Frequently Asked Questions...
by parents whose children are involved in our performance season.
Why are rehearsals important?
During rehearsals we are building ensembles, and developing appropriate actor/character relationships. Next we are discovering character and story elements, then we are learning skills and specific performance techniques that will be applied directly to this production. Finally, the building blocks are pieced together in a unified work of performance art. All of this takes time and commitment and must be developed in incremental stages.
Why is the rehearsal process so long?
The professional model of rehearsal to produce a mainstage, full length show, is approximately 3 hours of rehearsal time per minute of show (1 minute = approx 1 page of script) Factor in the age and experience levels of the participants of most school productions as well as the educational mandate and this figure doubles! The rehearsal process is an intricate puzzle of ensemble building, character development, script analysis, research, scene study, music learning, choreography, costuming, technical considerations and publicity.
Does my child need to be at every rehearsal?
Yes! But in truth your child needs to be at all of the first few rehearsals while team and ensemble building, research, etc. is taking place. Then, the schedule splinters so that your son/daughter is only called to those rehearsals where their involvement is imperative. Closer to production time, everyone is required because this is where the polish and unity of the piece begins to fall into place. An attempt is made to be flexible, however there are often times when a particular scene that is being rehearsed on one day may not be revisited for another two to three weeks. Therefore, when your child misses a rehearsal this leaves a huge hole in the fabric of the developing work.
Why does it matter if my child is late to rehearsal?
As with missed rehearsals, the continuity of the work is severely compromised when actors straggle in to rehearsal after much of the work is already underway.
What happens if I miss a rehearsal?
There is material learned that there may be no other time to teach to your child and they may then have to be removed from a particular scene.
Why does my child need to clear M/W/F from their schedule for the rehearsal process?
It may be necessary to move one rehearsal activity to another date because of unforeseen circumstances such as a dance taking longer to learn than anticipated or a scene taking less time to polish, or visa versa. Although every attempt will be made to keep to the schedule if students know that rehearsal dates are for example every M/W/F and they have left these days open then there should be no problem calling a rehearsal and having everyone be able to attend.
What does my child need to know about appropriate rehearsal etiquette?
Actors must come to rehearsal prepared with script, pencil, journal and a bottle of water. Food should be as portable and simple as possible. They must wear loose fitting, comfortable, casual clothes and soft, flat soled shoes. They should respect the rehearsal space and the physical and emotional safety of their fellow cast members. They should remain focused and attentive at all times understanding that it is a privilege to have been chosen to participate in this event. They should remain in the rehearsal area at all times unless given express permission to be elsewhere in the school. After rehearsal, it is imperative that they take responsibility for cleaning up after themselves and depart for home in a timely fashion.
Why can't I come/watch to my child's rehearsals?
Firstly, you will be invited at some point to a rehearsal, however it is often distracting for the actors to have outside visitors watch them as they explore and develop their roles. We also don't want to spoil the magic of the unveiling of the wonderful surprise that awaits you at the end of this journey.
Why do I have to pick up my child at the exact time rehearsal is over?
Director and teachers involved in these productions often have other appointments, and commitments that follow on the same day or evening and are not available to supervise your child in the school after the end of the designated rehearsal time. Students are not allowed to be left unsupervised in the school at anytime. As well, the building is often locked down at a certain time and it is unfair to ask a custodian to remain past the end of his shift.
Do I have to provide a costume?
Normally no, however we have occasionally asked parents to supply items of a more personal and generic nature such as shoes, undergarments or items that we felt students might be easily contribute or reuse as part of their personal wardrobe.
Why does my child need to be supervised backstage and downstairs in the theatre during performances?
Our first concern is for the emotional and physical safety of all of the cast members. A variety of age groups and diverse personalities can create an environment where the unexpected can and does occur. Having an adult present alleviates many of these concerns.
How can I help as a parent volunteer?
Costume building, telephone contact, occasional mealtime supervision at longer rehearsals, set painting, prop building, communications, research, etc. If you have a specialized skill that you think would come in handy, by all means, let us know.
What does my child need to know about appropriate interaction between various age groups in a large ensemble cast?
Older students need to be prepared to play a nurturing role with their younger counterparts understanding that their influence on impressionable young minds has both positive and negative potential. Professional language, and appropriate behavior and topics of conversation, are expected at all times. It is our goal to teach the cast members about appropriate professional rehearsal etiquette and one of our aims at Vic is the successful integration of all the age groups in the school
Why do I have to pay to see my child's performances?
Our mainstage productions are facilitated on show based budgeting. This means that revenues generated are used to produce the shows in our season. If we did not have a paying audience we would not be able to offer you the quality of performances you have become accustomed to as Victoria School Theatre patrons. Technical support for our productions, such as set design, costuming, rehearsal pianist, lighting and sound, etc., must all be paid for out of the show budget.