The show must go on…without the actors

Have you ever been through an epic dry tech? Tell us here!

Actors are the most important part of a show, right? Only if you ask them. Without the help of the director, the designers, and the stage management team, actors would be stranded naked on a bare unlit stage. While it’s imperative for performers to rehearse before the big opening night, it’s equally important for the key backstage players to run through their respective parts. And that’s exactly what a dry tech is for.

The purpose of the dry tech is to rehearse the technical elements of the play with the designers, the director, and the stage management team before adding the actors. Yup, a rehearsal without the cast. That way the tech folks can work out any kinks with the lights, sound, and props without any backseat direction. Once the dry tech is completed, the actors get their tech rehearsal in the spotlight, too. And thanks to the dry tech, that spotlight will be shining in the right place.

Raven Snook

This video was made in collaboration with our friends at New Jersey Repertory Company. It was written by SuzAnne Barabas, shot and edited by Nicholas Guldner, and directed by Mark Blankenship (the Theatre Dictionary’s editor-in-chief).

Here’s the cast:

  • Actors: — Susan Maris, Michael Irvin Pollard, Mark Light-Orr and Wendy Peace
  • Designers/Staff/Director — Patricia Doherty, Jessica Parks, Jill Nagle, Michael “Rusty” Carroll, SuzAnne Barabas, Gina Scheraldi, Doris Dunigan, Janey Huber and Adele Sammarco
  • Stage Manager — Jennifer Tardibuono