Production FAQ

Welcome First Act KC Families!

First Act productions involve a lot of exciting events. We’ve provided a cheat sheet below to help you through everything that will happen during the process to help you out during your first show with us! For more information, including detailed description of parent committees, please check out our First Act Family Guide!

New families, check out our First Act Glossary!

  1. Classes – Class enrollment is not required to audition for a show, but enrolling in a class will result in a lower production fee. Students who do not enroll in a class must enroll in the Production Opt-Out in order to audition for a show.
  2. Auditions – you will fill out an Audition Form and then sign up for an audition time slot via Sign Up Genius
  3. Callbacks – you may or may not get called back for more auditioning. Remember, many students will be cast in the show who don’t receive a callback!
  4. Parent Meetings – held twice during the rehearsal process; required for all families. Important information about the show will be communicated here!
  5. Rehearsals – Tuesday and Friday evenings and a couple of Saturdays up to the week of the show; sessions begin with 10 minutes of worship time – students may use this interlude for worship or quiet reflection in preparation for the rehearsal
  6. Production Committees – family members will be assigned to a production committee that will require about 20 hours of pre show preparation and several show commitments
  7. Costume Parade a time for the Artistic Team to see cast members in full costume, hair & makeup
  8. Performances – there are 6-7 performances (possibly one School Day Show)
  9. Strike – after the last show, everybody cleans up, then there are awards and a Post-Show Celebration

Prior to auditions, parent/guardian must agree to the following:

  • If my student is cast in the production, I will ensure that they are present at every performance and at each rehearsal to which they are called. 
  • If my student is sick, I will contact the Production Coordinator prior to the event they will miss.
  • If my student has three or more unexcused absences from rehearsal, they may be removed from the production.
  • Once my student has auditioned for a production, I will NOT be able to receive a refund for class tuition.
  • A $250 Production Fee will be assessed for my student, and I will ensure it is paid by the assigned deadline.
  • I will purchase required personal items such as tights, shoes, make-up, etc.
  • I will be present at both production meetings and will serve a minimum of 20 hours on a Production Committee.

First Act Production FAQ

Does my child need to be enrolled in a class to be in a show?

We highly encourage students in our shows to be enrolled in one of our many class offerings. We offer semester classes, trimester classes, private lessons, and more! If our class options do not work, you will be asked to pay the “Production Opt-Out Fee” along with your production fee. See more information about this under “What are the financial requirements to be in a First Act show?”

How do I prepare for an audition?

An audition can be a daunting thing to prepare for, but you got this! Choose a one minute cut of a song and either find sheet music or an accompaniment track to bring with you. Most musical theatre songs have an instrumental version on YouTube. Memorize the words and bring the character to life!

Come to your audition in something comfortable that you can move in, and be prepared to sing your song and learn a short dance audition.

For more audition specifics, visit our Audition Information page.

Note: Summer Auditions run a little bit differently, be sure to visit your camp’s specific page before those auditions.

What is a Parent Committee?

A Parent Committee is a small group of parents assigned to one specific part of the production process. Our parent committees are Backstage, Costumes, Green Room, House, Makeup, Opportunity Baskets, Production Support, Props, Marketing/Public Relations, Refreshments, Sets, Souvenirs, and Tech. Learn more about specific committee definitions HERE.

Each committee is led by a Chairperson, or Co-Chairs. This is usually an experienced parent who has worked in this area before. The Chair’s responsibility is to lead their committee in completing the tasks for their team. The Chair doesn’t do all the work! The committees work under the guidance of the Director and Production Coordinator. 

How do I choose my Parent Committee?

First Act Parent Committees are assigned based on needs. You will have the opportunity to fill out a Parent Committee Form and select your top three committees that you would like to serve on. However, depending on the production and needs, you may not get your first, or even second choice, but are encouraged to step out of your comfort zone and maybe learn something new and meet new parents!

Each committee’s work happens at a different time. Some committees, like the Marketing/PR Committee, do their work early in the session. Other committees, like sets and costumes, are mostly done before the show begins. Some committees do most of their work during the performances. There are even a few jobs that happen once the show is finished! Take this into account when considering your availability and committee preferences.

Why does First Act have Parent Committees?

First Act Theatre Arts is not just for students! Families are a large part of making our program successful, and family members have a great time getting to know one another and working toward a great show!

Not only are families integral in helping ensure students are present and prepared, but they are also a vital part of the production process. When a student is cast in a production, at least one adult family member must attend two Production Meetings and serve on a Production Committee. These production committees work alongside the Artistic Team, Production Coordinator, and First Act Office Staff to design and build the production’s costumes, sets, marketing materials, and more! Being part of a Production Committee is a great opportunity for fellowship and fun! Through production work, many of our First Act families make lifelong friendships.

