Why do you limit your class size?
You can have too much of a good thing! It has been our experience that programs that enroll a large number of kids in their classes are also the ones in which children have the least fun and are the least involved and engaged. When there are too many participants, oftentimes there can be too little for some "characters" to do in class and then, consequently, on stage. Therefore, in order to ensure that all our participants have a significant amount of material to learn and perform, we keep our class numbers to a very reasonable size. There truly are no small roles in our productions. Furthermore, with fewer numbers, we can focus more effectively on characterization and detail, ultimately creating a more polished performance. By focusing on what is best for the kids', we believe we are creating a superior learning environment and a better all around program.
How do you decide what part my child will play in the show?
Every child who signs up with Broadway North is accepted into the program. At the beginning of each session we hold singing and acting auditions (and dancing auditions, if necessary) to determine whose abilities are best suited to what role in the play. We make sure to introduce all audition material to the participants before we hold these auditions and we help them properly prepare by going over the required song and lines and by giving them pointers and tips as to what constitutes a really good audition. Parts will be handed out following this process and we immediately begin learning the show! All participants will receive a script, a rehearsal disc and sheet music for the musical numbers in which they will be involved.
What if my child is more comfortable in one discipline than another (singing, dancing, acting)? How might this affect their role?
In a musical, there is little doubt that the singing and acting components often go hand in hand. However, there are often many parts available that involve no singing or minimal singing just as there are parts that may have more singing and less acting lines. We always attempt to place each child in a role that will show off their strengths while still giving them ample opportunity to participate in all elements of the musical so they can gradually feel more secure and gain experience and confidence in all aspects of the performance. We DO offer private acting and singing lessons for the child whose parents may wish for them to improve their skills in a more intimate, focused and intensive environment.
What should my child bring to rehearsals?
Each participant should come to every rehearsal with their script and a pencil. You may pack a non-messy, peanut free snack as we try and give a short break during rehearsals. Make sure they wear comfortable, easy to move-in clothing and proper footwear such as sneakers, dance shoes or walking shoes. For safety and hygiene reasons, please DO NOT wear boots, open-toed sandals, flip-flops, bare feet or socks. In wet or snowy weather, please pack dry footwear in a separate bag so they can change.
WE HOPE TO HAVE COVERED MOST OF THE FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS WE ENCOUNTER. PLEASE DO NOT HESITATE TO EMAIL OR CALL US WITH ANY OTHER QUESTIONS YOU MAY HAVE.
Besides age, what is the main difference between the Young Performer's group and the Teen Troupe?
At Broadway North, we are trying to introduce elements to kids in stages. In Young Performer's, the kids learn a full two-act show, complete with acting, singing and dancing elements. In Teen, we continue to build on these skills but the material is often more mature and complex, with plays that take into account the age of the participants. We also feel that a larger theatre is now more appropriate for the musical theatre program and so we move into a larger venue, with more accoutrements, and introduce microphones to the students. We feel it is important for EVERY student to have a microphone, not just the lead singers and we make sure that everyone is fitted. The teen drama program continues to perform in the more intimate, smaller space.
How do you audition for parts in this program?
As with all our programs, your registration ensure that your child will participate in our rehearsals and final production. Unlike the young performer's program, however, wherein we rehearse and pre-prepare audition materials during the first class, participants in Teen Troupe will be sent audition material at least one week ahead of the commencement of the term. Several different vocal audition selections will be sent via email. These will be vocal/audio clips as well as a lyric sheet for each song. Each participant will select one song with which they feel the most comfortable and prepare that song for the in-class auditions which will take place during the first class of the term. Acting sides will be sent at the same time and participants are to become familiar ( memorization is NOT necessary ) with each scene sent.
Why does the class time increase during the last month of the program?
The size and scope of the plays often requires more rehearsal time closer to the completion of the program when we are polishing the show and doing full runs of each act. We want to make sure we have enough time to run the play AND address any elements that may need tweeking .
Are the final performances included in the registration fee?
