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First time doing a drama production - top tips please

(6 Posts)
parrotonmyshoulder Wed 23-Aug-17 11:26:04

After 20 years of teaching, I've found myself in the position of leading a school production for the first time. I would love any advice that you could offer please.

I will be buying (and adapting) a ready made production.

OP’s posts: |
DoctorDonnaNoble Thu 24-Aug-17 08:02:34

Make. Rehearsal schedule. Stick to it. Don't be afraid to sack students who don't turn up (without reason obviously). Set them a deadline to learn their lines and tell them at the start.
School productions are never perfect; don't expect it to be and you will be more relaxed. When I've done training at NT, RSC and Globe (a long time ago no money for it now), all the actors and directors comment how impressive we are to produce anything in the time we do- it's a full time job to them!
I used to regularly do a year 7 production of a 30 minute Julius Caesar. One year it worked out that we'd achieved it in 5 hours of rehearsal. Their parents were thrilled!
Finally, try and enjoy it! It's one of the best things I've done in my career.

parrotonmyshoulder Fri 25-Aug-17 07:56:49

Thanks. I'm expecting it to be far from perfect. Line learning will be an issue as all have communication difficulties. It may be more of a challenge managing staff than pupils.
I think I'll teach the songs first, then add essentials of dialogue to tell the story, adding more in if we can cope with it.

OP’s posts: |
PotteringAlong Fri 25-Aug-17 07:59:58

If there are communication difficulties do you have any way of projecting the story up? A bit like subtitles onto the back of the stage? Then as long as you've got the songs and a bit of dialogue you're ok as the audience can follow it.

parrotonmyshoulder Fri 25-Aug-17 08:01:38

Good idea, pottering. That could be a task for people who don't want to do the performing as such - making a film with backgrounds and text. Love it!

OP’s posts: |
DoctorDonnaNoble Fri 25-Aug-17 11:39:00

I always found the songs easier to learn. Also if someone failed to learn the lines (but genuinely tried) they kept their part and I announced at the beginning of show that so and so was on script whilst highlighting how hard they worked (parents always thought the shows were amazing even when they weren't).

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