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Adv. Acting:  Week 5
(September 19-23, 2022)
Exploring Scenic Needs & Design Concept

DAY 1:  Director's Concept (Design Concept)

1.) Reviewed the 5 phases of a Director's Process 

  1. Phase 1:  Script Analysis (includes script study, character study, design process, research, formulating a Director's Concept, etc.)

  2. Phase 2:  Collaboration Process (includes communication with, & organization of, teams that will be working on the show; includes sharing vision, style, design, etc.)

  3. Phase 3:  Audition & Casting Process

  4. Phase 4: Rehearsal Process

  5. Phase 5:  Dress / Tech / Performance (when show is turned over to the SM)

(Also reviewed KP's process when reading through THIS year's fall play script.)

2.) Discussed how this week we will be spending most of our time on Phase 2.  (Last week was Phase 1.) 

3.) Learned about "Director's Concept" - the unique way that a director decides to "tell a story" on stage.  (The central idea that unifies all elements of the production to tell the story in an original or unique way.)

4.) Students explored one example of a "Director's Concept" from their choice of 3 (past) shows directed by KP:

1.  The Crucible:  the "deconstruction" of a society pitted against eachother  (click HERE to read/see KP's concept)

2.  Flowers for Algernon:  the "maze" of a changing mind  (click HERE to read/see KP's concept)

3.  Once on this Island:  peasants' collective "tale" of "two different worlds" that collide to show that "love is more powerful than death" (click HERE to read/see KP's concept)

5.) Discussed what stood out in each show's concept.

DAY 2:  Building a Rehearsal Calendar

1.) Reviewed the phases of a production, and Director's/Design Concept.

2.) Learned about building a rehearsal calendar.

  • Start by eliminating your known major conflicts - days you CAN'T rehearse (fall break, Dance, Choir, and Band rehearsals, Parent Teacher Conferences, etc.) 

  • Look at your BOOKENDS (start and end dates) and work backward from a completed show (since that's what you're after).  Never work forward in a rehearsal calendar!

  • Be sure to list your Final Dress Rehearsals first, Tech Rehearsals next, and then full runs - to be SURE you get all of these in.  A show can't get to the finish line without those so put them in FIRST.

  • Look at what's left.  Determine your "rehearsal units" and plug them in to what's left - with enough time to run/review scenes multiple times (not just "learn" scenes) because actors NEED repetition.

  • Make note of secondary conflicts (things such as the shell or dance floor is in, so it would make rehearsing on stage difficult OR things like NHS induction is that night, so we may need to end early).  Be sure those notes are on your calendar so that everyone is aware they may need to pivot.  The less chaos to your process, the stronger your show and the more you and your cast feel in charge of the process.  Surprises and unknowns aren't empowering, so be sure you know where/when your boundaries and conflicts are.

3.)  Students attempted to build their own rehearsal calendar for the fall play with a template provided by Ms. Price (the template included the major conflicts blocked off).

4.) Discussed what was learned during his process.

(Note: Many students left early this day due to the ALICE slides.) 

DAY 3: Building a Design Concept

1.) Reviewed Set Design Concepts as a class.

2.)  Discussed:  Besides a cast & venue, a director CAN'T begin rehearsals without what? (Design Concept then completed set design...because actors must know their "boundaries" in rehearsal) 

3.) Discussed:  Design can't begin without what?  (what the script says you NEED; also the Director's Concept)

4.) Discussed how  directors & designers (set, lighting, props, costumes, etc.) do multiple reads of the script to determine the "NEEDS of the script".  Directors do multiple reads of the script to determine their vision for the show and to develop the unique way they plan to tell the story (their Director's Concept).

5.) Ms. Price shared how she goes about determining her Director's Concepts:

  • Determine the THEMES and EMOTIONAL CENTER (heartbeat) of the show.  I determine this through identifying all the philosophical statements in the piece and looking at them all side by side.  (What is this show really about?  What is at it's center?  What is the "message" and the heartbeat of the story?  Whose story is it?)

    • For our fall show I felt the show was really about HOME (coming back home), ADVENTURE, BONDS OF FAMILY, and DISCOVERING WHO YOU ARE​

  • Then determine how I want the show to FEEL like to my audience?  (This will help me to determine what the show should LOOK like.) 

    • For our fall show, I want the show to FEEL imaginative/playful, surreal, magical, and like a modern fairy tale.​  (This will direct me as I create the "look" of the show.) 

  • Doing work in the above two areas leads me to articulating my Director's Concept:  What the show is really about (to me), and how it should feel (to audiences).​

    • For our fall show my Director's Concept is that "This Girl..."​ is an imaginative and magical modern fairy tale about finding yourself while finding home.


6.) After articulating the Concept for the production, Directors & Designers often do RESEARCH to find INSPIRATION for their actual design.  

  • For our fall show, I researched:  fairy tale-like cottages, woodland cottages, things that feel "magical" to me (sparkly lights, etc.), surreal cottage elements (a tree as a fireplace, for example), ways to handle non-realistic depictions in the story, etc.

7.) Ms. Price shared with the class her INSPIRATION IMAGES that were used to design the set.

8.)  Watched a video (The Principles of Set Design) and discussed the inspiration found in the imaginative & playful aspects of this show's scenic design.

9.) Ms. Price announced the fall play and shared HER set design for the show.

10.) Watched a few previews of the production to see that it can go in MANY directions...

DAY 4:  Reading a Script

1.) Reviewed:

  1. A show's DIRECTOR can't begin directing without knowing...?

    • Their design/director's CONCEPT

    • The SET

  2. A show's DESIGNER(S) can't begin designing without knowing...?

    • What the SCRIPT says is NEEDED

    • The design/director's CONCEPT

2.)  Discussed additional opportunities associated with the fall play.


3.) Started reading the script for the fall play. 

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