Classes

Summer Classes FAQs

About Childsplay Theatre Academy: 

What will my child be doing in class?

Why does my child come home saying they played games all day?

What is a "theatre game"?

Will there be a performance at the end of the class?

How does my child audition for Onstage Classes and Musical Theatre Marathons?

Who will my child's teachers be?

What is your student to teacher ratio?

What about campus supervision?

Will students be outside during the day?

What happens in morning or afternoon extended care?

 
About Students:

Who may enroll in Childsplay Theatre Academy?

My child has never acted before, can they participate?

My child is timid. Will this class be appropriate?

My child has special needs. Can s/he enroll?

My child has a food allergy or chronic medical condition (ex. Asthma). What steps should I take to alert the staff?

Will my child wear a costume?

What if my child hasn't read the book (or seen the tv show/film) which inspired the class?

Can my child use a cellphone, tablet, etc. in class?

 

Policies and Procedures:

What is your cancellation policy?

Why don't you offer refunds? Why don't you offer multi-class or sibling discount?

Can I register for a program that has already begun?

What if my child needs to miss all or part of a class?

What is the drop-off procedure?

What is the pick-up procedure?

Do students bring lunch?

What is your snack policy for all-day classes?

What is the snack policy for half-day classes?

What is your policy in regards to medication?

Can we record my child's sharing/performance?

 

About Childsplay Academy:

 

What will my child be doing in class?

The foundation of all our classes is building acting skills, and each class does this by incorporating activities that focus on the class theme. Some programs such as theatre productions and musical theatre marathons are more rehearsal focused.

All Childsplay Theatre Academy classes focus on building acting skills using the actor's tools; 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.


Why does my child come home saying they played games all day?

Theatre games are carefully designed exercises that help build concentration, confidence, and cooperation; the building blocks of theatre education. While fun, they are also essential to the skill-building that goes on in any theatre program. Theatre games are just one element of the comprehensive curriculum in our classes.


What is a "theatre game"?

A theatre game is an exercise designed to teach a skill that can be used on stage (and in real life too!). We use different games that teach such skills as mental focus, ensemble building, 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.


Will there be a performance at the end of the class?

Every class culminates with a presentation. Theme classes and Theatre Intensives end with an informal sharing in their classroom, containing material devised and developed by the participants.  Musical Theatre Marathon classes present a workshop performance of a short musical. Students will have memorized dialogue, music and choreography and perform with minimal costumes and props.  Only Onstage classes conclude with full productions onstage at the Tempe Center for the Arts.


How does my child audition for Onstage Classes and Musical Theatre 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 do have limited enrollment and often sell out. Keeping the number of participants small gives every participant in the class individual characters and featured moments in the performance. 

When casting summer productions or marathons, we strive to provide students with opportunities that challenge but don't overwhelm. This is a balance. And there are students in every program who, either because of theatre experience or age, may be ready for a more significant challenge than others. We always endeavor to provide every participant featured moments in the presentation.


Who will my child's teachers be?

All of our teachers are professional theatre teaching artists. Bios of your child's teachers (including education, theatre and teaching experience) are sent out with the informational e-mail ten days before class begins. 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 Theatre Academy has undergone a background check and has a current Arizona Fingerprint Clearance Card.


What is your student to teacher ratio?

We pride ourselves on a great student-teacher ratio. Each class has 2-3 adult teaching artists. Our MINIMUM ration is 1:8 (4-6 half-day classes); 1:10 (all-day classes).  Some programs may also have assistant teachers or interns in addition to the teaching artists.


What about campus supervision?

There are at least two adults in each classroom. Students visit the restroom as a group under the supervision of a staff member (there is a single restroom attached to the 4-6-year-old classroom).  The campus is also home to Childsplay Theatre’s administrative offices, prop and costume shop. We employ 25 full-time staff members who all have been background checked and verified for working with young people. Staff may assist with supervision if need arises.


