The most important thing is the flexibility. For example, when I say a statement and I wanted to say it another time, maybe I can’t say the same words in the second or third time. Therefore, there was a flexibility to stick to the meaning and the idea, but to express it as I can on the spot.

— Performer-advocate, When My Home is Your Business.

By now, we have a setting, a narrative arc, and a skeleton script for the play. Yay! As we said, memorization of dialogue isn’t one of the goals of our rehearsals of the script. This is why, when we present the skeleton script to performers, we always remind them that they don’t have to say exactly what’s written on the page. That said, in order to coordinate action, performers need to know what others are likely to do and say in a scene. To make this possible, at a certain point, we shift from workshopping scenes to rehearsing them.

When rehearsing, we work to:

  • Establish a pattern of speech and action that’s reliable enough so that all the performers know what they need to do or say, and when they need to do or say it.
  • Ensure that everyone knows their key phrases, cues, and actions.
  • Prepare participants for performance by doing exercises that help them project their voices.
  • Orient performer-advocates to what the performance setting will look like and where the audience will be seated.
  • Make adjustments to the set, script, or performance plan to eliminate or minimize any potential barriers that might arise for performers.


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Transforming Stories, Driving Change Copyright © by Helene Vosters, Catherine Graham, Chris Sinding is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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