Set Your School Apart.

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1 Set Your School Apart. Have Creative Kids Playhouse produce a full length musical production, complete with music, costumes, lights, big dance numbers and memories to treasure for a lifetime. Directed by professionals in drama, dance and voice, who meet your students at their own individual level and encourage them to grow in a fun and supportive environment. Creative Kids Playhouse Children s Theatre of Orange County believes that every child deserves a moment in the spotlight. What s more, every child can benefit from their moment in the spotlight. Confidence, memorization, team work, communication and public speaking skills are developed in theater. These skills will pay dividends throughout their life. We are an education-based theater. We believe that every member of the cast is important, and every part creates an opportunity for the child to grow, as well as for them to steal the show. Our Directors are highly qualified, organized and loving. Every rehearsal is designed to be fun. Kids come away from our programs having had a fun, rewarding, and accomplishment-filled experience. 1

2 SCHOOL MUSICAL INFORMATION Course Description: Children will be trained by musical theater professionals in drama, dance, and voice as they rehearse for this production. There is a focus on education, teamwork, and fun in all Creative Kids Playhouse productions. We create a safe and encouraging environment for children to challenge themselves. What happens during auditions for Elementary Schools? Auditions for Creative Kids Playhouse Elementary School Productions take place during the first class meeting. No experience or preparation is necessary to audition. Auditions have three parts: Dancing, Singing, and Acting. For the dance portion, actors are taught a simple dance that will be performed in the show, then broken into groups of 8-10 to perform the dance, with an instructor dancing in front of them for reference. For the singing part, in groups of ten and then one at a time actors are asked to sing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. For the acting portion, the actors are given a very simple line or two to memorize and then perform. The directors are looking for volume, confidence and personality in each of these parts of the audition. In the acting portion, directors are also looking for the ability of the child to react to their partner. Students are assigned an audition number that they wear throughout the audition to ensure that we don t miss anyone. Auditions are filmed, and the director reviews the film later. If there is time at the end of the audition, a song from the show will be taught. The director carefully casts each child in a role that will be fun and challenging, yet not stressful. If the actor has been in previous Creative Kids Playhouse production, the director takes into consideration the previous roles the actor has played, and tries to select a role that will challenge the actor in a new way. What happens during auditions for Junior High & High Schools? Auditions for Creative Kids Playhouse Excalibur Players (grades 6-12) Productions take place during the first class meeting. Preparation is highly recommended, show specific information can be posted on our website with audition materials. First, a short dance is taught to the entire group, then they perform it for each other in small groups. Every student is asked to be prepared with the piano sheet music and 16 bars of a musical theater, or musical theater style song. Students will be asked to slate, introducing themselves, their song, and singing. Next, sides from the show are passed out, students read and act from the sides. The sides can be made available ahead of time so that auditioners can review them, thus demonstrating their acting ability more than their reading ability at auditions. Auditions are not private, students audition in front of the group and must plan to stay for the duration of the allotted time. CKP does offer Musical Theater Audition Workshops annually to the general public if students are interested in being very prepared. It is possible to have a workshop offered at your school ahead of time. 2

