Shakespeare's Globe

RSS Pre-Rehearsals

The rehearsals for the Globe's 1998 Theatre Season take place in a converted warehouse in O’Meara Street; about 5 minutes walk from the Globe theatre itself.

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The rehearsals for the Globe's 1998 Theatre Season take place in a converted warehouse in O’Meara Street; about 5 minutes walk from the Globe theatre itself. The rehearsal room is very large and has an outline of the Globe stage marked out in tape on the floor; there are also 2 pillars in the room. These arrangements help the actors to prepare for working on the Globe stage.

The actors will not rehearse on the Globe stage until the technical rehearsal, although some classes are held on the stage. Each day each actor will receive his/her ‘call’ which is the time s/he is expected to report for rehearsal. During the rehearsal period an actor's day will vary considerably, an actor may rehearse scenes, attend a class (voice, text and movement) or have a costume fitting with the wardrobe department. A typical day might begin at 10.00am and finish at 6.30pm – sometimes there are also evening calls.

During the rehearsal period (particularly at the beginning) an actor will research his/her character. To help the actors the assistant director will find relevant books, pictures etc. and bring these to rehearsal. Extracts from books and pictures are often stuck onto the rehearsal room walls. Actors will also experiment with using props in rehearsal; these will be rough versions of the final prop and will help them to build the prop into the scene. Similarly some form of rehearsal costume will be worn e.g. long skirts for the women, this will help actors to get used to moving, sitting etc. in their costume. In particular actors will use the actual shoes they will wear in performance during rehearsal. This is to wear the shoes ‘in’, as they are made using Elizabethan techniques and there is no specified ‘left’ and ‘right’ foot. Many actors also feel that wearing the correct shoes helps them to ‘get into’ character.

The companies have 6 weeks of rehearsal before the technical and dress rehearsals Generally the beginning of this period is spent improvising around the text and in development of character; towards the end of these 6 weeks actors will rehearse scenes in detail and run parts of the play. The exact method of working in rehearsal is established and shaped by the director.

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