On-the-Go Theater


Edited from pics from: clker.com/ and yourgreen2go.com

What is this you ask? It sounds a lot like asking for a doggy bag when you leave a restaurant. It’s kinda like that, but waaaaay better 😉

Theater becomes one of those loves that gets sacrificed for the “I’m too busy” or “I have to pay the bills” reasons. Both are very valid, but fortunately there are ways to end your painful sacrifice; such as, on-the-go theater.

Example of a rehearsal of an on-the-go short-term play at a local university.

Example of a rehearsal of an on-the-go short-term play at a local university.

For these types of theater, it’s important to note that the process can have a very rough feel. Rehearsals will be non-traditional and many scripts are in-the-works/being work-shopped as rehearsal is happening. They are great for community theater, especially if there is a limited budget. But at the end of the day, the shows turn out awesome and they are sooo much fun to do!

There are many forms of on-the-go theater.

  1.  Short term theater: This can be broken down into 2 sub-groups:
    • 24 hour theater: Literally only a one day commitment. There are many ways to produce these type of shows.
    • Over 3-8 weeks from the moment the playwright starts writing. For this there are typically 2-5 rehearsals and then show time!
    • Both of these types are fantastic for people with full time jobs, other priorities, and passions.
  2. Blind Theater: This is a growing trend. This is where the actors either:
    • Receive the script as they walk on stage, or
    • They are pre-casted, but do not meet anyone (no other cast members, or even the director) until 24 hours before the first performance.
  3. Stage Readings: When you have the script in front of you. Some have few to no rehearsals. And you may get the opportunity to help workshop a new script.
  4. Pop-up theater: Like a pop-up restaurant where actors and artists show up and put up a show. These shows are typically free too, so it’s great for people who love watching theater. Improv groups have been known to do this.
  5. Traveling Theater: Be prepared to perform or rehearse anywhere. If there are good dimensions, space for props and costumes (if there are any, simple is best for this style), and

Venues/rehearsal spaces good for on-the-go theater include:

  • University campuses that allow public use or if there is a student in the cast who can secure permission
  • Public Libraries
  • Coffee Shops
  • Public parks in the warm months (make sure you don’t need a permit)
  • Community Centers, and
  • Churches

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