Mastering the Art of Tech Week: 12 Essential Strategies for High School Theatre Directors

Zach Dulli Archive

Mastering the Art of Tech Week: 12 Essential Strategies for High School Theatre Directors

Tech week—the final stretch of a theatrical production—is an exhilarating yet challenging phase for any high school theatre director. It’s the moment when countless hours of rehearsals and creative collaboration converge into a seamless, polished performance. But with so much at stake, surviving Tech Week requires meticulous planning and expert leadership. In this week’s article, The Scene explores 12 essential strategies that will help not only to survive but triumph during this critical period.

1.       The Power of Preparation – Tech week success begins long before the first cue is called. Months in advance, start crafting a comprehensive schedule that allocates ample time for every aspect of production. This roadmap will serve as your guiding light throughout the week.

2.       Delegate and Conquer – The director is the captain of the ship, but a successful voyage requires a dedicated crew. Delegate responsibilities to your stage manager, assistant directors, and crew members. Trust them to execute their tasks, allowing you to maintain a broader perspective.

3.       Clear Lines of Communication – Open, clear, and efficient communication is the lifeblood of tech week. Foster an environment where your cast and crew feel comfortable reporting issues or concerns promptly. Addressing challenges early is key to keeping the ship on course.

4.       Tech Rehearsals: Fine-Tuning Excellence – Dedicate specific tech rehearsals to lighting, sound, and set changes. Isolate each element to ensure precision without overwhelming your cast. This approach transforms potentially chaotic transitions into seamless magic.

5.       The Director’s Arsenal: Organization – An organized director is a calm director. Maintain meticulous records, including scripts, schedules, and contact information. Having everything at your fingertips reduces stress and allows you to focus on directing.

6.       Surviving the Long Haul: The Tech Kit – Tech Week is a marathon, not a sprint. Assemble a “tech week survival kit” that includes snacks, water, headache medicine, and essential supplies for quick fixes. These simple items can be a lifesaver during long hours.

7.       A Culture of Support – Create a positive and supportive atmosphere within your production team. Emphasize that tech week is a collaborative effort. Encourage cast and crew to lean on one another for assistance and motivation.

8.       Adaptability in the Face of Challenges – Expect the unexpected. Tech week often brings unforeseen challenges. Maintain a flexible attitude and demonstrate your ability to find solutions. Your adaptability will set a positive tone for the entire team.

9.       Time as a Precious Resource – Time is your most valuable asset during tech week. Manage it wisely. Prioritize tasks, eliminate bottlenecks, and avoid unnecessary delays. A well-structured plan is your secret weapon.

10.   Self-Care for Directors – Directors are human, too. Amid the hustle and bustle of tech week, prioritize self-care. Get adequate rest, nourish your body, and stay hydrated. Your leadership depends on your well-being.

11.   Celebrate Every Victory – Tech week can be demanding but also a time of progress and achievement. Acknowledge and celebrate every small victory. These moments of recognition boost morale and maintain enthusiasm.

12.   Keeping the Bigger Picture in Focus – As the director, you’re the driving force behind the production. Throughout tech week, remember the bigger picture—the art, the creativity, and the memorable experiences you’re creating. Keep your passion for theatre at the forefront.

Tech week is the crescendo of the theatrical journey, where artistry meets execution. With meticulous planning, effective communication, and a positive mindset, high school theatre directors can navigate this challenging period with grace and excellence. These 12 strategies will not only help you survive tech week but elevate your production to new heights. Break a leg!

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