Frequently Asked Questions for Muncie Civic Youth

What is the Muncie Civic Theatre Youth program?

  • The Muncie Civic Theatre mission is to enrich our whole community through theatre performance, education, and outreach.  As part of the Muncie Civic Theatre, the Muncie Civic Theatre Youth program strives to provide quality theatre education programming for youth in kindergarten through 12th grade.  Our programming is collaborative and inclusive with a specific curriculum designed to teach acting, dancing, singing, interpersonal communication, and teamwork skills at an age-appropriate level.

Why is there a cost to participating in the program?

  • Muncie Civic Theatre is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization.  All productions “cost” money including youth productions. Your tuition fees help to cover all kinds of costs associated with the program.

What does my Tuition Cover?

Your tuition helps to cover the costs of:

  • Rental rights for the production
  • Theatre education lessons during the rehearsal process.  Students don’t just “Put on a show”; they learn all about theatre while gaining valuable life skills.
  • 4 ticket vouchers to be redeemed for tickets for the production for which your child is registered.  For families with more than one participant, you will receive 4 ticket vouchers per child registered.
  • A production t-shirt
  • A script
  • Production music
  • Production photos (access given to digital files linked to a Facebook page)

Does my child have to audition to participate as a performer?

  • If your child is in 3rd grade and above, students go through an audition process, but we do our best to accommodate those that are new to the stage and nervous about the process.
  • If your child is in Kindergarten – second grade, they participate in games and engaging theatrical exercises that help the production team see where best to place your child during the production in which they are registered.

If my child auditions, what do they need to prepare?

  • Our audition process includes singing, dancing and reading through part of a scene from the production for which your child is auditioning. Please note that if the production is a play, there is no dancing or singing, unless noted.
  • Sheet music excerpts, and sides (a part of the script for the audition) will be posted on our education page at least two weeks prior to the audition.  
  • For Act II productions, a video of the choreography portion may be linked as well.
  • Students are encouraged, but not required, to learn the music, sides and dancing that pertains to them, prior to auditions.

What can I expect when I come to auditions?

  • Auditions will start promptly at the stated time, so arriving at least 10 minutes early is a good idea.
  • Typically the performers will be divided into two groups.  One group learns music (from the music provided for the auditions ahead of time) and sings for the Music Director, while the other group goes through scenes (from those provided ahead of time) with the Director(s).
  • The groups then switch places giving all students auditioning the opportunity to do both: sing music and read through the scenes.  
  • All student actors learn a dance selection and dance in groups for the production team and/or choreographer.
  • Typically some student actors will be asked to sing for the production team.  This is a process that allows for the directors to “hear” from specific students again and may not apply to all students auditioning.
  • The production team meets to select a “call back list” (while students are engaged in activities).
  • The list is verbally announced and student actors, who are not called, will be further engaged in rehearsal activities or free to go home, depending on their age group or needs of the production.
    • Specific audition schedule information will be sent to the email(s) provided at the point of registration prior to auditions.
  • “Called back” student actors go over other materials that may not be on the website ahead of time, in order to see more of those actors.  
  • A cast list will be emailed  by the Tuesday evening before the 1st rehearsal.  All communication is sent to the email(s) provided at the point of registration.

What does it mean to be “called back”?

  • A production team develops a “call back list” that consists of students from which they have determined they need more “information”.  That “information” could include more singing to determine vocal range, more acting to help with characterization or chemistry with other actors, or more specific choreography.  Performers may feel like not getting a call back means that they will not get a specific role, but this is not necessarily the case. Directors are “casting” throughout the process and may have already determined a role for a student and therefore do not need to call him/her back.  

Can I stay and watch my child audition?

  • Yes, but it is not “required” that parents or guardians stay.  We ask that parents/guardians who are not a part of the production team/volunteer team observe from our balcony.  This helps us keep track of our students and volunteers. It also helps the performers not be as nervous.
  • Please be aware that auditions may take place in several locations throughout the theatre and you likely will not have the ability to move with your child throughout the process.  

Will my child be “cut” from the cast?

  • Our program is educational, so all students who are registered in our Prelude, Act I, and Act II youth productions will be cast into the show they register for.
  • The only exception is our Encore program which is an advanced part of our youth program.

When are rehearsals?