3 What happens during rehearsals? During rehearsals actors are broken into groups to learn their songs, dances, lines and blocking. Every minute of their time during every regular rehearsal is utilized. The voice coach may take one individual or group of children aside to work on solos, while the dance coach teaches or rehearses a different group s dance. Simultaneously the director may be working out the blocking with a different group, and often another assistant is rehearsing lines with an individual or group. We emphasize personal achievement, supporting and encouraging your cast mates, and team work. At the end of nearly every rehearsal the actors re-group and perform for each other the parts of the show that their group rehearsed that day. Groups are assigned based on who is in the scenes or what dance numbers are being rehearsed that day. Once the entire show has been taught to the children, the director will begin running the show in order to see how each of the pieces fits together. Since we have 3-5 instructors at each regular rehearsal, the children are never sitting around. So much small group instruction is accomplished in each 90 minute rehearsal that missing one of our rehearsals is equivalent to missing three rehearsals of a production with a more traditional staff size. What happens during called rehearsals? Called rehearsals are blocks of time that only children in specific lead roles are asked to attend, and are generally only planned when Broadway Scripts are selected by the school. The Director may want to work on acting particular scenes, or have a voice coach attend to work on particular songs with specific performers. If there is a particular group who needs more attention, the director may ask them to attend some or all of a called rehearsal. These called rehearsals should be scheduled during the last half of the rehearsal schedule, on a different day than the regular rehearsals. 1. Parent Volunteers: We recommend having the following key volunteer positions: Drama Chair our main point of contact, who organizes remaining volunteers and obtains all registration information, room reservations and performance venue. Organize ticket sales. 2. Costume Mistress makes sure everyone has a costume that fits, organizes costumes throughout the process, is responsible for any costumes rented from Creative Kids Playhouse and makes sure that all costumes are returned in a timely manner. Creative Kids Playhouse owns over 3000 costume pieces. Costumes may be rented from CKP for $17 each (includes cleaning fee). This is a head-to-toe price, the price is the same if the actor rents one skirt, or an entire ensemble including cap, vest, cape, gloves, knickers, etc. For the production Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, our costumes can probably meet 90% of your costume needs, possibly more, depending on what you are looking for. If you decide to use our costumes, a CKP staff member will be available to assist you in advising what to select and how to achieve the look that you want. 3

4 3. Sewing Volunteer available to make costume adjustments & embellishments. If embellishments are made to costumes rented from CKP, they must be removed prior to returning the costumes. 4. Set Load-in and Load-out Chair Is responsible for getting the sets to and from the theater. Will supervise a crew of parents to load up a truck or trucks with the sets, unpack and assemble them at the theater, then disassemble, pack and load them into the truck and unload them as well. Sets may be rented from CKP. 5. Set & Prop Designer - Set Designer must have approval from CKP for all sets that will be used in the performance, to make sure that sets will work with the Director and Stage Manager s requirements. CKP owns a warehouse full of sets that we rent for very reasonable prices, typically $ per show, depending on which pieces that you need. Any embellishments made to sets rented from CKP must be removed prior to returning the sets. A CKP Staff Set Designer can be available to advise your school s Set Designer on what CKP owns and different ways to embellish the CKP sets to achieve different looks. 6. Photography not required, but it is nice to have group photos of the actors in the show program, and head shots displayed outside the venue. Having headshots outside the venue really makes the kids feel special. These photos should be taken outside of rehearsal time and at least a month before the show. 7. Set Crew a team of 6-8 responsible students committed to attending every minute of every show week event, to be supervised by a CKP Stage Manager. 8. Hair and Makeup Design One parent should be responsible for creating a hair & makeup plan for the cast. If facepaint or special makeup is required, the school is responsible for providing it. 9. Show Weekend Volunteers - If the family of each performer has one adult volunteer in some capacity for approximately 3 hours during show weekend, all volunteer needs should be met. Jobs typically include: green room supervisors, costume check-in/check-out, photography during dress rehearsal, snack bar, hair and makeup helper, ticket takers/ushers, house manager, set load-in and load-out, box office duties. Volunteer duties often mean that there will be one performance that the volunteer does not get to watch. Several parent helpers are needed during dress rehearsal. The Drama Chair will organize volunteers. The CKP Project Manager can advise on show weekend needs if necessary. 10. Venue Coordinator makes all rehearsal and performance reservations. If your school plans to perform in a gym with a stage, or an MPR, Venue coordinator is responsible for making sure chairs are set up, windows blacked out, emergency lights are disabled, any stage extensions are assembled, any additional lighting or spotlights are rented, etc. Parent Meeting. Within the first few weeks of rehearsals, but after everyone has been assigned a part, Creative Kids Playhouse staff & Drama Chairs should meet with the parents to explain to the parents what to expect during the program. Volunteer sign-up sheets should be out for people to complete, are available for Q & A. A second parent meeting should be scheduled within a month of the performance to make sure that everyone has the same expectations of what will happen during show weekend. All parent meetings should be mandatory. This is key to having a smooth show weekend. 4

