How long have you been doing Standing Ovations Theatre Camps and Programs?
2. How old should you be to attend Standing Ovations Theatre Camps and Programs?
7 years old (or going into 2nd grade) through 17 years old (or going into 12th grade) for our basic camps, and 12 years old (or going into 7th grade) through 17 years old for our Teen Camps. We leave it to the parents' and our staff’s discretion to decide whether their 12 or 13-year-old will most benefit from being the oldest in a younger camp or youngest in an older camp. The age criterion of 7 and up is based on a few different variables, but its primary intent is to try and insure that the camper's experience is a positive and enjoyable one.
A general rule of thumb is that if your camper will be entering 2nd grade at the end of summer s/he will likely have the reading ability and maturity necessary to find the camp enjoyable. If s/he will be entering first grade at the end of summer you may want to wait until the following season. Of course we occasionally have some 6 year olds and even have had a few amazing five year olds. In these cases it is probably up to the director’s discretion.
3. Is it okay to sign up my child if he or she has never acted before?
Yes! All the programs are designed for any level of actor. Many of our students have started having never acted before and ultimately major in the dramatic arts in college. Not only do we teach students to act, but also many life lessons. One of my main philosophies is that children need to be exposed to the performing arts in order to gain a certain confidence to carry them into the real world as they grow older.
4. What is the student-teacher ratio at camp?
Approximately 9:1. We make sure that each student is involved in each of our activities. Every student receives a speaking role in the final production and performs in almost every musical number.
5. Who are the teachers/counselors at Standing Ovations Theatre Camp and Programs?
The staff at Standing Ovations Theatre Camp is composed of Barrett Lindsay-Steiner, the program director, a handful of counselors who are the directors of the shows, junior counselors and counselors in training. Staff members are generally college and high school students who Barrett has worked with very closely throughout their early acting career.
6. What happens during a typical day at Standing Ovations Summer Theatre Camp?
For the first half-hour, from 9-9:30 am, the Youth and Teen groups meets together for announcements and to do a warm-up. Then the two groups divide up for games, scene-work, song-work, or choreography. Our snack break is from 10:30-11 and our lunch break is from 12:30-1. After lunch, everyone in the camp generally gets together for a round of games before breaking into elective from 1:45-2:45. Electives can include, but are not limited to, swimming, theatre games, dance, singing, and voice and speech. Occasionally, some actors will be asked to work on scenes during elective to better utilize the time in our short three-week session. Scene-work during elective is much more common in the Teen group, though youth can still be asked particularly when it’s down to crunch time. At 2:45, everyone in camp is once again reunited for a few announcements, then released at three to go home at 3. If parents are unable to pick up their child at 3, aftercare is offered at an additional cost through the CCJCC.
7. What should my child bring to Standing Ovations Theatre Camp/Programs? What clothes are appropriate?
For summer camp: A bag lunch with a snack (hot lunch is also provided at a separate cost), any necessary medication, water (lots! It’s summer and it’s hot, so we don’t want anyone to get dehydrated). We also prefer if they arrive with sunscreen on as some activities take place outdoors. If your child is interested in attending the swimming elective, s/he should also bring a swimsuit, sunscreen (for reapplication), towel, goggles, and any other swim attire they might need.
For all the programs: Each actor should have a binder to fill with song sheets, scripts, and any other pertinent information. They should also have a pen or pencil with them every day so that they can write down blocking and choreography. If your child has dance shoes s/he is strongly encouraged to bring them for blocking numbers and for dance elective. All participants should wear clothes that are comfortable to move in. It is preferred that girls do not wear skirts (unless requested by the director), but if leggings are worn underneath, it is more acceptable. Sandals and flip-flops are not allowed (except if swimming is involved) Closed toed shoes are best (Crocs are okay). Partcipants are sometimes asked to bring costume pieces and props from home for the final production, but a separate email will be sent out focusing more on this.
8. How do you cast the shows? Does everyone get a part?
On the first day of camp or a new program, all participants receive a CD and a song sheet, they are expected to have these songs completely memorized within a short period. Auditions generally take place the first few days of a session and include singing a snippet of a song from the show. The Teen group may have a more in depth audition including cold reading and a dance portion, but this is at the discretion of the director. Every actor receives a speaking role.
9. What if my child is unhappy with his or her role?
Most participants, even if they are initially unhappy with their casting, find that they love their roles after a day or two of rehearsal. We find that even if cast in a role that has only one scene and a few lines, an actor with a good attitude can make the most of it, and often becomes one of the most memorable actors in the show! We also reward our hardest working actors with solos in songs and bit parts that are unassigned when the show is initially cast.
10. What is the disciplinary procedure?
Discipline is taken on a case-by-case basis. In general, participants that are having issues are pulled aside by one of the directors to see if the staff and camper can see eye-to-eye on an issue. If it is a problem that needs outside involvement, we will email or phone the parent to inform them of the problem. If we are unable to address the issue on the spot due to the nature of a particular activity, we will put the camper on a time out momentarily until the problem can be attended to.
11. Do you accept kids with special needs?
Yes. In the past we have had participants with autism, cerebral palsy, Asperger's syndrome, diabetes, and other mental and physical challenges. We find that most of these students do extremely well and actually flourish in a dramatic setting. Students with severe challenges may need the on-site attention of a parent or caregiver - this is decided on a case-by-case basis. We ask that all parents of children with special needs notify us in advance. The more we know, the more prepared our staff can be.
12. Is it okay to miss days or practices?
The participants who are able to attend every day undoubtedly have a more rewarding experience, but we do not deny opportunities to those who cannot every day. During the summer, some campers often have swimming in the morning and have to arrive late, have vacations that interfere with a week of camp, and we even some campers who join the second week. It must be noted that those campers who will be missing a large portion of camp will not receive the largest roles only because of time constraints. We cannot block a show when the leading man or lady is not there for the second week when the majority of blocking takes place. Of course, emergencies and illnesses happen, and we do our best to work with them. Parents and children should remember that putting on a play requires a team effort from all cast members. Please let us know if an actor is going to be absent on any given day.
13. My child loved camp! Can we sign up for a second session, or will it be too repetitive?
Your child can absolutely sign up for a second session! There is a different show performed every session. The group of kids and counselors changes every session as well. Some campers choose to attend all three sessions every summer. Every opportunity your child has to perform, the greater their skill as an actor and as a confident human being will be.
14. My child has been attending camp for many years, and wants to take the next step. How can s/he become a Junior Counselor, Counselor in Training or Student Intern?
Interns should be former participants at least 14 years of age. Please send an email of interest (preferably from the student themselves) indicating availability and a resume of work experience to Barrett Lindsay-Steiner at email@example.com.
15. Do you have scholarship/financial aid/payment plans?
Yes. We offer need-based scholarships/financial aid/payment plans on a case-by-case basis. Please submit an email stating your need with your enrollment form, indicating how much you are able to pay to Barrett Lindsay-Steiner at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will do our best to work with every family so their actor can participte in our programs.
16. My son is skeptical about theatre camp because Drama is considered a “girly” thing. How do I convince him to go?
Ask how many actors he watches in films. The majority of roles in both cinema and theatre are male. And the male performers income is about 500% more than the females. In the acting world, there are many more girls competing for fewer roles, and if he likes acting even the slightest, there is an abundance of opportunities in the future. There is no harm in trying theatre. Even if he doesn’t like it after one try, the things he will have learned will stay with him later on in life.