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Re-using a Script from the Past Saves Both Time and Money

Director's books provide the perfect way to save all your notes for future productions.

It’s such a treat to reach that magical weekend each autumn when we get to “fall back” and gain an extra hour. As we reset our clocks for daylight savings time, we approach time as a precious commodity. Even an extra hour of sleep seems like such a gift!

My anticipation of “falling back” this weekend has led me to ponder other things we fall back on to save time. I buy my lettuce already washed and torn, I purchase movie tickets online to avoid standing in line, and I program my GPS so I don’t even have to take the time to plan my route in advance. Oh, the modern conveniences of our lives!

In teaching, we rely on what we’ve done before to save us time. Sure, I’d love to come up with a whole new approach to teach the next unit, but alas, in the interest of time, I’ll just fall back on what I’ve done in the past.

Play directors are very fortunate when it comes to this. When planning for an upcoming production, they, too, sometimes opt to fall back on a play they’ve done before. The time savings is immense—the blocking is already done, the lighting plotted, the costumes designed. And yet, the play will still feel fresh because it has a new cast, and each actor is taking the time to develop his or her role uniquely. For most audience members, the play will also be new. You can feel the opening night electricity in the air connecting cast and audience, and nobody seems to care that the director has “fallen back.”

Besides conserving that precious commodity of time, the director has also saved something almost as valuable—money. By re-using scripts from a previous production, valuable budget money didn’t have to be spent on new scripts. Sure, royalties had to be paid for the new production, but at least new materials didn’t have to be purchased. That’s one huge advantage to always buying your musical scripts from Pioneer Drama, rather than renting your material from the New York publishers. As long as you collect back the scripts from your cast and crew at the end of one production, you can store them and the music scores and CDs for years. Someday, when enough time has passed that it will feel fresh and new again, you can experience that warm, comfortable feeling of pulling out an old favorite, knowing it will save you both time and money.

In addition to storing the scripts, music scores and CDs, our director’s books are a superb way to save all your notes from one production to use again someday. Imagine having all your blocking notes, all your lighting and sound cues, your whole rehearsal schedule… all kept in one compact, spiral-bound book! Why take the time to re-create the wheel? I imagine it’s like pulling that favorite old hoodie out from the back of the closet instead of buying a new one. It brings back pleasant memories and feels oh, so good to slip on again.

I hope this season you can find comfort in falling back on something tried and true, and in the process, create an extra hour or two for yourself.

Keywords:  daylight savings time   past production   reusing scripts   save money   save time