thankyoufive’s Master Prep For Tech Week Checklist. A culmination of knowledge from a myriad of shows.
- Actor-proof space
- Clean up any trash backstage/in green room areas (yes, it’s just going to get dirty again after your first Q2Q, but that’s the life we’ve chosen)
- Neatly dress any cables
- GLOW TAPE GLOW TAPE GLOW TAPE. Stairs. Platforms. Edge of the stage. Corners of tables. Corners of set pieces. All of it. All of it. Assume that the people backstage are little moles who cannot see anything (not because that is necessarily true, but because it helps keep things safe).
- Prep show prop tables
- Prep costume tables
- Prep quick change areas (if your show calls for them)
- Map out living/storage spaces for large scenic pieces and props
- If it is a particularly busy show, I like to tape out “drop zones” where actors can just store things if they don’t have time to make it back to a props table or hand off to a crew member.
- Tape out “acid lines” (sight lines from backstage. Sometimes you only need them for kids, sometimes you grownups need them too).
- Put up blue lights
- CHECK your blue lights to make sure they’re not dead.
- Empty out the rehearsal hall
- Pull up any tape in the rehearsal hall
- Tape out spacing numbers (if your show requires them)
- Print out new sign in sheets
- Make sure all of your paperwork is updated
- Print updated paperwork
- Tape up show orders, deck shift sheets, costume plots, etc. (I like to do 1 in the green, 1 SL, 1 SR and 1 in the crossover hallway between dressing rooms).
- Make sure dressing rooms are clean and actor-friendly.
- Costumes loaded into dressing rooms
- Actor areas designated in dressing rooms
- Make sure tech tables are set up
- TEST YOUR COMM TEST YOUR COMM TEST YOUR COMM
- Make sure God mic is set up and functional (and can be heard in monitors backstage).
- Sweep and mop and sweep and mop and if you’re feelin real crafty run something magnetized over the stage and in the wings to pick up any screws/nails/staples you may have missed.
- Make copies of blank incident/injury report forms. You’re gonna need em.
- Talk through any scene shifts with your crew — run them if possible.
- Lay your hands on every single thing in that theater. Personally, I try really hard not to expect anyone to operate anything if I have not tried it myself (with some exception). Not in a selfish way, but in a “we should all know what is goin on here” way.
- Stock up on snacks! Coffee! Mountain Dew! Tea!
- GET REST
If your favourite musical is something popular like Wicked or RENT, that’s okay.
If your favourite musical is something no one’s heard of like Ordinary Days or The Burnt Part Boys, that’s okay.
If your favourite musical just came out, like First Date or Beautiful, that’s okay.
If your favourite musical is an oldie like Annie Get Your Gun or High Society, that’s okay.
What’s not okay is telling someone they can’t like that musical.
If a musical: Find the soundtrack on itunes or online. Listen to the songs in the show (in order) over and over again to get a general sense of what happens when. Also, read the script through and talk to one of the actors about what it is about.
For a play: Read the script through and talk to one of the actors about what it is about. Make lists and timelines.
Imagine you are doing an assignment for school. Do whatever you need to do to learn/remember that information quickly. Cramming before a test is not recommended but it may be the only thing you can do.
Break a Leg!
No problem, Anon! Have a great evening!
Hey! I can’t really tell you what would be best because I am not familiar with the kind of actors/singers/dancers etc. you have. But here are some ideas from various categories:
42nd Street - Classic, fun, PG. A dancing show.
Little Women - Not too familiar with it, but lots of female parts. More of a singing show,
Aladdin - Fun, family-friendly, many roles (except Aladdin and Jafar) can be trouser roles (women in men’s garb) Mostly a big personalities and acting show.
Annie - Fun, family-friendly, incredibly girl heavy. Mostly a big personalities and acting show.
Anything Goes - Fun, family friendly, girl heavy, a big dancing show.
Chicago - Fierce, funny, dramatic. PG-13. Very girl heavy. Requires sexiness and lots of dance talent.
Grease - Funny, cute, classic. PG or PG- 13, depending on how it is played. There isn’t one specific area of challege. Dancing is probably the most extreme but even that is really tame.
Seussical - Funny, family-friendly, cute. All the roles (except maybe the mayor and Horton) can be played by women.
Peter Pan - Funny, family-friendly, classic. All roles (except mr. darling/captn hook and the pirates) can be played with females.
Meet Me in Saint Louis - (one of my personal favorites) - funny, family-friendly, classic, many females roles. It is a heavy singing show.
Alice in Wonderland - family friendly, cute, all roles can be played by females.
The Sound of Music - Sweet, family-friendly, classic. Female heavy. Singing heavy.
Of course there are many more than this, but I hope these ideas helped.
"Who Loves You" - Jersey Boys Original Broadway Cast
Definition: Person who does not skip songs titled “Springtime for Hitler”, “Omigodyouguys”, and “Everybody’s a Little Bit Racist” when they come up on Pandora
This is a final effect of my model-making process: