Summer Classes FAQs
What will my child be doing in class?
The foundation of all of our classes is building acting skills, and each class does this by incorporating activities that focus on the class theme. Please contact us if you’d like to see a sample lesson plan from a previous class for your child’s age group.
Why does my child come home saying they played games all day?
Theatre games are actually carefully designed exercises that help build concentration, confidence and cooperation, which are the building blocks of theatre education. While lots of fun, they are essential to the skill-building that goes on in any theatre program. That being said, theatre games are just one element of the comprehensive curriculum in our classes.
What are “theatre games”?
A theater game is an exercise, either physical or mental, designed to teach a skill that can be used on stage (and in real life, too!). There are countless different games that teach such skills as mental focus, ensemble, healthy vocal production, physical awareness, and emotional connection to your text. Through games students can learn advanced concepts and overcome personal hurdles while laughing and creating.
Do students bring lunch?
Students in all-day classes will need a sack lunch daily. There will not be access to a refrigerator or microwave. Please send water with your student each day.
What is your snack policy for all-day classes?
There are both morning and afternoon break times. Students are welcome to bring a snack from home, or can purchase snacks from our concession stand. All concession items are $1 and the concession stand is open during morning break, lunch and afternoon break.
What is your snack policy for half-day classes?
Please send your child with a snack and water each day for their mid-class break. Students in the half-day classes will not visit the concession stand on break.
What is the student to teacher ratio?
We pride ourselves on having the best student-teacher ratio of any theatre program in town! Each class has 2-3 teaching artists. Our MINIMUM ratios are 1:8 (4-6 half-day classes); 1:10 (all-day classes). Some classes also have teen or college student volunteers who have participated in our classes for many years, in addition to the two staff members.
Who will my child’s teacher be?
All of our teachers are professional actors and/or teaching artists with Childsplay. Bios of your child’s teachers (including education, and both theatre and teaching experience) will be sent out with your class confirmation 10 days prior to the start of class. Most of our teaching artists have been with Childsplay for more than three years, and several for more than 20 years! Everyone employed by Childsplay has undergone a background check and has a current Arizona Fingerprint Clearance Card.
What if my child needs to miss all or part of a class?
Attendance and punctuality are of the utmost importance in theatre classes! Because we are training students to work together as an ensemble to create one piece of work together, it is essential that everyone be present at all times. Please be sure to check vacation schedules before registering for class.
What is the morning drop-off procedure?
On the first day of class, all students need to be signed in by a parent or guardian. After that, parents can make the decision whether they prefer to park and walk their students to the classroom door, or pull up in front and drop students off. Teachers will be in the classrooms 10 minutes prior to the start of class, so please do not drop off students prior to 9:20. Students enrolled in AM Extended Care or 4-6 Half-day classes need to be walked to the classroom each morning.
What is the afternoon pick-up procedure?
Students in Theme classes for 4-6 or 6-9 will need to be signed out of the classroom by a caregiver. Students in 8-12 theme classes or musical marthaons will be walked out to the front of the building at the end of class by teachers, who will wait with students until they are picked up. If you have concerns about pick-up, please speak to your student’s teacher directly. It is essential that parents pick their students up on time at the end of class. Late pick-ups will result in the charge of $30 for the PM Extended Care fee.
What about campus supervision?
There are at least two teaching artists in each classroom. Students will go to the restroom as a class under the supervision of their teachers (there is a single restroom attached to the 4-6 classroom for emergencies). Lunch and Extended Care are all supervised by Childsplay teaching artists.
Will students be outside during the day?
All class activities as well as lunches will take place indoors. Students will only be outside when walking to the restrooms, concession stand or lunchroom.
What goes on during morning or afternoon extended care?
We have found that with six hours of structured time during the day, students need unstructured time before and after class. Students play board games, cards, color, play with Legos/toys or read with friends and/or teachers or individually. We have a closet full of activities, or students are welcome to bring activities from home, however, we cannot be responsible for lost items, so please leave valuables at home! During afternoon extended care asssitant teachers will facilitate optional actitivies for participants including crafts, storytelling, drama practice, and group games.
