TIPS FOR PARENTS & NEW STUDENTS

For auditions we ask all students to prepare 16 bars of a song sometimes from the show and sometimes not from the show that they are auditioning for.

Please bring the sheet music to the song that you’re performing unless it specifically says sheet music will be provided.

We also ask that they wear comfortable clothes as there may be a dance audition.

Don’t forget you should always have water with you.

For rehearsals we ask all students to wear comfortable clothing, sneakers and/or appropriate dance shoes and bring water and a snack

For tech week and performances we ask all students to have a bin or a bag that contains all of their costumes, their dance shoes, water, makeup, bandaids and makeup wipes for makeup removal.

If this your first time being a part of a show:

Be ready to make friends, learn to work as a team, be positive, & learn new skills (acting, singing, dancing)

Remember: All members of the team are important and should be treated with respected. (Ushers, Actors, Directors, Dancers, Custodians, Singers, Set & Prop Builders/Painters, Costumers, etc.)
We are all working toward the same goal.

All students are also reminded to keep the theater clean. We must return props and costumes, to the correct places, at the end of every rehearsal and performance. We must also throw out our garbage if we have a snack or lunch.

How to deal with stage fright:

  • Practice, but Don’t Push: Rehearsing will help your child get comfortable with their role. Prepare for the real thing, but in a stress-free setting, such as in front of an audience of stuffed animals.
  • Applaud Plenty: Leave the more serious critiques to your child’s teacher. Cheering him/her in-home rehearsals will help build up his/her confidence.
  • Take Him/Her Seriously: If your child says she’s afraid he’ll/she’ll mess up, don’t dismiss his/her concerns with “You’ll be fine.” Instead, say something like “I’m sure the other kids will be worried, too! But you’ve practiced a lot, and I’ll be proud of you no matter what.”

Auditions/try outs are a difficult aspect of theatre, music and sports.

We ask that you respect the committee’s decision on casting.

We will not be entertaining any questions or concerns as to the committee’s decision.

We use a committee to make sure the decision is as fair as possible. It is not the choice of one individual, it is the choice of the committee as to who is cast in each role.

We understand that everyone would like to be the star, but there can be only one Dorothy and only one Scarecrow.

We also understand that students may be upset with the role that they are cast in, please prepare them as this may be a possibility.

We would like everyone to be a part of this incredible theatrical experience, however, if you feel your child cannot handle not being the lead role, we ask that you kindly let us know via email with just a one statement response stating that your child will no longer be continuing with the show so that we can recast their role.

Thank you for your understanding with this matter.

IMPORTANT PEOPLE

What is Actors Equity? Trade union formed to protect those who work in the theater by helping to regulate pay and working conditions

Who is the Assistant Stage Manager? Person who is hired to help the Stage Manager

Who is the Box Office Manager? The person who is in charge of ticket reservations and ticketing

What is a Cast? The people who perform in a show

Who is the Choreographer? The person who creates dances and arranges movements for a musical

What is a Chorus? 1) in a musical the company of dancers and singers 2) the dancing, singing or songs performed by that company

What is a Company? The cast and crew of a show and any other staff who work on the show

Who is the Costumer? The person in charge of the costumes for a show

What is the Crew? All the people who work together on a show except the cast

Who is the Director? The person who provides the vision of how a show should be presented, who works with the actors on their roles, develops the blocking, and is in charge of the rehearsals

What is the Ensemble? A group of actors, singers or dancers who perform together on stage

Who is the House Manager? The person in charge of the theater auditorium and anything to do with the audience

Who is the Lighting Designer? The person who designs the lighting for a show and works with the director to get desired effects

Who is the Musical Director? The person who works with the director, actors and orchestra to get the desired musical effects for a show

Who is the Prop Mistress/Master? The person in charge of all the props and who usually works with them during a show

Who is the Set Designer? The person who designs the sets for a show…in smaller theaters this person also builds the sets

Who is the Sound Designer? The person who designs the sound direction for the show

Who is the Stage Manager? The person who runs the show from opening curtain to closing curtain and is in charge of everything on the stage and in the back of the stage

Who is the Technical Director? The person who supervises the construction of a set and any rigging that needs to be done, such as hanging scenery

IMPORTANT PLACES

What is the Aisle? A walkway which goes through two areas of seats.

Where is Backstage? The part of a theater which is not seen by the audience, including the dressing rooms, wings and the green room

What is a Black Box Theatre? A type of theater usually surrounded by black curtains where the audience and actors are in the same room

What is the Box Office? The place that sells tickets to a performance

What is a Callboard? The place backstage where the Stage Manager puts up important information for the cast and crew

What is a Catwalk? A narrow walkway suspended from the ceiling of a theater from which sometimes lights and scenery are hung

Where is the Control Booth? The place in a theater from which all the sound and lights are controlled

Where is Downstage? The part of the stage which is closest to the audience

What are Dressing Rooms? Rooms in a theater provided for the actors in which they change costumes and apply make-up

What is the Fly Space? The space above the stage used chiefly for storing scenery and equipment

What is the House? Used to describe the audience

Where is Offstage? The area of the stage which the audience cannot see

Where is the Orchestra Pit? An area at the front of house, where the musicians and conductor work during a show

What is the Proscenium? The arch that frames the front of a stage

What is a Riser? A platform placed on the stage to create different levels

What is a Set? The setting of the stage for each act and all the physical things that are used to change the stage for the performance

Where is Stage Left? (These left/right directions are seen from the ACTORS point of view on the stage) this is when the actor standing in the center of the stage moves to his left

Where is Stage Right? (These left/right directions are seen from the ACTORS point of view on the stage) this is when the actor standing in the center of the stage moves to his right

Where is Upstage? 1) the area of the stage that is the farthest away from the audience 2) when one actor moves to the back of the stage and causes another actor to turn away from the audience…This is called “Upstaging” 3) when an actor draws attention to himself and away from the main action of a play

Where are the Wings? The areas of the stage that are to the sides of the acting area and are out of view. These areas are usually masked by curtains.

