Shakespeare's Globe

RSS Pre-Rehearsals

The rehearsals take place in rehearsal rooms about 5 minutes walk from the Globe theatre itself.

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The rehearsals take place in rehearsal rooms about 5 minutes walk from the Globe theatre itself. Each rehearsal room is very large and has an outline of the Globe stage marked out in tape on the floor. This helps the actors to prepare for working on the Globe stage. The actors will have very few rehearsals on the Globe stage before production week.

Each day your 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. Your actor may rehearse scenes, attend a class (voice and/or 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) your 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 the actors 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 most pairs have no specified ‘left’ and ‘right’ foot. Many actors also feel that wearing the correct shoes helps them to ‘get into’ character.

The companies have 5 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 5 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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