Maybe you just took your final bow or finished striking the set for your school’s fall play. You’re so proud of all your hard work, but now, there are months until auditions for the spring production. While it can be easy to start focusing and working towards that next production, it’s also a great time to take a much-needed break (while still being a little productive).

Need some ideas? Here are tips to help fill the time between now and your next act.

1. Take Time to Rest

No matter how much fun you have throughout the process, working on a production is always exhausting. Late nights and long rehearsals can leave even the most seasoned professional drained. Now is a great time to catch up on homework, spend time with your family and friends, and get back into the rhythms of normal life. Even something as simple as returning to a normal sleep schedule will work wonders for your mental and physical health.

The hours after school may feel long at first without rehearsal, but by taking time to recharge and catch up on other responsibilities, you can make excellent use of the time.

When doing things you enjoy, like theatre, it can be easy to push yourself too hard without realizing it. But it’s important to take lots of time to rest after each production to recharge. It’s difficult to create art while running on empty. Spending time with other people and prioritizing sleep “fills your tank” so you’re energized for your next production.

2. Go See Other Shows

Now that you’re not working on a production, you have time to go watch other pieces of theatre in your community. First, look at other high schools. It’s easy schedule-wise to go see a show after school, and supporting your fellow Thespians makes the entire Thespian community stronger. Watching other high school students perform or do tech inspires you by showing you what is possible. Maybe a student from another school aced a challenging monologue or executed a perfect set change. You’re just as capable of doing that, too.

You might also have access to other forms of theatre in your area. Community theatres often produce familiar plays and musicals, and larger theatre companies tend to include brand-new plays in their lineups. Do some research to see what’s playing in your area. Seeing professional work teaches you about the complexity of bringing more large-scale productions to life, and you’ll likely leave with some ideas about things you can try in your next production.

3. Continue to Bond with Your Company

During a production, everyone involved in the company, both cast and crew, become very close. Bonding comes naturally when you’re rehearsing late into the night and spending all your free time on set. However, once the production ends and everyone goes back to their separate lives, it’s natural for people to drift apart. You can be a leader in your theatre company by hosting bonding events in between shows to keep the sense of community alive.

These events don’t have to be complicated. You can:

  • Invite people to watch a movie, such as a recording of another theatre performance, like Hamilton.
  • Grab scripts from your drama teacher’s collection or the library and do a read-through of a play you’ve never experienced before.
  • Have a brief meeting after school to check in with everyone or plan some time for coffee.

No matter what you do, be sure everyone from both the cast and crew is welcome. Sometimes, these groups feel separate, but the strongest and most unified theatre companies have lots of interaction between cast and crew.

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4. Find a New Favorite Show

Even when you’re not working on a show, you can still get excited about theatre! Technology makes it easier than ever to discover musicals that are both well and lesser known. Use online music streaming services to search for public playlists full of songs from other users’ favorite musicals. Put these playlists on shuffle and you’re sure to hear musical theatre songs of all different styles and time periods.

When you find something you like, listen to the full album to begin to understand the story, and depending on the show, it might be possible to find a published version of the script to read. Try to figure out why you prefer some types of stories over others. Does the music speak to you, or the technical elements, or the characters? By identifying which stories resonate with you, you begin to define your personal taste as a theatre maker. And who knows – maybe a new show you discover will be an option for your spring production.

After you finish work on a show, it’s important to rest, reconnect with others, and find new shows to love so you can enter your next season with fresh inspiration. It might seem like a long time until you’re onstage or backstage again, but when you’re intentional about your time, you’ll step into your next production more energized than ever.

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