GOT QUESTIONS?

F.A.Q.s

We are always available to answer any questions you might have about our program... but chances are, your question is already here!  If it's not, head to our CONTACT page and get in touch!

 

FIRST OFF... A FEW BASICS: 

  • To enroll in a production, you must register with a nonrefundable deposit of $200.  You may pay the balance of your tuition on a schedule that is comfortable for you.

  • Sessions open for enrollment about 1-2 months before the session begins.  

  • Registration will close when the session begins (or sooner, if the session fills up). 

  • Attendance is crucial to the success of the show, however, we can be flexible with most any schedule conflict if you let us know before the session begins.  (Students MUST be present for mandatory tech rehearsals and, of course, the shows).

 

THE CASTING PROCESS:

  •  We encourage our students to be very prepared, showing character work and research, and memorizing their material, so they can give the best audition that they can. 

  • We ask that you trust our experienced directors and staff to place your child in a part that is right for them and right for the production. Casting decisions are made by our entire creative team, not by only one person. Decisions are final. 

  • Students may be in the ensemble or be cast as a lead for their first time with us. Some students may have a leading role in one session and/or an ensemble role in another. No performer is ever right for the lead in every show, and learning all areas of being in a production is important to their education. 

  • There are many factors that go into casting, including talent, attitude, the best fit for a role (not always the best singer/dancer/or actor), the desire and enthusiasm to work hard, preparation or auditions, availability, and the ability to work well with other cast members. What factors do not go into casting are pressure from parents, how much money or time parents donate to the program, who had the lead in prior shows, how old the student is, what roles the student had in professional or outside productions, and what agent/manager/casting director will be coming to the show.

  • Encourage your children to be enthusiastic about their roles, and please discourage them from counting their lines. Although some "lead" parts are bigger than "ensemble" roles, children who participate in the ensemble often have more stage time than the principals do! During the rehearsal process many ensemble players are assigned solos or are featured in dance numbers.

  • Our students are understanding, respectful and work hard to shine in whatever part they are given. Please be positive and supportive if they are disappointed by the casting choices. If you set a positive tone for them, they will follow suit. If you react negatively to the casting of the show, they are likely to, as well.

  • We do not discuss our casting decisions with parents, but we do encourage our students to advocate for themselves by politely asking for feedback if they would like to know what we think they should work on for the future. 

THE REHEARSAL PROCESS:

  • ACT-1 provides scripts and music. Students are required to bring a pencil, paper and their script to all rehearsals.

  •  Students are not allowed to leave at any time during class time, rehearsals and performances.

  •  Cell phones are not allowed during rehearsals or shows. They can be checked during their designated break. If you need to reach your child during a rehearsal, we ask that you contact (818) 915-8527. 

  •  A weekly rehearsal schedule is emailed. At each rehearsal, we review all of the material that was previously learned. All lines and lyrics, music & choreography must be memorized from the previous rehearsal. We expect all students to take the time to review and practice at home in order to retain what's been taught.

  •  If necessary, ACT-1 will cut or reassign lines and songs if they are not memorized on time.

  • Come to rehearsal having had a recent meal. Please don't bring full meals for snack breaks, or arrive to rehearsal expecting to be able to eat right away. We do have a snack bar, or you may bring snacks and drinks from home. All students should bring water bottles clearly labeled with their names. 

  •  ACT-1 follows a dress code for rehearsals. Leggings, or loose fitting pants or shorts - no skirts or tight fitting jeans. Bottoms should be comfortable and easy to move in.

  •  Shoes must be closed toed. NO FLIP FLOPS OR HEAVY BOOTS! Sneakers are allowed, but we recommend ballet, jazz or character shoes.

PICKING UP AND DROPPING OFF:

  •  Drop-off at the front of the building. Do not let your child cross the street unattended. Please do not drop your child off in the alley. 

  • There is no outside adult supervision for drop-off, so parents are strongly encouraged to walk their children in to rehearsal.

  • Students may arrive up to 15 minutes prior to the beginning of class, but please make sure there is a teacher on site before you leave. 

  •  There is a parking lot at Dickens and Beverly Glen that you may park in, but only for ten minutes at a time. 

  •  Please arrive on time for pick up. If we have to wait for you with your children, you will be charged a fee.

  • If you cannot arrive on time or drop off or pick up, please text us immediately with your ETA, so we know when to expect you. 

PARENT INVOLVEMENT:

  •  Use the provided rehearsal tracks to practice at home. 

  • It's essential for parents and students to check their email daily, as communication is essential to the program's success. 

  •  It's okay if students don't want to practice with or in front of family members, but please do check in with them to make sure that they are practicing regularly. 

