Theater FAQs & Policies

Theater Program FAQ's

 

How do I choose a class level?

Class levels are based on age and grade level, however there are some overlaps. If your child is on the cusp, you may want consider their experience level, their desire to have a larger roll, and their ability to focus and memorize lines.  Stick with a younger class if theater is relatively new or they would like aim for a larger roll.  If they have more experience, are up to the challenge to memorize and focus more, but don't mind a smaller part consider an older cast.  Please note, though, that age does not always dictate who gets larger or smaller roles.

How are Little Theater parts assigned ?

Casting is always challenging.  We'd love to give everyone the part they want, but of course that is not possible.  Our youngest Little Theater cast members find this extremely hard to understand.  Often we end up allowing everyone to play the "coveted" lead as they sing a closing song. Other times we spilt parts to distribute favored roles. We do our best to highlight how awesome each part is so that they can get excited about all of their options.

Regardless of the role assigned, we encourage you to support the decisions our directors have made - they do not take the process lightly.  Good casting efforts requires a holistic evaluation of many variables. When this is done well, everyone benefits.  It allows for the best production possible with everyone rising to the challenge.

If your child disappointed with their role, help them to see the value of their particular character and emphasize how many scenes and songs they are in.

How are parts assigned in Youth Theater and Tween-Teen Theater ?

Casting is always challenging.  We'd love to give everyone the part they want, but of course that is not possible. Decisions for these age groups rely heavily on auditions and, to some degree, their past "track record" in other shows with us.  Actors who come prepared to rehearsals, are willing to stay focused, take direction, and are open to taking risks to perfect their role are factors that may also be considered. Casting is also relative to the skill levels of each particular group.  In in one group they might be relatively more advanced and play a larger role while in another they might be relatively less advanced and play a smaller role.

If your child is really hoping for a larger role, these are some suggestions:

1) Help them come prepared with a full song memorized  that is similar to the part in the play they are hoping to be.            2) Have them study You Tube clips of their song to get ideas for choreography for their audition. This doesn't have to be elaborate.  Directors just look for singing "in character".
3) Tell them that it is important for them to learn their lines and songs quickly in this play so the director can see they are ready for a bigger part
4) Help them figure out what part would suit them best. For instance,  if they are younger and smaller they would be more likely to play a child than a parent or if they are more serious they might not want to try to play a comic role.

Regardless of the role assigned, we encourage you to support the decisions our directors have made - they do not take the process lightly.  Good casting efforts requires a holistic evaluation of many variables. When this is done well, everyone benefits.  It allows for the best production possible with everyone rising to the challenge.

How large are your casts?

Little Theater casts are usually no more than 12. Youth and Teen-Tween casts are between 12-16. This allows for everyone to have plenty of stage time.

How many shows are there?

Little Theater has one show. Youth Theater has one or two shows (check at enrollment). Teen-Tween Casts have two shows.

Are we provided free tickets to shows?

You are provided two tickets per show.  Proceeds from tickets sales help make these productions possible. It pays for hours of extra preparation of sets, added tech staff, back stage support, professional lights and microphones and edited video footage emailed to you.  Theater class costs would be prohibitive for many families if we couldn't count on ticket sales.

What if my child doesn't like their part?

Please see "How are parts assigned?"

POLICIES

MAKE UP CLASSES                                                                                                               

We want you be able to take advantage of the money you have invested in classes, so we try to be as flexible as possible with our make up policy. Our make up policy allows students to make up their missed classes in any non-theater class that is not full and is age appropriate. Makes up can not be scheduled on the last day of the sessions as it is presentation day.

HOW DO YOU SCHEDULE A MAKE UP? 

Email or call in advance to check on availability and make a reservation.

WHEN ARE MAKE UPS ALLOWED? 

Make ups are allowed only within your current session except for the last day of the session when we have presentations

CAN I EXTEND MY ENROLLMENT FOR A MAKE UP?  

No, your make up period ends when your enrollment ends. For example, if you purchase a 4 week series and miss a class, you must makeup the class during the 4 week period. Your make up could not be extended into the fifth week.

REFUNDS

Is a class not working out for your child?  Depending on the class, you have different options:

DANCE CLASS REFUNDS

Refunds are only given when we cancel a class. Freeze your enrollment if you need to stop taking classes.

FREEZING YOUR DANCE/GYMNASTICS CLASS ENROLLMENT

If you have remaining classes that you no longer want your child to attend, you may freeze your child’s enrollment for them to use on a later date.   As of 8/12/15 all requests to freeze enrollment must be emailed or submitted in writing and confirmation from our office must be provided in order for it to be active. 

These classes can only be transferred as a consecutive group of classes and any difference in cost must be paid if moving to attend a more expensive class.  For instance, prorated single theater classes and gymnastic classes are more expensive than dance, so if you are applying frozen dance classes you are charged the added amount for those.

In addition to being transferred as a group frozen classes must be applied to another session.  The balance of the session must be paid for when frozen classes are used. For example, if you have six frozen classes you can apply them to a new 10 week session and then you must pay for the remaining four in the session. If you have more frozen classes than remain in a current session, you may use them to complete the session and the remaining can be applied to another session's registration.  For example, if you have six remaining classes and you would like to register for the last four classes of the session you may do so.  The remaining two classes must be used towards a full or half session enrollment as offered.  Frozen enrollment classes can not be used for drop in classes.