5 Participation Agreements Creative Kids Playhouse requires all participants to sign a Participation Agreement. The Participation agreement asks for a commitment from the students to have high standards of behavior, an agreement from the parents that if their child has behavior issues the parent will attend rehearsals with their child to address their child s discipline as to not take teaching time away from the rest of the cast, and a photo/video release. Special Needs Children Creative Kids Playhouse welcomes students with special needs! We mean it when we say that EVERY child deserves a moment in the spotlight, and we have several regular customers with special needs. It is extremely helpful, particularly with choreography, if we are informed as early as possible of any accommodations (wheelchair or otherwise) that we may need to make. For students who participate in special day classes (very high student/teacher ratio) or require an aide in school situations, the parent or your school will be expected to provide an aide for the child during every rehearsal and performance, and communicate regularly with the Director about the child s needs and how to best approach the situation so that the child can have a great experience. CKP staff loves every student, and while they will do their best, they do not have the specialized training that is necessary in order to give every special needs student the experience that they deserve. 5

6 What Sets Creative Kids Playhouse Children s Theatre of Orange County apart? Well trained staff who work well together. We cast each team of teachers as carefully as we cast each show, ensuring that you have an excellent balance of expertise in drama, dance, and voice. Staff is trained in CKP core values, they have a particular mission to make sure that every child in the play has an excellent experience, ideally stretching the performer to do more than the child thought they were capable of, but not pushing the children so much that they are stressed. There is an emphasis on making every performer feel valued, and creating a fun, encouraging atmosphere where kids feel comfortable taking creative risks. High teacher/student ratio. The Director is open to ideas from the team. Our directors are trained with the mindset that there are never too many ideas, that there are always several ways to solve a problem. Assistant Directors, and even the actors, are invited to contribute ideas to character development and blocking. The Director does have the final say. The traditional theatrical approach of the production being a specific representation of only exactly what the Director has in mind is NOT embraced by Creative Kids Playhouse. We believe that this results in a better show, and a better experience for each individual child. Lesson Plans for rehearsal is completely outlined prior to starting the rehearsal process. This results in a very organized schedule, parents are aware of every single time commitment prior to auditioning. Lesson plans are designed to respect the children s time. Kids are learning and rehearsing during every moment of the rehearsal. The high teacher-student ratio enables the cast to break into groups and have a lot of individualized education. We create an environment where the kids feel very safe. The teachers do not yell, and do their best to understand the children s point of view. Kids have great ideas, and we respect that fact. We create a safe environment for the performers to push themselves and try new things. At Creative Kids Playhouse, kids can make mistakes and be applauded by the instructors for taking the chance rather than being judged for it not working out. This is critical in order to nurture their creativity, and results in a lot of personal pride and ownership of the show by the performers. We set kids up for success. We carefully select scripts with music in the range that they can sing, we choreograph so that they can nail it, and we block the show in a way that they will really entertain the audience and feel successful. We are known to re-work the music so that it is in a proper key for a performer. If a solo song is particularly long, we may consider reworking it into more of a production number. We make sure that ALL of the actors on stage have something relevant to do, the audience always has more to look at than just the actor who is saying their lines. In production numbers, we frequently set aside different lines of the song for an individual or small group of ensemble actors to sing alone, giving more kids chances to be featured in the show. 6

7 Parent Communication Customer communication is a key part of the success of CKP programs, and the most important job of the school s Drama Chair. The director will an update for the School Drama Chair to forward to the parents at least every two weeks to express what we are working on and what should be worked on at home. The Director will plan to stay for 15 minutes after each rehearsal to answer any questions that parents may have. Your school s cast will have its own section on the Parent Info page of our website, where the director will post links to choreography of the show so that the children can rehearse at home, rehearsal schedule, notes on what MUST be memorized by when, costume information, volunteer lists, and more. Your school/creative Kids Playhouse Communication A Creative Kids Playhouse Project Manager will be assigned to your production. This project manager is available by phone or , and is willing to meet with you as often as every three weeks to make sure that everything is on track. The Project Manager will plan to attend one parent meeting, auditions, tech rehearsal, dress rehearsal and opening night, and is open to presenting the proposal at your PTA meetings. 7

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