Writer's guide to Staged Rehearsals

First of all, congratulations on getting to this point in the development of your play! We're looking forward to your upcoming rehearsal, and we wanted to give you some information about how the evening will go, what your responsibilities are as a selected playwright, and how to get the most out of this opportunity. If you have any questions about the following responsibilities and guidelines for staged-rehearsal playwrights, email your producing director at stagedrehearsals@playwrightscentersf.org.

What We Do For You

We're here to make your rehearsal as successful and useful to you as possible.

PCSF is responsible for the following:

  • We hire a director for the evening. The director will cast the actors.

  • We pay the director and cast (up to the first 4 actors).

  • We do some publicizing for your reading on our website and in our newsletter.

  • We manage the event.

  • We facilitate the evening including the post-performance feedback session.

Playwright Responsibilities

PCSF also hopes that you will put some time and energy into making the most out of this staged rehearsal opportunity. The following are your responsibilities as a selected playwright.

Playwrights must be able to attend their staged rehearsal in order to see their scene and listen to the feedback session afterwards.

  • To be eligible for a rehearsal, you must attend other PCSF events (developmental and staged readings, previous staged rehearsals) in order to sign-up. It's that easy.

Be respectful and appreciative to your producer and the actors.

  • Keep in mind that producers and actors are not paid much for the time and effort put into your staged rehearsal, so please make every effort to be respectful and appreciative to your producer and cast.

Playwrights are responsible for providing the webmaster with a blurb.

  • In order to help PCSF promote your rehearsal to the PCSF membership, send a 25-words-or-less blurb, along with your name and the title of your play to the PCSF Webmaster at webmaster@playwrightscentersf.org.

Playwrights are responsible for providing the cast with copies of your script.

  • Provide printed copies of the chosen scene to the cast on the night/afternoon of the rehearsal. These must be the same as the electronic script/scene you provided to the producer. There can be no rewrites after submission.

There is no additional rehearsal prior to the staged rehearsal.

  • Actors will receive the script electronically at least one week in advance of the rehearsal and will have the chance to read through the script and make notes or work with it several times before the rehearsal.

Playwrights must pay for any actors beyond PCSF's cast limit of four actors.

  • The Playwright's Center is budgeted to pay for only up to four actors per staged rehearsal.

  • Actors are paid $10 per rehearsal.

  • It is the playwright's responsibility to pay for any additional actors cast in your rehearsal. Be sure to communicate with your producer before casting begins if you are willing to pay for additional casting or not.

  • Playwrights must pay PCSF directly for any additional actors cast. You pay in cash or a check made out to PCSF. This payment is to be given to the producing director on or before the night of your rehearsal. PCSF will have individual checks cut for each actor to be given out the night of the rehearsal.

Playwrights must create and print a synopsis and scene-by-scene summary for the audience.

  • Provide a play synopsis for the audience, which will provide some context to the scene the audience will be watching and help make the Q&A more valuable.

  • Provide a scene-by-scene summary for the cast.

  • You may also add questions for audience feedback. Make these the same as the questions you give your feedback session facilitator (see Feedback Session below).

  • Add your email address for audience members to email further feedback to.

Playwrights are requested to bring refreshments to their rehearsal.

  • It is a good idea to provide some light refreshments for the staged rehearsal.  It relaxes and welcomes your audience.

  • Refreshments can be as simple as cheese and crackers or a vegetable tray or cookies or samosas. Include some simple beverage choices, wine and sparkling water for example.  If you want to get creative, you can tie the refreshments to a theme in your play.

The Limits

  • Playwrights are not allowed to direct their own work.

  • There can be no rewrites after submission.

The Feedback Session

  • The Facilitator will introduce your rehearsal and lead an audience feedback session with your cast and director immediately following the performance.

  • A valuable part of the rehearsal, the session allows you to receive comments and insights from the audience and gives you a chance to have some questions answered about your scene.

The Payoff

The opportunity to discover what works and what doesn't, a chance to see how a director and actors work with a scene, interpret it, build on it. It's a way to get a fresh perspective on your work and get creatively re-energized. A staged rehearsal is intended to launch you into your next re-write. 

Updated 9/2010