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 lunch room. They will always be under the supervision of staff members when traveling between classrooms.


What happens in morning or afternoon extended care?

We know that with six hours of structured time during the day, students need unstructured time before and after class.  Students may play board games, color, build with lego, or read with other children or teachers. We have a closet full of games/books, or students are welcome to bring activities from home. However, we cannot be responsible for lost items, so please leave valuables at home! During extended care assistant teachers will also facilitate optional activities for participants including crafts, storytelling, drama practice, and group games.

 

About Students:

 

Who may enroll in Childsplay Theatre Academy?

As part of Childsplay’s commitment to access and inclusion, at Childsplay Theatre Academy we make intentional choices in our classroom practices to be a welcoming space for peoples of all ability, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and gender identity. We are happy to address students’ individual physical, learning and social needs. If there are ways we can be welcoming to your family, please let us know at kbrantley@childsplayaz.org.


My child has never acted before, can they participate?

Absolutely. Because our classes focus on building skills, Childsplay offers programs accessible for beginners and experienced students. Some programs like onstage or musical theatre marathons do incorporate formal performances and elements may be intimidating for absolute beginners. We recommend some theatre experience for Theatre Intensives.  Please contact Academy Manager, Katie Brantley if you have questions about the suitability of a particular class.


My child is timid. Will this class be appropriate?

Yes! Our teachers have a great rapport with the students are adept at accommodating everyone's needs. Often being in one of our classes can help students come out of their shell.

Theme classes focus on student collaboration and the process of developing material for sharing. Since these programs are not focused on rehearsal or performance, children who are shy experience an opportunity to build drama skills in an environment with less pressure.


My child has special needs. Can s/he enroll?

We have many special needs students who participate successfully in our programs. To ensure success, we must maintain an open line of communication with caregivers to serve the best needs of the child and eliminate unnecessary frustration for students or staff. It is essential 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 Academy Manager, Katie Brantley to discuss how we can work together to ensure a positive experience for your child.


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 conditions 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 Emergency Response Kit). Childsplay Theatre Academy cannot dispense, monitor, or maintain medication for any student EXCEPT in the event of an allergic reaction and asthma attack for which we have received an Action Plan and the necessary medication. The liability release explicitly releases from liability resulting from actions taken in case of emergency. Please feel confident in the fact that every member of our staff participates in emergency training, specifically learning to recognize early onset symptoms of medical distress and procedures to administer Epi-Pens and rescue inhalers.


Will my child wear a costume?

Students in Onstage Classes will perform a full production, including set, costumes, and props. Musical Theatre Marathon students may be asked to wear specific color for their character. Simple costume pieces which suggest a character may be provided as well. All other Childsplay Theatre Academy classes focus on building acting skills using the actor's tools; 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. Students will not wear costumes for the sharings.


What if my child hasn't read the book (or seen the tv show/film) which inspired the class?

Theme classes pull inspiration for drama skill building from material popular with young people. However, detailed knowledge of the source material is not required. In theme classes, students do not reenact the story or perform a play. Instead, the book is a framework to launch new stories devised by the class. For example in Hogwarts Summer School, students develop original young wizard characters studying at the famous school and imagine what else may happen in this universe. Children who haven't read the books or seen the films can imagine the possible challenges facing a young person with magical abilities and contribute to the creation of the new material. Everyone enjoys participating, even if they are not a fan of the source material. In fact, sometimes they bring fresh eyes to the topic and infuse original ideas into the group work.

Please note; spoilers are possible.  Although programs are accessible to students with varying experience with the theme, young people who are fans of the topic enjoy discussing it. We encourage students not to reveal spoilers, but a young person who's read the sixth "Dog Man" graphic novel may not be able to contain themselves!


Can my child use a cellphone, tablet, etc. in class?

Students will not be allowed to use electronic devices (including cell phones) during class hours or lunch break. While they may be used during extended care (before and after class); please remember Childsplay is not responsible for lost or damaged items.

