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The famed stage director Alan Schneider once had a spot of trouble with a certain lead actress in one of his plays. "She started coming to rehearsals late -- nothing said, no excuses," he later recalled. "Finally, I blew my stack in front of the entire cast. She was never late again. She also never did anything the way I wanted. I had won my battle but lost the war.

"Two years later, while having a bit of trouble with an unpunctual leading lady in another show, I asked the advice of actor-director George Abbott. 'What can I do short of bawling her out?' 'Simple,' Abbott said. 'Just start rehearsals with the understudy.' Which is what I've done ever since. It always works."

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