Click on a question below to reveal the response.
Why doesn't CKP hold private auditions, and why do we have to wait until the first rehearsal to find out casting?
Having our students audition in front of each other may sound intimidating, but we’ve found that it is part of the reason our teenagers have such a loving community. Our students clap and cheer for each other when they audition. When the casting is released, there are no surprises.
Instead of releasing a written cast list, we announce the students’ roles and hand out scripts on the first day of rehearsal. Every role announced is greeted with applause from our students. The students rejoice in each other’s successes and are so happy for their friends who receive that leading role they always wanted. Students who may be disappointed and students who are overjoyed in casting news alike are applauded and cheered for by their community of peers who are so proud of them – no matter what “size part” they land.
I was the lead in your last show. Why wasn't I cast as the lead in this current show?
We are an education-based program, in that we believe that there is something to be learned by every part in the play. The director carefully casts each child in a part that will be just challenging enough that there is a sense of accomplishing something new, but not so challenging as to be stressful. In addition, every time an actor returns to Creative Kids Playhouse there is an effort made to give them a new experience. If you played a Prince in Snow White, you will not be cast as a Prince in Sleeping Beauty. If last time you played the crook, next time you might be the angel. If last time you played a lead, this time you might be a feature or ensemble. There are different skills required in every type of role. Some of the most challenging roles require being on stage for long periods of time with no lines – you still need to act the entire time! Every role is fun. If you have any questions about what the director is hoping you will learn from the role you have been cast in, please feel free to discuss it. Every part has the opportunity to steal the show!
What happens at auditions for the Mainstage 2-act musicals (for kids ages 6-12?)
Auditions are fun and easy. There is no preparation necessary. The children sing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star as a group then individually. We teach them a dance that will be in the show, and then have them practice and perform it for us in small groups. We teach them a short 4-6 line skit then have them perform it in groups of two. No reading skills are necessary. The two biggest things we are looking for are volume and personality. We would love to see your child sing like he’s enjoying himself, loud enough to hear across the room. Same with dancing – We’d rather see the dance done incorrectly but with a big smile than correctly without one. With the skit – make sure we can hear you, and be expressive using your body and voice not just your face. It is helpful to the staff if you arrive to auditions 10-15 minutes early to sign in.
What happens at auditions for the Excalibur & Camelot 2-act musicals (for kids grades 7-12?)
We ask all of our students to prepare 16-32 bars of a song in the style of the show we are producing, and perform it in front of their peers as well as the production team. Depending on the show, we ask our students to either provide sheet music or a track for their audition song. We typically post audition sides (scenes from the show) that students can select and read from for their acting audition. We will also teach students a short dance combination from the show. If need be, we will host callbacks and ask students to sing, dance, or act additional material.
Are all cast members called to every show rehearsal? What happens at rehearsals?
In the Mainstage Players, we need every actor at every rehearsal without exception. With our deep staff, we keep the kids rehearsing the entire time. If they aren’t working with the director, we have them rehearsing with a voice coach or dance coach. In between stations we often have them deepening their skills with acting exercises and improv games. One of our primary core values is to produce shows that are a fun, not stressful, experience for the actors. If an actor misses a rehearsal it can make the rest of the rehearsals difficult for the actor as he/she plays ‘catch up’ to the rest of the cast.
In the older Excalibur/Camelot Players, we ask that all actors plan on attending every rehearsal. We always have multiple directors & coaches at Excalibur/Camelot rehearsals just as we do at Mainstage rehearsals – but from time to time we will hold called rehearsals with certain performers. These rehearsals are not a majority in the Excalibur/Camelot process which is why we ask for conflict calendars at the beginning of every rehearsal process & for actors to be available for every single rehearsal.
What is unique about the Excalibur Players?