  • Rehearsals  are typically the Saturday directly following auditions (Prelude rehearsals start the same day as Act I auditions) and continue every Saturday until the week of performances unless otherwise stated.
  • Tech week rehearsals typically start on the Monday following the last Saturday rehearsal with the last Tech rehearsal Thursday evening.
  • Summer camp rehearsals differ as they take place during the weekdays (daily for two weeks).

What do the kids do during all that rehearsal time?

  • Depending on the age of the performer, rehearsal times may last between four and six hours.  That can seem like a long day! However, due to the limited amount of time to put on the production and learn bunches in the process, participants are kept busy throughout the entire rehearsal process.
  • Our Muncie Civic Theatre Youth program has a very specific curriculum that includes dancing, singing, and acting.  But it also includes opportunities to develop some very important life skills: public speaking, making eye contact, working with teams, developing leadership skills, developing effective communication skills, building confidence, and more!
  • Rehearsals may include theatre educational games and learning all the music, choreography, blocking and lines for the actual production.
  • We strategically place breaks and fun activities into the rehearsals, but the kids are busy all day long.  

What about missing rehearsals? My child has other commitments.

  • We understand that children keep busy schedules, but in order to be fair to the entire cast and still have a production that is cohesive, we ask that students miss no more than two full rehearsals.  This is “counted” in hours. For example, if a child is two hours late and the rehearsals are four hours per day, they have six hours remaining that they can miss.
  • Please note that we ask that students do not attend rehearsals if they are sick.  Illnesses can spread through a cast quickly and impact the quality of a production.
  • Tech Week rehearsals are required, baring illness or emergency.  

What about Costumes and makeup?

  • Parents are responsible for making sure their child has the appropriate costume.  Costume costs are not covered with tuition. However, we provide the parents with a detailed list of needs for their child with pictures and links of optional purchasable items.  
  • A costume list is sent to parents by the 3rd rehearsal (4th rehearsal for Prelude)
  • When needed, we try to provide parent “work days” to help parents create parts to their child’s costume.
  • Many items can be found at second-hand stores and embellished if needed.
  • We ask parents to provide basic stage makeup (foundation, mascara, eyeliner and lipstick and makeup wipes in a marked bag) for their child to use during tech week and performances.  Many of these items may be purchased at the dollar store if needed. We recommend that students do not “share” makeup, hair accessories, or combs/hair brushes.
  • For shows with difficult face makeup (animal shows or fairy tales etc.) extra makeup and face paint may be provided.
  • Directors will be clear on what your child needs for hair and makeup prior to Tech Week.

What is Tech Week?

  • Tech Week is the week prior to the performance(s) where we have nightly rehearsals and begin to add all the elements to the show: lights, sound, props, costumes, makeup, and set.  
  • There are many elements that have to bejust right” for the show to go on, and each actor has to be a part in order to know “where to go when.” This is essential to having a safe and productive production.  
  • Dress rehearsals, with costumes and makeup, are a part of this process as well.  
  • Tech rehearsals are Monday – Thursday evenings, usually beginning at 5:30 and ending at times depending on the age of the actors.
  • Students should arrive fed and ready to go.
  • This is an exciting, yet exhausting week.  So we suggest you try not to schedule other activities throughout this week, including the performance weekend.  

What should I expect for the Performance Weekend?

  • Performances are Friday at 7:00, Saturday at 2:30, Saturday at 7:00 and Sunday at 2:30. 
  • Actors are typically “called” two hours beforehand to get ready.  However, call times may vary per production, so watch your email during that time.
  • Students stay after their last performance to help “strike” the set.  (Tear down the set and clean up after themselves).  Students will be placed into groups, and will help get the area (stage, dressing rooms, theatre) ready for the next set of actors.
  • The cast party usually follows strike.
  • Parents are welcome to help!  In fact, we always need help from adults tearing down the set.  
  • After strike, students are free to go, but are welcome to attend the cast party.  
  • It is typically at the theatre with pizza.  An email comes a bit before tech week asking for food items, potluck style, to go with the pizza for the actor’s dinner.
  • By Sunday evening, students say goodbye.  

Can I Volunteer?

  • Yes! We as a not-for-profit organization, love our volunteers!
  • We have volunteers that offer all different areas of expertise.  Our volunteers may work directly with the student performers, assist parents and guardians (sign in/out), work “behind the scenes” during the rehearsal process, help with costume creation, lend hands with set construction (and tearing down the set), and more!
  • We ask that those who wish to help with students attend a one-time mentor training prior to working with our student actors. These trainings will be offered before each production begins.