Frozen enrollment can not be turned into a credit for merchandise purchases. There is no expiration on these frozen classes.  It is not possible to retroactively freeze an enrollment.  Classes missed prior to notification cannot be made up.  Frozen enrollment is non-transferable to other family members or friends.

LITTLE THEATER OPTIONS (AGES 4-8) AFTER EARLY WITHDRAWL

Before the first class: Inform us in writing at least 72 hours before the start of class and you can get frozen enrollment for the number of classes in the session that can be used for dance or theater.  This is treated as an even exchange class for class and the difference in cost is not credited (i.e.: 14 theater classes = 14 dance classes regardless of difference in cost)

Less than 72 hours before the start of class and BEFORE scripts are emailed out: Your child may drop theater if we are notified by the day after the first class, before scripts are emailed out and receive an  exchange of class option.  There are NO CREDITS, REFUNDS, or FROZEN ENROLLMENT options in this situation This is because there is no opportunity for us to fill that spot once the class starts.  Your child may, however, transfer to a dance class during the same semester.  This is treated as an even exchange and the difference in cost is not credited.

After the first class AFTER scripts are emailed out: If your child drops out after scripts have been emailed, there are NO REFUNDS, CREDITS, FROZEN ENROLLMENT or EXCHANGES.  It is challenging to re-write scripts and rehearse with new lines when a cast member drops out..

MUSICAL THEATER OPTIONS  FOR  YOUTH & TWEEN/TEEN CASTS AFTER EARLY WITHDRAWL

Before the first class: There are NO REFUNDS, CREDIT, OR FROZEN ENROLLMENT OPTIONS unless your spot gets filled prior to the first class. Ask us to check our waitlist.  A $25 administrative fee is deducted from your refund if a replacement is found.

After the first class: Once your child signs up for the show, s/he is signed up for the entire play from beginning to end. If a child is having second thoughts, we ask that you encourage your child to participate and finish the show. It is challenging to re-write scripts and rehearse with new lines when a cast member drops out.  If a child drops out after the first class, there are NO REFUNDS, CREDIT, OR FROZEN ENROLLMENT OPTIONS.

SCHOOL SITE MUSICAL THEATER REFUNDS

Your child may drop theater and receive a refund if we are notified by the day after the first class, before scripts are emailed out. There are no NO REFUNDS, CREDITS, or EXCHANGES otherwise.

ILLNESS         

If your child is ill, please keep them home and schedule a make up class. It is especially important to wait 24 hours after a fever to attend a class.   Those with active coughing and excessive mucus should also stay home.

WATCHING YOUR CHILD IN CLASS    

Parents love to watch their children and younger children often are more comfortable with parents near them, however the flow of the class often gets disrupted by dancers checking in with their parents and the overall quality of the class deteriorates. In addition, some dancers become more self conscious in front of an audience and we want to give them the freedom to feel comfortable in class. Our way of “meeting in the middle” is to provide flat screen TV for parents to watch dancers from the lobby.

Our Oakland facility has two studios. The front studio, Studio A, has a screen in the front lobby. The back studio, Studio B, has a screen in the back hallway and in our upstairs lobby. During school days, the upstairs lobby is closed as it is used by our after school program.

WHAT IF MY CHILD REALLY NEEDS ME IN CLASS?      

Our Creative Movement classes are designed just for this reason. Parents are allowed in the class, but don’t fully participate as they would in a Parent & Me class. If your child is new to classes with us, is Pre-ballet aged and tentative, we allow you to come in for the first couple of classes. If you child is still uncomfortable without you after that time, staff will brainstorm options with you.

CHECKING-IN

When you arrive for your dance class, you can check-in using the i-pads located near each entrance. Follow the directions posted. If it is not working for you, we appreciate letting our staff know.

LATE PICK UP

We are not in a position to properly supervise a child after class is dismissed and it is often very stressful for younger children. We reserve the right to charge you $1/minute for every minute after dismissal if you are not present.

ENTERING THE DANCE STUDIO

Class begins when students are invited into the dance room by their instructor. Please do not allow your child to enter the studio before that time.

POTTY NEEDS DURING DANCE CLASS

Please make every effort to have your child use the restroom before class. It is disruptive to class when a restroom break is needed – usually it has a domino effect. Sometimes it can’t be helped, though. If your child needs to use the restroom during class, they should tell their teacher and they will be directed to the restroom. If they can’t do this independently, please sit outside of the studio so that you can be called to assist your child.

If your child happens to have an accident, we ask that you address your child’s needs and if possible, help us clean the floor.

PLAYGROUND USE

Our playground is located in the rear of our Oakland facility and is for the sole use of our customers. Enter in the Patterson St. gate using the code provided by the office staff. Please be discrete when using the code and don’t allow unaccompanied children to enter with you. All children, regardless of age must be actively supervised by an adult. Use of the playground is at your own risk.

HOURS AVAILABLE:

Mon-Friday 9:00-3:00   (closed for after school program students only)                           Weekends 9:00-6:00