November 19, 2010

What are these things? A sitzprobe is a rehearsal with the orchestra and no blocking. It is usually done toward the end of the staging process, near the time when you move into the theatre and when the set is coming together. It’s a chance to work out the coordination between the orchestra and the singers without the distractions of blocking and set and what have you. I try and put it on the schedule, and the other directors rehearse other things at the same time with the people who are not being used.

A wandelprobe is the same thing with some minor blocking involved. You do this when:

a) your group is good enough and you feel like standing still is an unnecessary waste of time.

b) You are running out of time and you need all the stage time you can get.

c) Most of your pit doesn’t/can’t show up for the rehearsal and you want to make good use of the time.

There really should be a time when the group can focus on the issues involving the orchestra. “Are the trumpets going to be that loud?” “Where’s that part I use to remember where I come in?” “That’s faster than I remember it.” All these things can’t come out with an orchestra-alone rehearsal, and they probably will get lost in a rehearsal involving lots of other things.

When your time at the Sitzprobe is running short, consider skipping scene changes and reprises and saving them for a later date. The most important things at the sitzprobe are to run everything that has singing in it and to give the pit a sense of what they’re up against.


  1. Trumpets are never too loud…

    • Trumpets are only ‘not too loud’, when they’re stowed in their cases, and out in the van. Just like saxophones. Do you know what the difference is between an onion and a sax? No one cries when you cut up a sax. 😀

  2. […] Then on to the sitzprobe. A break, and then its the wandelprobe. If you aren’t used to working on a musical, HERE is a reasonable definition of sitzprobe and wandelprobe. […]

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