  •  If your child does want your help, go over their lines and their cue lines as well. (A cue line is the line directly before they speak.) Also, help them to learn the plot of each scene. You can start by asking him or her what is happening in the scene. This will help your child memorize their lines with an idea of what the scene is actually about.

  • We also require parents to help the production in various ways: costuming, photography, graphic design, helping backstage or in the front of the theatre, etc. 

ABSENCES:

  • All schedule conflicts need to be revealed before auditions happen. We are very accommodating of conflicts, as long as we know them in advance. We ask in return that once the show is cast, additional conflicts are not added unless in an emergency situation. 

  • When a student is ill or there is a family emergency, the producer must be notified as soon as possible. This gives us time to adjust the rehearsal schedule if possible.

  • The student must reach out to another student to have them take notes/record vocals/notate blocking etc. This is the responsibility of the student to catch up to what they've missed. We don't have time to review missed material with each individual student. If they miss too much, the student may need to schedule a paid private lesson to catch up to what is missed. 

  • Missing more than three rehearsals in a session MAY result in a students lines/part being given to another student. 

SHOWS:

  • Tech rehearsals are mandatory - no exceptions. All dress rehearsals and shows are also mandatory. You must book out with your agent. 

  • If you miss a tech rehearsal or dress rehearsal, your part may be immediately recast with no refund in tuition. 

  • Each student will be in 1-2 casts. Rarely, students are asked to be in 3+ casts. Each cast performs between 2-3 times. 

  • There will be a pre-sale time for tickets where each ACT-1 family can purchase a limited number of tickets for each show. This is to ensure that each family has tickets. After the presale, there will be a general release of tickets where families can purchase additional tickets. 

  • All seating is general admission. 

  • Photography and videography is STRICTLY prohibited. You may purchase photos/recordings from us directly after the show. 

NOW FOR YOUR BURNING QUESTIONS:

Q: How often do you have shows?

A: ACT-1 does about three or four productions a year.  Typically each session is about three months long from the first day of auditions to the final performance. 

Q: Where do you rehearse?

A: Our rehearsal location is in Sherman Oaks. We are renters of a community facility at approximately Ventura and Van Nuys Blvd, 14401 Dickens Street.  

Q: I've had some recent financial hardships this year. Do you ever grant scholarships?

A: Yes, every session we offer scholarships to families who qualify. We believe that everyone deserves to share in the transformative magic of theatre no matter what their financial situation!

Please contact us for information, so that you can get started with the application process.

Q: I have a 13 year old but she doesn't want to perform with younger kids.  What are the ages of your students? 

A: Our students are between 1-18 years of age.  

We have a Teen and a JR program, however sometimes our ages are mixed depending on the production.  Inquire for more info.

Q: Where do you perform your shows?

A:  We rent whatever professional local theatre that best meets our needs for that production,  from The Madrid Theatre in Canoga Park (430 seats) to any number of the 99-seat theatres in the SFV.  The kids perform on the same stages that professional adult actors perform on regularly.  We have staged our shows at theatre such as The Whitefire Theatre in Sherman Oaks, Theatre 68 in North Hollywood,The Road Theatre in North Hollywood, The Lonny Chapman Group Repertory Theatre in North Hollywood, and The Grove Theatre Center in Burbank, just to name a few.  

Q: Sometimes I see children's shows and the kids are cute, but the show isn't very good.  How do I know this won't be the same kind of thing? 

A: We invite you to see our testimonials page, our Yelp page, and look at our galleries.    ACT-1 prides itself on having high quality, Broadway-inspired shows.  We have a reputation for being one of the best children's theatre companies in the Greater Los Angeles area. We use professional theatre spaces, have talented designers and builders, a knowledgeable staff -- and our producer is neurotic about starting the shows ON TIME!

Q: Are your students professional actors, or just regular kids? 

A: We have both.  Some of our kids have agents and work in the business, but most of them do this just or fun.  It's just another one of their hobbies.  About a third of our students go to a performing arts school. 

Q: What does my child need to prepare for auditions?

A: It depends on the production, but at minimum they will need to sing for us. They will likely have sides to prepare as well, and sometimes there's some dancing involved. 

Although we run auditions in a professional manner, we also try to make it fun and supportive! We understand how nerve-wracking the audition process can be, and we are rooting for you!

© 2017 by Academy for Children's Theatre
 

CONNECT​ WITH US:​​

PO BOX 57443 

Sherman Oaks, CA 91413

HOURS OF OPERATION

Staff is available through text message, phone or email most hours of the day.  

7 DAYS A WEEK

9:00 AM - 7:00 PM

CONTACT

(818) 915-8527
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