I suggest using the first rehearsal (with or without getting up on your feet) to really go in-depth into character, history, relationship, story of the scene (using objectives, actions, given circumstances, whatever works for you – and we went over some of this stuff last week, but most of you seem to have enough acting background to know about that process.)  For some directors, the first rehearsal is more about creating intimacy & trust with the actors – getting to know them, how they work.

You may just hang out around a table -  or have a beer on a couch -  or movement & ‘acting out’ may naturally occur in spurts -  or you can go straight to blocking.  As an actor, I’m partial to a slower-to-block beginning that deepens understanding & commitment.  As a director, I want to get their trust and I want to see what they come up with, what the potential is here, and then I design how to paint the story I want to tell with these colors.  You may have conceived the scene in blue, but here you’ve got a green & a purple – how do you paint it with those?  Or how do you get them to maybe try on blue?  Ok, I know you get it.  And/or that may not be the way you want to do it.  Follow whatever your instincts are. 

So what do you say?  You might, for example, keep asking the actor what they think is really happening here (that’s almost always fruitful), or ask them about the character.  You can let them invent a back-story.   Actors often come up with good stuff on the spot and then an energetic commitment goes into it (because they had to say it to someone publicly) and this can often lead to a more strongly engrained choice as the character.  (This will vary with actors, of course.)   

You all know objectives pretty well – i.e. you can ask them what they want from the other person.  How do they want to make them feel to get it? 

I’m just throwing stuff out there.  All of you have some experience with this, so I’m sure you’ll all have interesting rehearsals with this group of actors.  Look forward to hearing about them.