Polishing Rehearsals


Students will demonstrate their understanding of the purpose of “polishing” rehearsals by giving and receiving feedback in trust centered friendly peer reviews.


Lesson Directions


Anticipatory Set/Hook

Step 1: “Hook”- Introduce the activity “Pendulum” to the students. In this activity have students divide into groups of 8 or less. Within these groups have them form a circle, touching shoulder to shoulder, and instruct students to breathe in and out as a group. Ask for a volunteer from each circle to step to the middle of the circle, close their eyes, and to keep breathing along with the group. Instruct students forming the circle that they are forming a circle of trust for the person who volunteered to go to the middle. When the person in the middle feels comfortable they will allow themselves to sway, supported by the surrounding group. Do this with as many class members as you can, asking them to trust each other.



Step 2: Discussion- Engage students in a discussion about what this activity can teach us about approaching the upcoming weeks of rehearsal.
· What did this activity require?
· Was it hard? Was it easy? Why?
· Why would trust be important to these last weeks of rehearsal?


Step 3: Instruction- Help students recognize what they have accomplished as well as what they have left to do.
o What should be done by now?
§ Memorization
§ Blocking
§ Run-throughs


o What is there left to do?
§ Polishing Rehearsals: Solidifying your choices and eliminating those that you are unsure about.
· Unity of Cast, of scenes, of show
o Going into P= Gain trust, the ability to give feedback
· Make Up Your Mind
· Timing Your Silences
· Creating Moments
o Timing & Tempo, Characterization
o How to do it?
§ Be kind- Keep it Fun- It is easy for it to become grumpy
§ Be encouraging
§ Be prepared
§ Be flexible
§ “I would like to try…” work ahead of time
§ Don’t interrupt unless necessary
§ Prioritize
· Everything will be good to a point but nothing will be exceptional if you don’t focus


Step 4: Practicing Application: Ask for 2 volunteers. Give these volunteers a short content-less scene; give them time to look over the lines. Instruct the rest of the class that they have it memorized (Suspend Disbelief), they are blocked and they’ve done a run-through previously. Ask the class to give the two volunteers the situation and characters after the full run-through. Instruct the class that they are the directors and they need to polish this scene. Have students consider genre, situation, characters and comedic timing as well as dramatic timing as they seek to improve the scene as they polish it for “performance”.


Step 5: Question & Answer Discussion: Open up the class to open discussion for them to answer each other’s questions, and to address specific concerns that have come up during “One Act” rehearsals.



Step 6: Peer Review Practical Application- Pair students to view each other’s performances. Have students help each other polish certain moments that have been hard or felt awkward. Each student must write notes on the other students performance and have that sheet of paper checked and recorded by the instructor before the end of the class period and then give those notes to the fellow student.