school commitments as weekend commitments. confused.

PS: Can I just say we have attended a show at my DS's school this week and it was fantastic, a really high standard. Well done to all those drama teachers out there - my DS isn't into drama at all but watching this performance was a wonderful experience. smile.

5madthings Sun 09-Feb-14 19:59:26

If they wouldnt committ to the rehearsels then thye dont get to be in the play.

When I was at high shcool thye had a big play once a year, it meamt going into school lots of evenigns amd weekends, if you wamted to be in hte play you went to rehearsels amd parents and pupils knew that when they auditioned.

Hessy Sun 09-Feb-14 20:09:03

EvilTwin, my feeling at this stage is not to sweat the small stuff - you've got a show to put on! Come tomorrow morning the girls will arrive at school and realise they've missed out on a brilliant day. They won't feel as part of the company as the others. If their reasons aren't genuine, trust that the committed cast members will let their feelings known. The girls will soon realise they've missed out. You've got enough on your plate. Focus on the important stuff.

My students balk at the idea of coming to school on a Saturday. But these rehearsals are the experiences they will remember long after the lie in they could have had instead. That feeling of hard work paying off, of being part of something, is so memorable. These girls will soon realise they've missed out on this. I reckon they'll quietly admit it to you come the post show party....

Break a leg!

oddsocksmostly Sun 09-Feb-14 20:14:21

I'd overlook it. Rehearsals for productions take over everybody's life, and most kids, (at chorus level) and their parents have no idea of the commitment required when they first audition. Just remember next year, if they want to be included, that you have a written agreement.

longtallsally2 Sun 09-Feb-14 20:24:18

I would split the difference. Drop the girl who simply didn't show up. The second girl emailed twice - first to say that she had a dance commitment and then to say that she was unwell. Fair enough.

(Last week, you had the chance to pull her up on the dentist on a sunday appointment, but didn't, so let that one go.)

Girl 2 might pull out too, when her friend is dropped, but if she is keen to take part and pulls her socks up then you might let her have a go - or you could warn her that she will end up looking daft as she hasn't rehearsed enough and give her the chance to pull out.

But make a note for next year, and then tell them that for the final 2 weekends, that unless they are on death's door and ask their parents to phone/email in then they must attend those rehearsals. (I used to produce school plays too, and had this rule. We only had Sundays, not Saturdays too, but needed those 2 full days to pull everything together.)


Fireytiger Sun 09-Feb-14 20:27:07

At my school we would get rid of them, for all the reasons you have stated. Glory goes to those who work hard and yes it is unfair to all those others.

Be firm.

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