Frequently Asked Questions
It's been awhile since we posted and I wanted to touch on some questions and topics that are brought up often. Since we just wrapped our biggest show to date with 74 kids, my mind is filled with thoughts and ideas of how to improve, how to grow, and how to communicate better with all of you. So below you'll find questions and topics that I think are important or that you've shown me are important. Feel free to ask anything you'd like in the comments, we'd love to get your feedback...
1. How Do We Pick Shows?
I'm always trying to stay relevant or "hip," I want the kids to stay interested and invested in whatever show or camp we're doing at the time, that's where I start. I ask my students what movies they like, what shows they're watching on tv and what music they're listening to. From there, I try to determine whether or not we can double cast a role or even two to give more than one student a chance to shine and how many roles are in the show. With 74 kids and the promise of everyone having a speaking part, it's important to make sure there are multiple roles for various ability levels.
2. Why Do We Do Two Performances?
As a performer myself, I was always disappointed when I devoted months and months to learning a part, practicing dance steps, and committing my time to a show that only had one performance; so as we began to grow, I felt it was important to offer students two performances. Having two performances allows the kids to get their jitters out on the first show and by the second show they're getting comfortable and really learning how to perform. In a dream world, we'd run for one or two weekends with 6 or 7 shows (our plan for future shows, separate from city classes). We also want to give families multiple chances to see the show, just in case grandma can't come on one night, she has another opportunity.
3. Why Do We Charge For Tickets?
When we first began teaching through the city, we didn't charge for tickets because we performed in the classroom we taught in, but once we were big enough to rent a theater we had to start charging for tickets. Ticket prices pay for the theater rental. Renting a theater includes renting chairs, a backdrop, sound technicians, as well as the actual theater itself for four days. When we do camps, we do not charge for tickets because we're performing in the classroom, not in a theater.
4. Why Is My Child Not Getting Bigger Parts?
I have done an entire blog post about this because it's one of the questions I get asked the most often. Click HERE for that post. But I will give you the jist of my reasoning...
To Be A Lead...You Have To Be A Leader
1. Your child can not get a lead role or a bigger part unless they are capable of learning a small part.
Often times, we will cast a child in a smaller role when they're new to the company to see how they do. Sometimes the child shines and they have their line memorized in no time at all... other times, they don't learn their part at all or they don't learn it until the last minute. Not learning a small line shows us they either aren't ready or don't want a bigger part in the future.
2. Your child isn't interested or behaving in class.
With a class of 20-30 kids, it's imperative that the students who are playing lead roles are capable of "taking care of themselves." The students who play lead roles can get on and off stage without anyone prompting them, they help younger kids, they're ready and willing to help or perform whenever needed. If your child is uninterested or disruptive in the classroom we simply can not trust them to handle a lead role.
5. Explain Your Class Pricing...
The cost for our class/camp is $150 - $155, not including ticket prices (for a large production). This cost includes all classes, a script, cd and a costume rental fee (or t-shirt for camp, it also includes a pizza party for camps.). A large percentage of this tuition goes back to the city as well for renting the classroom, being included in their city catalog and other pertinent costs. Other local children's theaters charge upwards of $400 for classes, along with multiple large extra fees for auditions, scripts and costumes; these theaters also require a certain amount of ticket sales whereas TCA doesn't require any ticket sales at all. We feel we are the best priced children's theater in town and we've done a lot of research.
6. How Do I Get More Involved?
As we grow, we need so many helpers! TCA is a non-profit which means we're doing this because we love it... so we need volunteers desperately. So many parents stepped up this session and helped; we had no idea what we were missing. We hope all of you will help us in future shows. As of now, we don't require volunteer hours like other local theaters because we want you to want to help!
7. Why Don't You Offer More Classes? More Shows?
Theatre for me, has always been the love of my life. It has brought me so much joy but it's brought me that joy because I haven't over saturated myself with it and I don't want to do that to you or your kids. We offer two "BIG" shows a year one in the spring and one in the fall, two to three week long summer camps, an OC Fair Performance Group and a Mission Inn Performance Group. As we grow, we will begin to offer more... when we get our own space we plan to add audition only shows, where it's not a class but a show where kids audition to get in, as well as dance, acting, makeup and music classes.
8. Why Should I Choose TCA?
Another question I've dedicated a whole blog post to.... check it out HERE.
Thank you for taking the time to read this, I hope I've answered some questions you may have had and again, feel free to ask more. We are always willing to learn, to adapt and we want to serve you and your families to the best of our ability!