Theatre Talk: Tips for Surviving Tech Week by Marisa Valent

If you’re involved in the cast, crew, pit, or production team of Into the Woods, you know that tech week is just around the corner! Lovingly referred to as “Hell Week” by the theater community, tech week can be pretty hard on a cast. From long and drawn out cue-to-cues to full costumed runs, tech week has a lot to throw at actors and production teams. Here are some tips on how to get through it!

1-Water! Water! Water!

Make sure that you are constantly hydrating during tech week! Bring not one, but two or three water bottles to your venue, and make sure that you are drinking every time you have a break. Director calls 5? Take a drink! Finished your costume change 2 minutes early? Take a drink before you go on! It’s always good to remind other’s to drink too. Someone concerned with how many mic switches they have might not remember to hydrate all the time, so if you see someone looking thirsty, mention it to them! Dehydration can be dangerous, and it happens even faster in heavy costumes and under hot lights.

2- Give yourself a break.

Rest when you can! Tech week is tiring! While it’s not a great idea to nap between your cues, it is important to get a good night’s sleep every night. Don’t stay up late, and don’t go crazy with friends or cast mates. Remember, you’re supposed to get around 8 hours of sleep every night! If you’ve got late night rehearsals and can’t help missing a few hours, power naps can do wonders. If you’ve got 30 minutes before a dress rehearsal or sometime between shows, allow yourself a 20 minute nap. You’ll wake up feeling refreshed and ready to conquer the next challenge!

3-Do not forget to eat!

Sometimes, in the craziness of tech week, it’s easy to forget breakfast or lunch, or to skip dinner and tell yourself you’ll eat after the run. Do yourself a favor, though, and eat three meals a day. A good breakfast will get you up and energized, and a hearty lunch will keep you going throughout the day. Dinner before a run is important too. Though you don’t want to eat something too heavy that will sit in your stomach and make you uncomfortable during that big dance number, it is important to have something to keep you from feeling light headed and making your stomach hurt. And don’t forget the snacks! Remember all those water bottles you’re supposed to have? Throw them in a bag with granola bars, apples, carrots, anything easy to carry and eat! (Just remember, no eating in costume!) Snacks can keep you going while you wait for that next meal.

4-Admit to yourself that you’re a little crazy.

Everyone goes a little nuts during tech week; it’s inevitable. If you can admit to yourself that you’re going slightly insane, whether it’s because of the 8 costume changes you have or because your scene partner always crosses to the wrong side of the stage, you can laugh at yourself too. Once you start laughing, you can begin to relax. You got into theater because it was fun, remember? Tell yourself that, take a deep breathe, take a silly picture or two with a cast member, and you’re on your way to a better, healthier tech week.