Why don’t you offer refunds? Why don’t you offer multi-class or sibling discounts?
We believe we provide the highest quality programming, most qualified teachers and best teacher/student ratio of any theatre program in the Valley. We keep the cost of our classes as low as we can to consistently deliver the same quality programming. Offering discounts or refunds would necessitate increasing the cost for all classes.
What is your policy in regards to medication?
Childsplay Theatre Academy cannot dispense, monitor or maintain medication (except in the case of an allergic reaction or asthma attack; see below). It is the responsibility of the parent or legal guardian to inform the education staff of any illness, injury, chronic condition, disability, allergy or special needs affecting a student’s participation in the program. Please disclose any allergies or medical or behavioral issues in the designated space in the contact forms. This information will be kept confidential (except in the case of a medical emergency) and can be extremely useful when planning the class activities so that everyone feels comfortable and included!
My child has a food allergy or chronic medical condition (ex. Asthma). What steps should I take to alert the staff?
Please communicate with us verbally about the allergy or condition and provide us with a written action plan that details allergens, symptoms of a reaction, and steps to be taken in case of emergency. Provide the teacher with the necessary medications (such as Benadryl tabs, Epi-Pen, Inhaler, and/or Emergency Response Kit). Childsplay Theatre Academy cannot dispense, monitor, or maintain medication for any student EXCEPT in the event of an allergic reaction and/or asthma attack for which we have received an Action Plan and the necessary medication. In the liability release, you have specifically released us from liability resulting from actions taken in case of emergency. Please feel confident in the fact that every member of our staff takes part in emergency training, specifically learning to recognize early onset symptoms of medical distress and procedures to administer EpiPens and rescue inhalers.
Will there be a performance at the end of the week?
With the exception of teen intensives, all classes have a Sharing on the last day of class. On Stage classes produce a full-length play or musical. Musical Theatre Marathon classes present a 30-minute condensed version of the musical selection for the week. All other classes have a Sharing on Friday that is devised and developed by the students and teachers in the class.
How do auditions work for Onstage Classes and Marathons?
An audition will be part of the process on the first day of class for Musical Theatre Marathons and Onstage Classes. The onstage and marathon classes are limited to an enrollment of 20 students (and they do sell out). Keeping a smaller number of participants means that there isn't a need to accommodate additional students as scenic or group characters. Every student will be in the show and have lines and featured moments.
When casting the summer productions we strive to give students opportunities that challenge but don't overwhelm. This is a balance. There are students in every class who because of theatre experience or age are ready for a bigger challenge than others.
Will my child wear a costume?
Students in On Stage classes will create a full production, including costumes and props. Musical Theatre Marathon students will be asked to wear a specific color for their character (information will be provided on the first day of class). All other Childsplay classes focus on building acting skills using the actor’s instruments: body, voice and imagination. The emphasis of each week-long class is on skill-building and the process of developing a piece for the final Sharing and not on rehearsing a “play.”
My child is very shy. Will this class be appropriate for him/her?
Yes! Our teachers have a great rapport with students and are very adept at accommodating everyone’s needs. Oftentimes being in one of our classes can help students come out of their shell.
My child has never acted before, can they participate?
Absolutely. Because our classes focus on building skills, Childsplay classes are appropriate for both beginners, as well as more experienced students.
My child has special needs. Can s/he enroll in a class?
We have many special-needs students who have successfully participated in our programs. In order to ensure success, we need to keep an open line of communication to best serve the unique qualities of your child, eliminating any unnecessary frustration for students or staff. To set your child up for success in our program, it is important that you inform us of any special needs your child may have, and strategies that we can use to help your student be successful. If your child has special needs, please feel free to call Katie in our education office to discuss how we can work together toward success in our program.
If you have additional questions please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 480-921-5751.