Frequently asked questions

  1. Why do a musical?

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    Participating in a musical is one of the most rewarding experiences a young person can have. The director and other adults working on the production care about your child’s future and want to invest time and energy into his or her development. Not every child has an affinity for sports. Some children have to work extra hard to do well in school. This is a great opportunity for each child to discover something special about themselves. They may find they can make people laugh, share their voice in song or even find they are brave enough to stand in front of an audience and tell a story. The journey each child travels from the first rehearsal to each performance is an amazing one. Every year the adults who donate their time are astonished at the joy, creativity and confidence in each child by the time they appear in front of family and friends. Musicals are fun! They bring together all of the arts in one comprehensive program, including performing arts, visual arts, and technology. Rehearsing and performing dialogue, songs, and dances develops memorization and language skills. But the main objective of rehearsing and presenting a musical is to provide children with opportunities to develop social skills and learn valuable life lessons. Here are some examples: 1.) In a musical, everyone’s contribution is important. The child moving props on stage crew is as important to the overall success of the production as the child who plays Alice, Dorothy, or Jack. 2.) Everyone must work together for the greater good, encouraging collaboration and community. 3.) Children learn the importance of listening to each other speak and waiting one’s turn. They take positive risks and conquer fears while building self-confidence. 4.) Children ultimately achieve a great sense of accomplishment as they work hard to put on a production that they are proud of. The applause participants receive at the end of the show is instant praise for their efforts.
  2. Do kindergarten and First graders have to audition?

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    No. Kindergarten and First graders will be selected by lottery, if there are any spots available after the auditions. All interested kindergarten and first graders must turn in an audition packet to the office.
  3. How can I help my child prepare for auditions?

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    Children in grades 2-5 are required to audition. After you have received the audition scripts, help your child to choose the character that he/she would like to read, and then help them to practice at home. They do not need to memorize the lines, but they are expected to be prepared. Have your child practice walking into the room, saying their name clearly and loudly, what part they are reading and what song they are singing. Then, have them read the part out loud with you reading the other lines. They can also move around and have fun using a different voice. In addition, children need to sing a short 1 minute song. Choose a familiar song that your child knows very well and will not forget the words to under pressure. Do not sing a pop song from the radio. Simple songs such as “Take Me Out to the Ball Game,” or “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” are good choices. When your child sings their song, they are welcome to use movement as long as it doesn’t take away from the quality of their song. No recorded music is allowed.
  4. If my child reads for a certain character at the audition, will they only be considered for that part?

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    No. The purpose of the audition is for your child to show us what their talents are. Then they will be considered for any part in the play, not just the part that they read for. Don’t be afraid to read any character, boy or girl. Most of the roles in Alice in Wonderland can be performed by a girl or a boy. Choose the one that best shows your child’s talents and personality.
  5. Audition Techniques?

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    Be prepared - Practice, practice, practice! When children get nervous, they tend to resort back to what they are used to doing. The more they practice their parts at home, the more comfortable they will feel at their audition if nerves take over. We are looking for good voice projection, facial expressions, body language, and characterization. Children who are prepared at the audition and show that they have put forth their very best effort, are more likely to get a part. Show good behavior – The Directors are just as concerned with how well your child behaves as how well they can sing, act or dance.
  6. Can my child request to audition with a friend?

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    Yes. Since the children audition in groups of two or three, they often feel more comfortable auditioning with a friend that they have practiced with. Make sure both children are reading different characters from the same audition script. And make sure that both children request each other on their audition applications.
  7. What if my child cannot make it on their scheduled audition day?

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    Please make every effort to come to auditions on the designated day for your child’s grade level. It is beneficial for them to audition with other children who are the same age. However, if there are scheduling conflicts and your child cannot come to auditions on their designated day, we have provided a makeup day. Please write on the top of the Audition Application “Makeup Day,” so that we may schedule them accordingly.
  8. Who selects the cast?

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    The cast is chosen by a board of directors, including at least the Director, Assistant Directors, Choreographer, and Music Director. No single person makes the casting decisions. It is a collaborative effort, during which countless hours are spent over approximately a two week’s period of time to make the final decisions. Our goal is to try and find the right roles for as many children as possible.
  9. Do all 5th Graders make it in the play?

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    It has been our policy in the past to try to cast all 5th graders who audition in the play. Whether they receive a speaking part, chorus, or non-featured role is entirely dependent upon their audition. However, every show and every year is different. For instance, if we have 100 5th graders audition, we cannot possibly cast them all. But they can participate in other ways, such as becoming part of the stage or lighting crew. Ultimately, we reserve the right to make our decisions based on the different circumstances that are presented each year without being held to specific rules.
  10. Do the 5th graders get all of the lead roles?

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    Generally, we try to give the main roles to the older children. However, there are times when a younger child’s talents and abilities may well fit the specifications of a certain role. In that case, we may choose talent over age for the overall good of the show.
  11. What if my child is auditioning for the first time, will he/she be considered for a main role?

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    Casting decisions are primarily based on the child’s audition. This way, the child who auditions for the first time has just as much of a chance being cast as the child who has been in the play before. Remember, though, that the audition process is much like learning to ride a bike: the first time is always the hardest, then the more times you do it, the better you will get at it.
  12. How many roles are there?

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    There are as many roles as we can fit children on the stage. Often lines are shared with other children, little ones have special numbers, and older children are asked to take on challenging dances.
  13. If I volunteer, does that guarantee my child a spot in the play?

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    No, the volunteer positions are filled after the play is cast. The Arroyo Vista Children’s Theater is run entirely by unpaid parent volunteers. This means the enormous task of putting on our yearly play must be shared by each parent. All parents of play actors are required to volunteer as a play night supervisor for 2 performances plus choose at least one additional volunteer position.
  14. How is the cast list announced?

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    The cast list will be emailed to all applicants, as well as at the school by the MPR on the designated day. The announcement of the cast can be a difficult time since the role offered may not meet your child’s expectations and every child does not get a role. This is an excellent opportunity for your child to see how you handle this challenge. They will take their lead from you. Remember, countless hours and every effort was made by the casting board to find a part for as many of the children as possible.
  15. What if my child does not make it in the play?

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    Please do not be discouraged if your child does not make it in the play. It does not mean that they did not do a good job. We just don’t have enough room for everyone that wants to participate. Fourth and fifth graders can still participate by signing up to be on the stage crew. Please prepare your children for this possibility, and then try again next year!
  16. Does being in the play involve any extra time at home?

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    It is imperative that children memorize their lines at home so that our practices can be effective. Each child will also have a music CD with which they can practice their songs and dances at home. We strongly encourage the children to begin learning over the winter break.
  17. When are the rehearsals?

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    We rehearse on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays during the week and some Saturdays. After school rehearsals generally run from 2:35-4:30 or 5:00, while on Saturdays your child may be scheduled sometime between 8:00am and 12:00pm. However, depending on their part, your child may not be required to be at every rehearsal. A complete rehearsal schedule will be announced to the cast before rehearsals begin in January.

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