Is Summer Camp the same?

  • The Summer Camps are similar to our fall/spring productions but have more of a “camp” feel and schedule.  
  • Summer camps take place during weekdays (daily for two weeks).
  • Prelude and Act I students may have camp “counselors” and be assigned to small groups throughout the time.  
  • Rehearsals may have a different start and end time, but still go the allotted 4 or 6 hours, depending on their age group.
  • Our performance schedule is typically the same as throughout the year.  

Can my child participate if he/she has an intellectual or physical disability?

  • Yes. The Muncie Civic Youth program is an inclusive experience for children.  We have many participants with all different kinds of abilities. Questions specific to your situation should be directed to the Education Director at: amy@munciecivic.org.
  • Additionally, Muncie Civic Theatre has a 10-week drama therapy program offered in the Fall season intended to support children with ID/DD/ASD diagnoses through expressive arts and drama therapy techniques.  The program, Barrier-Free Theatre Kids (ages 8-13), incorporates puppetry, role-play, stories, songs, and dance to enhance social-emotional skills. The program culminates with children sharing their creative abilities with family and friends.  More information about the Barrier-Free Theatre Kids program (or adult program) can be found online at munciecivic.org/outreach/barrier-free/.

My child has been in many stage productions.  Is there another theatre experience you recommend?

  • Our Muncie Civic Youth program has students involved with all levels of experience.  Some of our students are doing a show for the first time. Others may have been in 20 other shows (or more!).  The program is designed to fit the needs of all different “levels” of students.
  • Some of the Muncie Civic Theatre mainstage and studio shows may cast children.  Audition information for these shows are listed online (munciecivic.org/participate) and include age ranges for particular roles.  Please note that the mainstage and studio show experiences are very different from the youth program.

What is the difference between mainstage shows, studio shows and youth theatre?  

  • Mainstage and studio shows are cast through an audition process. In most cases, not everyone who auditions will be cast.
  • Some mainstage and studio shows may have roles for children, but many do not.  And sometimes characters that are children may be played by young adults.  
  • Lead roles are cast near the age ranges posted online (for example, Ariel had to be 17 years old or older for the mainstage production of The Little Mermaid).
  • The process for mainstage and studio shows is more intense than youth theatre.  Rehearsals are usually Monday – Thursday from 6:30-9:30 p.m. or later.  Tech Week is also longer in  duration, days and time.
  • Actors are expected to learn material (lines, dances, and music) at home and come ready to rehearse at rehearsals.  
  • Acting, singing and some movement skills are needed.
  • Actors are expected to behave at all times and rehearsals can have long amounts of down time while waiting for specific scenes to rehearse.
    • Directors try to reduce the downtime, but in mainstage or studio theatre, it cannot always be avoided.
    • In contrast, youth theatre has almost every moment of rehearsal filled with rehearsing, fun educational opportunities and theatrical games.  Down time is minimal and rehearsal lengths are geared to age level.  
  • Actors learn through the process, but there is no educational element or specified curriculum to these productions.  The focus is on presenting the best production possible.  
  • Show performances run for approximately three weekends.  It’s a wonderful experience, but expect to be immersed in theatre for at least 6-8 weeks.
  • There is no tuition, but tickets need to be purchased to see the show.  

Can my child be involved in the Muncie Civic Youth program without being a performer?

  • The theatre is not just about performers. Each production will need volunteers that are not performers: stage managers, directors, costume designers, makeup and hair designers, set designers, lighting/sound designers, and more!  Please contact our Education Director at amy@munciecivic.org to discuss how your child can get involved in these areas.
  • Many of our older youth volunteer to help with Prelude and Act I productions as mentors.  This is a great opportunity for those people that love working with children and want to develop strong interpersonal communication and leadership skills.
  • We ask that those who wish to help with students attend a one-time mentor training prior to working with our student actors. These trainings will be offered before each production begins.

How can I donate to the Muncie Civic Youth program?

  • Please contact Business Manage, Nick Fatout at nick@munciecivic.org or (765) 288-7529 to discuss donating to the Muncie Civic Youth program.
  • Thank you for considering our program!

 

If you have any more questions, please feel free to contact our Education Director at: amy@munciecivic.org

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