Childsplay Academy provides quality theatre education classes for students ages 2-18 at our facility, the Sybil B. Harrington Campus for Imagination and Wonder at Mitchell Park. Acting, Musical Theatre, and Imagination Theatre classes cultivate a student’s performing arts abilities and focus on the personal development of the child including social, emotional and intellectual skills. The Conservatory Program offers pre-professional training for students interested in pursuing theatre as a profession. Both programs meet a variety of Theatre Arts Standards and, tangentially, a wide variety of Arizona Education Standards.
All our classes emphasize building fundamental acting skills. Teachers employ age-appropriate activities that connect to the focus area, theme and learning objectives of the class. Please contact us if you’d like to see a sample lesson plan from a previous class for your child’s age group.
Sometimes we are asked, “Why does my child come home saying they played games all day?” Teachers utilize carefully designed exercises that help build concentration, confidence and cooperation, the building blocks of theatre education. Sometimes this includes drama games, which are also a component of collegiate and professional acting training. Theatre games are highly memorable and fun components of a drama classes and are just one element of our comprehensive curriculum.
Parents/Caregivers are always welcome to hang out during check in. We spend this time to chat or maybe do some activities and just get comfortable with the space. Once we get started with the formal lesson, we ask loved ones to leave. We've found that students have a much easier time engaging in the creative process when they are focusing on interacting with their peers. However, we have two Parent waiting areas in nearby rooms where caregivers are welcome to hang out during class and can pop in during breaks to see how their kiddo is doing. Additionally we send home notes each week that quickly review what we did in class so you have lots to talk about on the ride home!
Please send your child with a full water bottle each day for their mid-class break. Students may also bring a snack if they would like for this break.
We pride ourselves on having the best student-teacher ratio of any theatre program in the valley! Classes usually have 2 teaching artists. Our ration is 1:10 for most classes. In addition to staff members, some classes also have assistant teachers and/or teen volunteers.
All of our teachers are professional actors and/or teaching artists with Childsplay. You can read the bio's of our teaching staff here. Many teaching artists have been with Childsplay for more than three years, and some for more than 20 years! Everyone employed by Childsplay has undergone a background check and has a current Arizona Fingerprint Clearance Card.
Attendance and punctuality are important in a theatre class! Students work as an ensemble to create a piece of theatre together, it is essential that everyone be present at all lessons. Please be sure to check schedules before registering for class.
If you do become aware that your child will be absent from a session please alert Academy Admin. Knowing in advance helps teachers adjust lessons accordingly.
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. Parents of students in Imagination Theatre will need to sign students in and out of each lesson. Teachers will be ready to check students in no later than 5 minutes before the start of your calss.
Pick up is promptly at the class end time. Please come to the room to check your student(s) out. Students will only be released to caregivers listed as "Parent 1" or "Parent 2" on campsite. Any additional people will need to be added and "Authorized Pick Ups" on the Parent Dashboard.
The low student/teacher ratio helps us monitor student activity on our campus. The Academy Manager and/or other Childsplay Administrator is on campus during all academy sessions as well. Bathroom breaks are always supervises by a Finger Print Clearance Card carrying, adult staff member. Our ages 4-6 classes do not take group bathroom breaks, rather they use the single-person restroom inside the classroom.
We believe we provide the highest quality programming, most experienced teachers and best student/teacher 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.
Familles are eligible for a full refund minus a $50 cancellation fee when cancelling more than 30 days before the start of your class. Once in that 30 day window, we can hold your tuition as a future class credit.
Future class credit may be redeemed manually by admine; simply send an email, text, or phone call to admin letting them know which class you would like to use your credit on.
Childsplay is a non-profit and we hire Teaching Artists based on enrollment numbers. We have cancellation fees in order to ensure the salary of our amazing Teaching Artists, which is why they keep coming back and offering the best programming!
Childsplay staff members are unable to administer any type of medication to program participants, including epi-pens. If a student requires medication, a parent or guardian is welcome to come to campus to administer the medication themselves. We have a comfortable waiting room. Family members are welcome to remain on campus in case the need for medication, including epi-pens arises.
All classes have a Sharing on the last day of class. The Sharing is devised and developed by the students and teachers in the class. Students present Sharings to showcase what they have learned during the class.
Most programs focus on building acting skills using the actor’s instruments: body, voice and imagination. The emphasis of each class is on skill-building and the process of developing a piece for the Sharing and not on rehearsing a “play.” Sometimes we pull props or "costume props" for students to use or we invite students to bring something from home. We never ask or expect families to purchase any additional items (including costumes) for any of our classes.
Yes! Our teachers accommodate students’ different needs and have a great rapport with students. Oftentimes participation in a theatre class helps students come out of their shell.
Absolutely! Because our classes focus on building skills, Childsplay classes are appropriate for beginners and more experienced students.
Many special-needs students successfully participate in our programs. To ensure a positive experience, we need an open line of communication serve the unique qualities of your child, helping to eliminate unnecessary frustration for students or staff. Please inform us of any special needs your child may have, and strategies that we can use to help your student. If your child has special needs, please feel free to call Academy Manager, Katie Brantley in the education office to discuss how we can work together to create a constructive learning environment for your child.
If you have any further questions, please contact Academy Admin here: childsplayaz.org/campsite