IMPORTANT THINGS TO KNOW

What is an Act? 1) the main sections of a musical or play 2) the thing which actors can do

What is an AD? A place in the playbill/program where business can advertise for a fee

What does Ad Lib mean? To make up as you go without preparation

What is an Aside? A quick remark made by a character in a play which is said to the audience

What is an Audition? A time when an actor goes before a group of people who are casting a play to show those people what he can do

What is a Belt? In Musical Theater, a style of singing which uses a loud, full tone

What is a Black Out? The quick shutting off of all the stage lights

What is Blocking? The instructions that actors use to know exactly where they are supposed to be on stage at all times

What is a Book? The script of a play…libretto of a musical

What is a Booster? A place in the playbill/program where you can write a short message to the cast, crew or pit for a fee

What does “Break A Leg” mean? Something people tell actors to wish them “Good Luck” before a performance or audition

What is a Call? The time that an actor must report to the theater for either a performance or rehearsal.

What is a Callback? When an actor who has auditioned for a show is asked to come back for a second tryout

What is Casting? When the director chooses actors to be characters in a play or musical

What is a Cold Reading? When an actor is asked to read from a script he hasn’t rehearsed

What is a Cue? Signals that are given to both the actors, the crew, the musicians and any others working on a show

What is a Curtain? The screen usually of cloth which separates the stage from the audience

What is a Curtain call? The bows at the end of a performance

What is Dialogue? The words which are spoken in a play

What is Dress Rehearsal? A rehearsal, usually just before a show opens, to practice the show just how it will be on opening night, including costumes and make-up. A rehearsal for both cast and crew

What is a BackDrop? A piece of fabric which is hung on stage and usually used in the scenery of a show

What is an Exit? A stage direction telling an actor to leave the stage

What are Hand Props? Those objects used to tell the story which are handled by actors in a production

What are the House Lights? The lights that are used to light up the auditorium where the audience sits

What is the Libretto? The term that describes the book or script of a musical or opera

What is Marking Out/Spike? When the stage is marked with tape to show where furniture and props should be placed during the performance

What is Matinee? An afternoon performance of a show

What is a Monologue? A speech given by one actor

What are Notes? The meeting a director usually has after a rehearsal or performance to tell the cast and crew how he felt about their performance and to make any changes he may think are necessary

What does Off Book mean? When the director tells the cast (usually by a certain date) that they must memorize their lines and can no longer use their scripts in rehearsal

What is an Overture? The beginning music in musical theater which usually gives the audience an idea of the music to come and gets them into the feeling of the show

What are Personal Props? Props that are carried by an actor in his costume during a performance

What is a Playbill/Program? 1)a program(booklet)that contains information about a production 2)the posters used to advertise a production

What is Preset? When either a prop, costume or something else used in a production is placed in or around the stage before the start of a performance

What is a Prompt? – As actors move from using the script to no script (see off book),the prompter follows the play in a book and gives a portion of a line to an actor, if needed, to help them remember the line

What are Props? All the items used in a play to tell the story not including the scenery or costumes, the short forms of “Properties”.

What are Rehearsals? The period of practice before the beginning of a show in which the actors and director work on the development of the show

What is a Reprise? In musical theater, when either a whole song or part of a song is repeated

What is a Run? The number of times a show is performed

What is a Run-through? A rehearsal in which the actors perform the show from the very beginning to the very end… “Run the show” is another way of saying the same thing

What is Running-Time? The amount of time it takes to perform the play from beginning to end not including any intermissions…as theater is live performance, this can vary slightly for each performance

What is a Scrim? A drop made of a special weaved material that is used for setting the scene of a play

What are Sides? An audition script

What is a Sitzprobe? A German term used in opera and musical theatre to describe a seated rehearsal where the singers sing with the orchestra, focusing attention on integrating the two groups

What are Sound Effects? The noises which are produced to accompany a scene in a show…these noises are mostly produced by a machine but can be produced by actors off stage

What are Stage Directions? When a script contains information for the actors giving them specific entrances and exits

What is a Standby? A person who understudies a single role (or more) but is not part of the chorus or ensemble of a musical or play

What is Strike? To take the set apart when a show ends

What is Subtext? Tthe feelings behind the words a character speaks

What is a Technical Rehearsal? Usually the first time a play is rehearsed in the place where it is going to be seen by the audience and in which the scenery, sound and lighting are used… this rehearsal can be done with or without costumes… “Tech” is the slang for this process

What is Tech Week? The time period where we add sets, props, lights, costumes, sound, and makeup to the performance as we prepare for show time

What is Timing? When an actor has the ability to say or do something at the best moment for the most effect

What is a Triple Threat? A performer who excels in all three areas: singing acting and dancing

What is a Swing? A performer in a musical who substitutes when chorus members are unable to perform

What is an Understudy? An actor who studies the lines and blocking of a role, and is able to take over for the original cast member in a role

What is the Wardrobe? The stock of costumes and accessories which are owned by a theater group

What is the difference between off Broadway and Broadway? The short answer is what distinguishes Broadway vs. Off Broadway (and Off-Off Broadway) theaters are the number of seats in the auditorium (house). Theaters with a house larger than 499 seats are considered Broadway Theaters. (Only Broadway theaters have been deemed eligible for the Tony Awards by the American Theater Wing and the Broadway League). Theaters with houses between 99 and 499 seats are Off- Broadway. Any theater less than 99 seats is Off-Off-Broadway.