your guide to the ‘house’

Participant’s Guide – Welcome to the “house.”

To help you feel at home, we thought it would be a good idea to create this brief “heads up” booklet to help you prepare yourself for your very own extraordinary theatre experience!

We see that we sometimes have to audition for Tree House Youth Theatre. Why is that?

We do auditions for our programs for 12 – 17 year olds for several reasons.  We think it is important for young performers to experience the thrill (and the nerves!) associated with auditioning.  They are also a necessary part of theatre (the more you do them, the more comfortable you become).  Auditions give you the chance to give it your best shot and have your very own “idol” moment!

By being able to see you and hear you and have a private chat with you, we are better able to assess your skills and find out where you are at and what your interests are. They help us to get to know you a bit.  They also help us to assess what you are already good at and where you may need some work.

What about our roles?

You will each have two roles in the production (sometimes even more depending on the show!):  you will have one main role and one as understudy.  We double cast for the simple reason that if someone is sick or can’t attend a performance or has their role re-assigned, there is someone else ready to go, ensuring that the production proceeds smoothly.

What do I wear for rehearsals?

This is very important.  In order to properly participate you must be wearing clothes that are loose, comfortable and keep your body properly covered.  Yoga pants and long t-shirts are an excellent choice.  No jeans please.  Theatre can be a messy business so be prepared to get a bit down and dirty!

Shoes must be like runners or comfortable walking shoes.  No flip flops or sandals. Dance shoes are appropriate.

The bottom line is you need to be able to let yourself go and get into the games and exercises we are doing without any worries and that starts with proper rehearsal attire.

What do I bring to rehearsal*?

    –    pencil
 –    binder
 –    plenty of water (no pop or sugary juices) – water keeps the voice clear and open and doesn’t affect vocal quality like pop or even juice can
 –    a healthy snack
  –    all scripts and extra materials as required

*Make sure you are always prepared for the session.  If there was any work assigned (like learning lines or a song, or an exercise for example) come with it all ready to go!  It is important to be ready to give your all, all of the time.

The mark of a good rehearsal is one that completely tires you out by the end of it! Theatre is both intense and intensely fun!

What happens if I miss rehearsals?

Being in a play is just like playing on a hockey or soccer team.  You need all of the players all of the time.  If you have to miss a rehearsal for an important reason (illness, etc.) then you must let us know in advance.

Can my parents come and watch a rehearsal?

By all means!  Once a month we will be announcing an open rehearsal day when parents are welcome to join us for the last few minutes so they get a chance to see what we are all about and what you are up to.  This really helps your family learn about theatre and be able to see how much fun you are having with us? 

What happens during production week?

Production week is an exciting and intense time for all of us:  director, actors and technical crew.  Depending on the show and the time frame there will be extra rehearsals, a tech rehearsal and a dress rehearsal with lots of last minute detail work.  It is important to think of this week as if it were the Stanley Cup playoffs – you need to be rested, well-fed and well-prepared!

What can my parents do to help?

We are, like many non-profit groups, always in need of help during our productions whether it is with costumes, props or sets.  At the beginning of each program, a list of our needs will be presented at the registration meeting and you will be encouraged to sign up then or a little later if you need to think about it.  We rely on volunteers not only to help with the show, but to help keep our costs down since some parents can fill in where paid crew would need to be.

Helping out with Tree House Youth Theatre is a great way for you to spend time with your child and to be a part of an exciting community!

All staff and volunteers working with Tree House Youth Theatre are asked to have a Criminal Record Information Check on file with our office.

What do I do if Tree House Youth Theatre is not for me?

Talk to the Artistic Director.  Don’t be afraid to approach and have a conversation. Maybe you can get some answers to your questions, or have your suggestions used in the future.  One of our goals is to create a happy, safe, dynamic learning environment for each and every participant, but sometimes that is not possible for whatever reason, and so talking about it is the first step.  If you still need to talk to someone, then you can contact members of the Tree House Board through our Program Administrator.

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