This is the story of my life as a Director when it comes to scheduling. I thought my Fringe show was going to be easier, but despite having only 5 actors, it was a major challenge. My schedule doesn't help, but I planned to use Sunday afternoons and Monday evenings to get around the worst of A Little Night Music. A wrench was thrown in that with one actor unable to do Sundays. I knew I had one big challenge with one actor being away the last two weeks of July, but the plan was to use the week before Fringe Techs start to review and tighten. I could make this work. But a different actor came in with a conflict that affected 5 out of 7 of those days in that week. That's the section about which I am most worried.
I haven't even got all the conflicts in, but I had to start constructing a schedule before any more of them filled up the remaining weeks with vacations, or visits from families, or other rehearsals (2 of my actors are in other Fringe shows). I laid it all on the calendar. In June there were 6 days in total where I could use everyone and 4 of those were days I could potentially be scheduled for ALNM. Okay, now I need to write a sucky email to my ALNM Director asking for days off in June. I wanted 8 rehearsals in June - I can get 6. In July, it's even worse. There are only 3 days where everyone is available and 2 of those I have potential ALNM rehearsals. I write about that in my sucky email to my ALNM Director. Apparently those 2 days are 2 of only 3 days she has her whole cast until Aug 16th, can I give her one of them? I will do so, because I know what it is like, but my cast needs to rehearse without me there so I will put someone else in charge that night and fix what I need to the next night. In July there are 6 rehearsals (I wanted 8 minimum) one of which I cannot be at.
Now I don't need them all for ALL of the rehearsals, but because of the structure of the show I need 4/5 of them at almost all times. It's done. We will rehearse 20 times between now and then if we are lucky (like I said, I still don't have all the conflicts). No one can be sick. No one can throw another 'surprise' holiday in the works. This is THE schedule.
Next year, if we decide to do a Fringe show and we get in - I am building the schedule first and saying 'if you can't work with this, then I will find someone else, I love you, but maybe next time...'