What does my child have to gain from KIDSTAGE? We like to consider our program the “Little League” of Theatre, and attending KidStage classes can provide your child with many skills that will be of use to them throughout life. We feel that one of the most important skills your child can learn is self confidence. A drama exercise, whether it be a fun, creative game or a solid piece of acting or dance, will give your child a platform to really come out of themselves and nurture their own imaginations.
Through the KidStage experience, students are encouraged to “think outside the box”, and learn to take risks in a safe environment. It also creates an opportunity to make new friendships as the classes provide a common bond. Whether they are running lines, or practicing songs and choreography, working together encourages a connection for relationships to flourish. Parents have shared that after KidStage, their children exhibited an expanded vocabulary, higher reading scores in their school work, and much more confidence in conversations in groups as well as in a one-on-one setting. All ideas are welcomed and supported so that every student has a sense of positivity, which once again, brings about self confidence and self worth. We feel…that’s a lot to gain.
How are auditions conducted? Auditions will be conducted the first day. The students do not need to have anything prepared. The director will have selected parts of the script that they will use for the auditions, and the students simply need to be prepared to read their part in the scene they are assigned. The students will have a chance to practice reading through the lines with their audition group for 10 minutes or so PRIOR to auditions, and the director will be there to answer any questions and offer assistance. Kids who are just learning to read need not worry! The Director will call out the lines to them and they just repeat them aloud.
Why are auditions required? Auditions are required as a means of assessing the initial comfort level of your child as a performer. If your child does not feel comfortable auditioning then they are not required to. They will still get a role in the play assigned to them based on all the info gathered the first day. As part of the audition process, we stress the importance of all parts in the story they will perform, regardless of the amount of lines it has. It’s up to the actor who is assigned the part to flourish in it and make it their own. We will ask what top 3 roles each child is most interested in because this allows our Director to make the best assessment they can that day on what roles to assign to whom for the best possible experience for all our cast members.
Will the kids have a chance to take a break? Yes. Our classes run an hour and a half, so we will break about half way through. We encourage students to bring their own water bottles to class and please try to send snacks that will create minimal mess and are peanut-free. If your child has any kind of intense food allergy please make sure to notate that when you register them on our website.
My child got a small part and is upset. What should I do? KidStage teaches children to do their very best no matter how many lines they have. Even if a role looks small on paper, there are ways to make that role into something special and unique based on the individual child’s personality. Some of the most memorable characters in plays/movies/stories are only in one or a few scenes. Less is, in a lot of cases, more.
We have found that the children with the smaller roles shine just as brightly because they are able to focus on their role and really turn on the performance power! Your child can focus on the delivery of every line they have with much more forethought, practice, and intensity. This will allow them to delve more into characterization and emotional make-up of their character and not having to sit at home memorizing for a longer time just to get their lines down.
We would suggest that you have a conversation with your child explaining to them that all the roles in the Play are important and that they can really shine in the role they were assigned as a part of the performance team. Also – you can ask your Director for pointers on how your child could improve their future auditions, and share that with and work on those things with your child.
What is the best way for my child to learn his/her lines? Practice makes perfect! Students should speak their lines “loud and proud” every evening. Young actors need an adult to help set aside and schedule time to work on their lines each week until they are down pat. Without scheduling it, it can easily be forgotten about. Once your child is memorized, then a brush-up every few days is critical to keep them up to speed, and also can be fun since they can delve into creative character exploration at home.
You can help by running the dialogue with them; simply read about 3 to 4 lines prior to their lines in the scenes they are in. This gets their brain to start to recognize the pattern of speech leading up to when they need to deliver their line. You need only rehearse the scenes of the play your child is in.
For children that are having difficulty recalling their lines, try having them write the lines down repeatedly, this can even be done as a journal exercise.
Finally, it really helps kids practice projection and being loud when they rehearse lines from a distance (ex: you sit at the top of the stairs and they sit at the bottom or across a room). It’s natural for them to want to talk softly when on stage so the more practice at home they can have pushing their voices out and with strength, the better it will help them on show night!