Please alert Academy Manager if your child utilizes electronic devices as communication or therapeutic outlet necessary for participation in a class. 

 

Policies and Procedures:

 

What is your cancellation policy?

Please review your plans before registering. Academy tuition is non-refundable unless a Childsplay cancels a program due to low enrollment. If Childsplay cancels a program, you will be notified and offered an opportunity to reschedule student or receive a refund.

If you are not able to attend a registered class, contact Academy Manager, at 480-921-5751. If space is available, it may be possible to transfer student into another program of the same cost. 


Alternatively, the tuition paid may be applied as a credit toward the price of a future class. Class credit is valid for six months and only for the same program type (i.e., summer, conservatory, season).


Academy credit is valid only for classes and cannot be applied to purchase tickets for Childsplay performances or special events.


Why don't you offer refunds? Why don't you offer multi-class or sibling discount?

We provide the highest quality programming, most qualified teachers, and best student/teacher ratio of any theatre program in the valley. We keep the cost of our classes as low while consistently delivering quality programming. Offering discounts or refunds would necessitate increasing the tuition for all our classes.


Can I register for a program that has already begun?

We will accept registrations as long as space is available or until the second class meets, whichever comes first. However, once a class begins, it will no longer appear on the online enrollment page. To register for a class that has already started contact Academy Manager at 480-921-5751. We do not offer pro-rated tuition.


What if my child needs to miss all or part of a class?

Attendance and punctuality are crucial in a drama class! Students collaborate to create a piece of theatre together. We anticipate students will attend every day of the class in which they enroll, except in the case of illness or emergency. 

Consecutive absences may affect how a student participates in the sharings or performances at the culmination of the program.  Please check your schedules before registering for a program.

If your child will be absent or late, please contact Academy Manager, Katie Brantley at kbrantley@childsplayaz.org or 480-921-5751. Knowing about an absence in advance helps teachers adjust lessons accordingly.

There are no discounts or credits for missed classes.


What is the drop-off procedure?

On the first day of class, all students need to be signed in by a parent or guardian.

Every day of class students under ten years old, or those in morning extended care, must be walked to the classroom by a caregiver who will sign them into class.  For students 10 and older caregivers may decide whether they prefer to park and walk students to the classroom or pull up in front and drop them off.

Teachers are in the classroom 10 minutes before the start of class. Please do not drop students off before 9:20 am.  Extended care is available beginning 7:30 am at an additional cost.


What is the pick-up procedure?

Students in theme classes for ages 4-6 or ages 6-9 must be signed out of the classroom by an authorized caregiver. Students in theme classes for ages 9-12, musical theatre marathons, theatre intensives, or onstage programs will be escorted by teachers to designated pick-up spot for their class. You will learn the designated pick-up location for your class in the information e-mail received ten days before the program begins. 

Teachers will wait with students until they are picked up. All students not picked up by 3:40 pm will be escorted to Extended Care in classroom 1 and guardians will be charged $15 for extended care.


Do students bring lunch?

Students in all-day classes will need a sack lunch daily. Children do not have access to a refrigerator or microwave. Please also send a water bottle with your student each day.


What is your snack policy for all-day classes?

There is both morning and afternoon break times during class. Students may bring a snack from home or may purchase snacks from our concession stand. All concession items are $1, and the concession stand is open during morning break and lunch.


What is the snack policy for half-day classes?

Please send your child with a snack and water each day for their break. Students in the half-day classes do not visit the concession stand.


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 chronic medical condition). It is the responsibility of the parent or legal guardian to inform the education staff of any illness, injury, chronic conditions, disability, allergy or special needs affecting a students 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.


Can we record my child's sharing/performance?

Families are welcome to take recordings and photographs of their student in class for strictly personal use only. Any recordings or photos made by families should not be used for broadcast and/or distribution via the internet including but not limited to social media sites and/or public websites.

 

If you have additional questions please contact kbrantley@childsplayaz.org or call 480-921-5751.