Yes, your child's registration fee also covers the 2 fully staged, fully costumed performances. There is the possibility of adding a "school" show for your children's school friends to attend. This would mean that your child would need to take the morning off of school and will only be added if all parents agree to this extra performance. We will let you know far in advance if this a possibility to in order to find out your child's availability. We do charge an admission fee for family and friends to attend the evening performances. This is to help cover the cost of the theatre and the rental fee for all additional microphones not available at the theatre.
SUMMER CAMP: THEATRE AURORA
How is the day structured?
Duringthe course of our day, we will learn a complete musical from start to finish and get ready for a final , fully staged and costumed performance for family and friends which will take place at the end of our final day at camp!
Working in the theatre itself will give us a chance to start staging right away and participants will get a feel for the stage from the very first minute! Theatre Aurora is adjacent to a large, open field so part of each day will be spent outside in the fresh air, where we can just as easily work on the show, while enjoying the beautiful weather.
Please make sure that all children pack 2 snacks and a lunch!
What do you mean by specially adapted play?
We realize that many of the currently available musical theatre shows, as wonderful as they are, would just be too difficult for our little stars to manage. So, we take a well-known story and rewrite the script so that our young talents can really shine. We add some songs and easy dances and VOILA! A shorter, more age appropriate musical theatre play! We want to make sure that your child's first foray into theatre isn't overwhelmingly difficult...we want them to start with the basics of theatre such as learning their lines, learning songs and dances, and characterization, but the most important thing we want to show them is that theatre is FUN!
Does my child perform on a real stage?
Yes,! We believe it is important for every child in our programs to perform on a real stage! You child's program will culminate in one fully staged, fully costumed performance at the end of the session!
Is this performance included in the registration fee?
Yes it is. We do, however, charge a nomimal ticket fee for friends, family and other members of the public who may wish to see the Little Stars perform in the theatre.
Frequently asked questions
How do you choose your plays for Young Performers?
Very carefully! We want to make sure that all the plays we choose are totally age appropriate and we endeavour to remove any language or references that may be too "adult" from the script. Obviously, many of the plays that children perform were originally written FOR adults to play, so we do go over everything beforehand! We also try to choose plays that have a lot for all children to do, even though some parts will inevitably be larger than others. Utlimately, we try to find plays with tuneful, memorable music, lots of comedy and a happy ending. We also like to choose plays from different eras; some may be more contemporary and others from a time gone by.
What is the Kid's Stuff Page?
This page is exclusively for the Young Performers groups!! Sure, it's our main goal to teach music, lines and dancing and for your kids to put on an amazing show, but we also firmly believe that the best performers are those that are educated as well. The Fun Facts page will often have some really cool facts about theatre or, more specifically, your child's play. Oftentimes, there are explanations or interesting references about the events in and around the time their play was written or perhaps some little known facts about the show . The Mission page will be an "assignment" page. Each week, your child will be give a "mission"....sometimes it will be a brief in-class quiz about something on the Fun Facts page. Othertimes, it might be a research assignment. These "missions" help your child realize the importance of delving deeper into a show: finding out about a writer, or composer; doing a little checking into what was happening in the world at large at the time of the play. The best performers do this sort of preparation for a role or a show so we think it's a great thing to teach your child right from the start....it's something we hope will help them develop into more fully rounded artists. OH! And there are prizes, too! For those who do the best at their missions and for those who really excel in class!
Does my child's program fee include the performances?
Yes, it does. At the end of each session, your child will perform onstage in 2 fully staged, fully costumed performances. There is the possibility of adding a "school" show for your children's school friends to attend. This would mean that your child would need to take the morning off of school and will only be added if all parents agree to this extra performance. We will let you know far in advance if this a possibility in order to find out your child's availability. We do not use microphones in this age group as we believe that it is very important for performers at this stage of development to learn how to project their voice in a theatre without any mechanical aids. Therefore, the theatre we rent is smaller than the one we use for the Teen Troupe, and it perfectly allows for this kind of delivery. Although your child's performance is included in the registration fee, we do charge an admission fee for family and friends to attend the evening performances.