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Before The Bow: A Hilariously Accurate Look At The Rehearsal Process

Ahhh, there is nothing like walking into the first rehearsal of a brand new show. The awkward moment when a whole bunch of thespians have to try and act normal as a collective group. As the process continues forward the normalcy fades away, true colors are shown, and amazing bonds are formed. Just like one big family…we fight, we laugh, we cry, and we accomplish incredible things by the time opening night rolls around.

Most of us in the theatre world are no stranger to the #struggles of rehearsal life, so enjoy this timeline of the process (emphatically told with gifs).

The First Day

The first day of rehearsals is always filled with (in my experience) odd ice breakers, funny new vocal warm ups, and trying not to laugh too hard when you can’t get your hip isolations down just right. In general, everyone is in a new environment and has no clue what they are doing… but, it ends up being one of the best days of the process. This is because the whole group is at the beginning of their ride together, and what can go wrong with a fresh group of friendly faces?

Dance Rehearsals

We all think that we know what is going on, that we are going to be amazing and look exactly like the choreographers had planned. But in reality, it may look a little…


All of our favorite parts, the meat of the play, the storyline…You start to go for it, because why not? The director is super hyped up and you are wondering how they can have so much energy while you are flopping through your lines and dropping props left and right.

In other words, you become super stressed and have to remind yourself that what you’re going through is your passion for a reason. Then, your co-star gets super emotional because they kept forgetting what their cue was, or a dance step, or their significant other just broke up with them and you just try to comfort them like…


You know, THAT couple. They get cast as significant others so much they just become significant others.

Music rehearsals

What key are we in? You want me to do what? Five part harmony for two pages whilst doing the hardest tap combo I have ever experienced in my life? WHY NOT?!? You become so exhausted of singing, so you complain about it all the time…in song.

You inevitably bring rehearsal home…

And… your roommate(s), family, significant other, neighbors or pets become increasingly ready for this show to be over with. Openly eager for the day in which they don’t see another box step, or hear you wailing “There’s No Business Like show business” ever again (or so they hope). 

Late night meals.

Rehearsals have killed your “clean and healthy eating” habits. Why are the few places open at three o’clock on Tuesday morning only interested in serving pizza? (not that you are complaining…too much).


You would not exchange a single hour of rehearsal time for anything else on earth. The loving bond you form by creating art with others is one that will never break. Theatre is a wonderful, magic, festival of greatness, and no matter how stressful rehearsals can be…You know nothing beats that diva-type feeling you get during the curtain call on opening night! #lovethestruggle

Have a rehearsal story? We’d love to hear it, just leave a reply below…

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Samantha Shepherd

Written by Samantha Shepherd

Samantha is a sophomore at the University of North Texas working towards a BFA in Theatre Arts


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  1. Don’t forget about all of the awkward drama between the showmances after they end! xD I remember doing The Crucible and I was kind of a thing with this senior. We tried to keep it a secret but everyone ended finding out anyway. He soon dumped me to get back with his ex, so my theatre-momma put vinegar in his Throat Coat xDD His face was the utter face of regretting all of his life choices. Haha! We’re still good friends today!

    • Wow, thats crazy! But your theatre momma sounds amazing! Me and my ex dated during this one show, and he convensed me to do the show im in currently. When he broke up with me, it was to late because I was so ready for the audition, and we are staying friends, so thats good lol.

  2. Once, when I was doing the show Rapunzel, it was during the, “You must be off book, but you can call line” phase, and one of the prince’s forgot his line. Instead of his face dropping, and him walking out normally, he burst through the curtain, chin high, put his hands on his hips, and and yelled, “Line!” He took staying in character to a whole new level, and I haven’t forgotten it since.

  3. My least favorite part of community theatre is when you are the newbie that no one is sure of (I had to change cuz I moved), or (now that I am settled it lol) you get some 8 year old that has no talent or passion, and is only there because their equally uninterested 8 year old friend is doing it, or the kids who are there because their parents made them go. Every year. Every production.

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