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The Playwrights Forum > General > Question & Answer > When to stop making changes to a script?

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 Posted: Wed Apr 29th, 2015 09:01 pm
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mcory
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Mana: 
I wrote a 2-act comedy that got picked up by a local theater company.  Yay!  I've been working hands-on with the theater...I helped select the cast (6 of the best comic actors in the area), I've directed most of the rehearsals.  And along the way, I've noticed minor script problems...lines that need to be moved around, phrasing that needs to be tightened, etc.

At what point should I stop making changes to the script?  I'm obviously not going to be making changes on opening night.  But should I stop making changes one week from opening night?  When the actors are off book?  Two weeks before the actors are off book?  Is it OK to make script changes all the way up to (and including) dress rehearsal?

On one hand, I don't want to throw the actors off but on the other hand, I want the show to be as tight as it can be.  Thoughts?

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 Posted: Sat May 2nd, 2015 08:06 pm
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in media res
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Mana: 
mcory:


Talk to your cast. See how comfortable they all are. Re-writes are very common in rehearsal.

In profesional theatre or workshops, you have "preview performances" in front of an audience to work these things out.

Changing a line is not simply "just changing a line," it is changing an emotion, as well as its emotional response from another actor to that emotion.

Because of this, I would suggest runnning through the re-writes several times with the actors up on their feet in a rehearsal so they get used to it all and can explore what the new text actually does to/for them. And you may just discover the actors may possibly come up with a better re-write than you!



best,

IMR

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