The Excalibur Players is a troupe of our oldest performers, in sixth through twelfth grade. The same core values exist as in our other programs, however it is a higher level of education for the performers. Since they are older, more is expected of them. Preparation is recommended for auditions, audition materials will be published on our website ahead of time. There are no prompters or instructors in the wings to remind the actors when to go on and off stage, the actors are expected to know their lines and cues and improvise when things don’t go as rehearsed. Theater etiquette is taught and strictly followed. After being in an Excalibur Players productions, students can be confident that they are prepared to audition and perform in any theater. As always, team work is heavily emphasized, and it seems that casts of the Excalibur Players tend to grow to be a tight unit and make close friends even more than our other casts.
What is a Theater Immersion Camp?
What is Musical Theater Workshop?
Musical Theatre Workshop is a skills course. This is a great opportunity to learn what it takes to bring your performance ability to the next level. As always, instructors make the class fun, but the focus is more on improving your skills than the final performance. There is a final showcase performance at the end of the course allowing each actor to perform as a lead in a scene to demonstrate some of what they’ve learned. Broadway music and material is generally used for instruction. Actors of all ability and experience levels will benefit from this course, as they will be met at their level and worked with by professionals. Master teachers may be brought in to teach select topics. Each time this course is offered the curriculum is adjusted; taking this course every time it is offered will be a new experience every time and strengthen your performing skills. In our musicals we often notice a jump in the level of performance that is delivered by students who have taken this course.
My school doesn't have a good school play or school musical. Can you come to my school and produce one?
Yes! We absolutely can, and we do it all the time. There are a number of ways that we can be involved in your school. We can come in as an after school program to produce a one-act musical, just like chess club or other activities that are probably on your campus. That requires the use of a large multi-purpose room, preferably with a stage at one end. Many schools hire us to produce a full-fledged two-act school musical for them, usually with two, three, or four performances in a high school theater. To learn more about having Creative Kids Playhouse produce a school-sponsored musical for your school, click here or contact Elizabeth Ramirez, 949-297-6257 or Elizabeth@CreativeKidsPlayhouse.com. We are an approved vendor for the California PTA
My child is six years old. Would a Tom Thumb Production (age 3-6) or a Mainstage (6-12 year old) program be right for him/her?
What costume components will I be required to provide for a two-act production?
Every actor is asked to wear their own black ballet or jazz shoes to dress rehearsal and performances. Other than that, the basic under layer of the costume, or more personal pieces, will be provided by the actor. Examples: a black leotard and tights, or black pants and a white shirt, or just close fitting tank and shorts that will fit under the costume – we have no private dressing rooms. You will be informed a few weeks into the program what your character will require, and Creative Kids Playhouse will provide the elements of your costume that define your character.
It is likely you will be invited to attend a costume fitting at the CKP Warehouse in Mission Viejo. At the beginning of your production, one or two dates with time windows will be announced as costuming days. Plan for your actor to drop in 15-20 minutes at the warehouse at any time during the announced costume days to try on costumes and have them set aside for your actor. This is a great time to discuss with the costumer your ideas or questions regarding hair, makeup, shoes, under layer, or a costume piece that you would like to bring from home.
What costume components will I be required to provide for a Tom Thumb production?
Our Tom Thumb costumes fit over your child’s own clothes, most of them attach like a full apron. It is terribly important, especially for the younger ones, that the child is comfortable – uncomfortable little ones have a hard time staying focused. We want them to feel successful, and if that means wearing their favorite brown leggings, that works for us. Generally neutral colored solid clothing works great, if you desire to embellish the costume further you are certainly welcome to.
What is the parent volunteer commitment for a 2-act musical?
Parents are required to sign up for two volunteer position per family during the show schedule, and are expected to miss one performance to execute their volunteer duty. This could mean a shift at the snack bar, helping backstage with costume changes, taking tickets, loading sets in or out, etc. A shift is generally about 3 hours. Sign up sheets are available beginning with the first parent meeting, which generally occurs within the first two weeks of rehearsals. Help with set building, sewing, publicity, graphic design, and photography are also encouraged.
Is there a ticket sales requirement for a 2-act musical?
Cast members are currently not required to sell a certain number of tickets to the show, but incentives may be offered to encourage cast member ticket sales. Actors are asked to try to sell 12 tickets to each show weekend.