The Initial Cut List

October 15, 2010

Right before my first rehearsal with the orchestra, I sit down with my vocal score and write all the cuts down that we had accumulated in the rehearsal period in order. These include:

1) Whether repeats are to be taken or not. Please write: “Play twice” not “Repeat twice.” (what does that mean? 2 or 3 times?) Also, where appropriate, write the line people are waiting to hear before they move out of a vamp.

2) When bars have been cut. Write it this way, to avoid all confusion:

PLAY to measure 65. CUT 66-89. PLAY 90-end. When you write it ‘Cut from 66-89’, I don’t know whether you mean to play 66, and then go to 89, or to Cut Out 66-99. The first way eliminates all confusion

3) Note repeats and any tempo changes.

4) Make a special note of any troublesome spots you expect people to pay particular attention at.

5) When you refer to pieces, refer to them by number (1a, 3b, etc.) AND by title (It’s A Beautiful Day Reprise, etc…) This will really help people find you. Individual pit books are often inconsistently labeled and marked.

Make as many copies as you need for your pit and hand them out at the first pit rehearsal. If needed, make more during the run. If you do, make sure you date the revisions, so people don’t waste time writing in cuts that they have already noted.


One comment

  1. Great tips, Peter–I’ve played for many musical directors who would have made my life easier and their rehearsal or show smoother by following this advice.

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