Supporting Roles

Jack: Well, what’s the assistant director do, like?

Doreen: He assists the director.

Jack: What does the director do, then?

Barbara: Shut up, Jack.

What does the assistant do? Is he a vital team member, a silent observer, or just one person who knows how the director takes her coffee?

Well, there are many levels of the assistant director and it’s up to them which they want to be.  I myself have been an assistant to about everything in theatre, and also has the assistants.  Each assistant has been different as each person is different, and each person has had a different place with me.  Some like to be the silent observer and write al the blocking down, and some want to get up and direct the whole show.  It all depends on the person.

At the highest level, the assistant director might be responsible for rehearsing understudies, or take on a scene of their own.  They schedule rehearsals and work along side the Director and Stage Manager.  The assistant director is there “because she can act.”  They are there because they know about acting and how things should look on stage…or are there to learn that.

10 Rules of Assisting:

  1. Listen.
  2. Do everything well, and I mean everything.  Listening, silence, organization, observation, speaking skills and friendliness
  3. Never choose favorites
  4. Learn everyone’s names fast, then call them by their name.  This includes stage crew, costumes, pit orchestra, anyone who is working at the theatre.
  5. Be willing to do anything, help anyone, just get the job done.
  6.  Treat everyone with Respect
  7.  Start each day with a clean slate emotionally, In other words, if something bothered you yesterday about rehearsal, get over it.  Today is a new day.
  8.  Serve the production.
  9.  Serve the Director.
  10. Have no fear, your opinion matters, voice it.

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