When an actor understudies for a role, they will always have another purpose. They will either play a minor part in addition to understudying, or function as part of the back-stage crew for performances.
An understudy should be prepared to attend all blocking rehearsals for the character they are understudying for. An understudy is welcome to attend all rehearsals but it is not required. Sufficient attendance to guarantee reasonable proficiency in the role is acceptable. Understudies are responsible for keeping in touch with the overstudies to find out if any changes to blocking have been made since the initial blocking rehearsals.
If the over-study (person cast in the role that is being understudied) cannot attend a rehearsal, it is the over-study’s responsibility to contact the understudy to make sure they are there to fill in. This does not give the over-study free reign to skip rehearsals. Overstudies are responsible for getting any blocking or notes from the understudies prior to the next rehearsal for those scenes.
Being an understudy is an excellent way to become involved in our company. It gives actors an opportunity to ‘check us out’ as well as giving our directors an opportunity to scope out talent for future productions.
Understudies are a vital part of our company.