Why is it important for my child to memorize all of their lines by the Off-Book date? Memorization is a crucial element to ensuring your child is getting the most out of the in-class experience! When a child does not know their lines, it’s hard for them to have fun and learn about acting because they’re constantly focused on carrying their script and reading while trying to rehearse. This is why we set the off-book (fully memorized) target date. Your child should be 100% memorized by this point. Ideally, they are off-book sooner than that, but that is the final goal date. This way they can learn more about acting in class without the added stress (and it is stressful) of carrying a script, trying to stay on the right page and then reading their lines. This is ESPECIALLY important if your child is younger (grades K-3).
Gaining and developing self-confidence is one of the most influential elements of KidStage and when a child has worked hard and feels confident about their lines they are able to perform with confidence and are free to let loose and have fun exploring their character!
Are we required to purchase costumes for our children? No. The KidStage philosophy is to keep productions simple and affordable. The class and production are about process and the performance experience for our young actors. We try to collect and work on building our “costume closet” through out the year… BUT... if you happen to have costumes or clothing pieces just hanging around that you think would be a great addition to our production, PLEASE feel free to contribute. We will always appreciate any help.
Will there be props for the production? Yes, and that said, sometimes we could use the help of families to volunteer to bring/make these items in order to make the show more visually appealing and fun for our young actors! During the session, the director will send out a list of props needed for the production. If willing, please volunteer for things you can bring in or can help make. It rarely requires anyone to be artistic and to make massive back-drops. It can be as simple as a tea set, small chairs and table, bench, etc. This is another great example of the collaborative nature of theatre and how everyone working together makes the final project the best it can be!
What can we expect on show night? The majority of our Productions are simple, and it will be what the kids and parents make of it. In order to ensure a better production, it is of utmost importance that the children have memorized their lines and cues. And to do that, it requires the parents to constantly schedule, remind and work with the children at home.
The primary purpose of the show is to help the children build confidence speaking and performing in front of others. Therefore it is great to have as many parents/siblings/family/friends at the show as possible to root them on! There is no ticket charge for most of the shows, so the more the merrier! Also, bring a pencil/pen to the show. One of our traditions at KidStage is that we encourage the audience to get autographs from the actors after the show! It’s a blast and parents/actors all have fun with this!
It will most likely be hard to hear some actors. Why? Imagine yourself as a young child on stage for the first time. Is it possible that you may be a bit nervous – forget a line – and even talk softly? YES! This is one of the big reasons why young children need the KidStage experience early on so they build up this experience so that standing up and performing or speaking in front of others becomes second nature. We will have access to floor mics and a sound system, but using mics won’t teach our actors to learn to project their voices. Please be aware that you may not hear certain parts of the play, but that our goal is to build each and every actor up and help them learn to enjoy being on stage. Fearless. Performing with confidence. Our audiences believe in this mission and help support it by loving and supporting the actors on show night, regardless of how loud or shy or gregarious or emotional they may be.
The class I want is full! How does the Wait List work? This process has recently been changed, so it’s important to share with you. If a class is full, then you will have a box on our registration page where you can enter your email to be put on the wait list. If and when a spot opens up, the system will automatically email EVERYONE who is on the wait list for that class at that moment at the same time. The first person to go into the site and register will get the spot. It is critical to realize that if you go to the site after receiving notification the class is full and the class says it is FULL again, this means someone beat you to the spot. REJOIN the wait list at that time if you are still interested since the original wait list is completely cleared each time a spot opens for the class and everyone on it is notified.
The website is asking me for a password during registration and I don’t have one? If this is your first time to our site you will be prompted for a password during registration. Type in whatever you want to use for a password. Please save your email/password information used for our site if you want to register again in the future. If you have registered already once before then the site will ask you to log in to register (if it’s not already saved in your browser). Just use your email/password combination from your previous registration. If you do not have your password handy ask to reset your password on the site and if you have any issues please email KidStageNorthHouston@outlook.com for assistance.