A few months back, I read an article about a Mumbai based theatre director and producer and about his never-ending struggle to find space to rehearse his plays. The director mentioned how he has stopped bothering about finding perfect space for his rehearsals because he still hasn’t seen even a half-decent rehearsal place. I’m sure it isn’t your first time coming across such an article; neither was mine. Every layperson is aware of the struggles theatre groups go through, ranging from improper rehearsals spaces to paucity of funds.
Theatre groups in India have struggled to find proper rehearsal space since forever. Having one’s own rehearsal space has come to be deemed as a rare commodity in the industry and even as a luxury. The majority of theatre groups rely on renting rehearsal spaces.
Do you want to know what defines a proper rehearsal space? Keep Reading!!
The primary planning factor is the size of the studio. The rehearsal studio should be large enough to re-create the full performance area of the proscenium. It should be spacious enough for the actors to move around freely while rehearsing. It should preferably have a high ceiling, particularly if you plan to rehearse with a set. The minimum clear height of a theatre rehearsal space may vary from 12 to 15 feet, or you may need it to be ever taller to accommodate magnificent scenery.
Lightning is essential; natural is better as it is inexpensive. The room should be well lit, naturally or otherwise. Overly bright and artificial lights do not seem pleasant after several hours in a rehearsal room.
Studio should be well-equipped with sounds and charging port. It should also offer you adequate storage facilities to store the rehearsing props, instruments and costumes. Ideally, it should have a separate lockable space.
Another essential factor that you cannot overlook is easy access to the rehearsal studio (AKA Big Doors) because since most of the companies rehearse with sets and props. Easy access will make sure that all the stuff gets in quickly. Having big doorways, no steps, and plenty of maneuvering space to and from your practice space will reduce the chance of something being dropped or damaged.
Accessibility to the location is another crucial factor and also the tricky one. It is preferable to look for a space with easy access to metro services, bus stops, and basic amenities. However, it should be a little cut off from others because theatre rehearsals require some level of privacy, and isolation does wonder for creativity.
Cleanliness is becoming a concern more and more each day. Rehearsal Space should provide sanitary working conditions and should be well equipped to handle inclement weather. Many venues, during monsoon, become damp and muddy and makes the foul smell.
Other factors that need attention are flooring which should be reasonably even and clean enough to roll around and serve best, Wi-Fi is beneficial too, climate controls in the room and extra space for actors to unwind, relax, eat, smoke can also do wonders.
There are also some intangible qualities that you must look for while looking for your ideal rehearsal space. These qualities are often termed as “vibes” and are imperative too. You need to connect with the rehearsal space psychologically. Creativity is well exposed when light is bright. Simultaneously, a dull and drab one can impose negativity and fatigue and be a major turnoff for the actors. Even though actors create an ambiance, a lot depends on the space too, which should be welcoming. Also, after you take care of all these factors, the budget is a significant concern. It is essential to look for an affordable place because rehearsal space can leave a massive dent in your budget.
Finding a space that is affordable and ideal is not easy, and this where HighSpace steps in. It is a versatile marketplace for finding and booking unique spaces for a variety of creative and productive uses. It will help you find your ideal space by connecting you with hosts willing to rent out their space and to provide you a seamless experience. After all, as an artist, you have important things to do. The last thing you need is a rehearsal space imposing limits on your creativity.
About the Author
Sagrika Chauhan is an Arts Graduate from University of Delhi. She is an aspiring polyglot, a Quentin Tarantino fanatic, an avid reader and a passionate writer. She loves whiling away her hours in Bookstores. You can connect with her at email@example.com