Putting on a musical is one of the most rewarding things you could do, but it is also a lot of work. Here are just a few tips that you might find useful. My first tip, though, is read The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Amateur Theatricals by John Kerrick. It is a marvellous book.
Posters must be placed up around the school and announcements should be made so that everybody knows about it. The rehearsal times and the dates of performance should be absolutely clear.
At the introductory meeting, ask students to sign up for an audition time with a partner. You will hang on to these sheets, and place a photocopy up in an easily accessible place. See AuditionSignUpsNoticeBoard.docx. You will also need a page of extracts from the text so that they can read or “perform” at the audition.
They must then take the ArchimedesAuditionSignUps.docx sheet and fill in their audition date and time and all other details. They should bring this sheet with them to their audition. Bulletin notices should keep mentioning that auditions are continuing, but individual students shouldn’t be reminded: if they can’t remember (or can’t be bothered without prodding) to come to their audition, then you probably don’t want them in your cast!
Having a list of student emails is brilliant. Bulletin notices often don’t get read, and you can’t always contact kids when they’re at school. Just remember to send emails as Bcc’s so that the students can maintain their privacy.
Once you have decided on the cast, pin the cast list up in a prominent place and then call a meeting where contracts, permission forms, and the rehearsal schedule can be given out.
Afterschool rehearsals are generally better than lunchtime rehearsals: you have more time, they are better attended, and you can negotiate getting out of meetings(!).
Call the roll at the start of every rehearsal and warn kids if they miss rehearsals. Have your music ready and try to have a good idea of the blocking you want. Try to introduce props as soon as possible.
I hope these tips have been useful. Please contact us if you have any questions.