What is the time commitment to be in a First Act show?

Accepting a role in a First Act production is a significant commitment for the student and the family. We work together as a community to create a Broadway style production in just 8-10 weeks. 

Performers are expected to attend all rehearsals, unless otherwise indicated on the rehearsal schedule or your conflict sheet. Rehearsals are scheduled on Tuesday and Friday and an occasional Saturday. Show week rehearsals are Sunday-Wednesday evening and are mandatory unless a prior conflict has been approved by the Executive Director. Attendance at all performances is mandatory.

Families of performers are expected to serve a minimum of 20 hours on one or more of our parent committees, attend our two production meetings, participate in Move-In and Strike, and promote and sell tickets to the show!

When will I know the rehearsal schedule?

When the cast list is announced, who is called to the first four rehearsals will be announced with it. Then, after the director has time to review cast conflicts, the full rehearsal schedule will be released to families. This is usually within the first week of rehearsals.

Does my child need to be at all rehearsals?

Your child should be available for all rehearsals that were not marked on their show conflict form. However, the rehearsal schedule often will have rehearsals that are not full cast. This varies from show to show.

When do First Act shows rehearse?

Rehearsals are scheduled on Tuesday and Friday and an occasional Saturday. Tuesday rehearsals are 5:30-8:30 PM and Friday rehearsals are 5:30-9:00 PM. Saturday rehearsal times vary, but are most often from 9 AM – 1 PM. 

Rehearsals begin with warm ups, and a short time of worship and prayer to center us before we begin. Often the worship song relates to the theme and message of the show! The cast then spends time learning the music, choreography, and blocking for the show.

Show week rehearsals are Sunday-Wednesday evening from 5-9 PM and are mandatory unless a prior conflict has been approved by the Executive Director. Attendance at all performances is mandatory.

What is First Act’s absence policy?

An unexcused absence is defined as the following: any absence from a rehearsal not indicated on the conflict sheet at the time of auditions for any reason other than sickness or family emergency. Please note that absences communicated AFTER the cast list has been posted will be considered unexcused unless they are for sickness or family emergency. 

When a student has 2 unexcused absences, the directing team reserves the right to remove that student from a scene or song in the show.

When a student has 3 unexcused absences, they will be dropped from the show. Any appeals must be made to the Executive Director.

Any student with 5 or more absences (~25% of the rehearsal process) listed on their conflict sheet will not be considered for a principal role in the show.

Tech Week Absences (starting on Move-in Sunday and continuing until the close of the show) are only allowed with approval from the Executive Director. 

If a student misses a performance, they will be immediately removed from the show and will not perform in the remainder of the production.

Why do rehearsal conflicts matter?

Our production process is fairly short and intensive. When you miss 5 rehearsals, you’re missing about 25% of the rehearsal process. We understand that families have a lot going on, so we ask you to review your schedule before you commit to a production!

What are the financial requirements to be in a First Act show?

There are three different types of costs for First Act Productions: Required, Highly Suggested, and Optional. 

Required Costs: 

  • $250 Production Fee – Includes one (1) show t-shirt, two (2) tickets to the show, and one (1) VIMEO download link of a professionally shot and edited video of the show (per family).**
  • Class Cost – Varies depending on your family’s selection.
    • Option 1 – Trimester Classes – $185 – These classes follow the show season calendar, with options offered in the fall, winter, and spring sessions.
    • Option 2 – Semester Classes – $240-400 – These classes include our Dance Studio classes and Private Acting and Voice Lessons. 
    • Option 3 – HEART Production Package – $300 – This is offered to students with disabilities enrolled in our HEART program who would like to participate in a production without being enrolled in a class. NOTE: This cost covers the student’s production fee, you will not be charged an extra $250.
    • Option 4 – Production Opt Out Fee – $255 – If you are unable to enroll in one of our many class offerings, we offer an Opt Out fee that allows you to participate in a show without being enrolled in a class.
  • Show shoes and socks. This varies from production to production, but ranges from $25-40.
  • Additional costume items – this may or may not be a cost, depending on the show, but generally is under $20.

Highly Suggested Costs:

  • Stage Make-up Kit  – $25 – this can be used for multiple shows
  • Saturday Meal – $8 – Saturday’s meal is provided in between the two Saturday shows.
  • Strike Meal – $10 – Strike meal is part of our Sunday tradition where we celebrate the end of the production, this event is for the entire family!

Optional:

  • Additional Show T-shirts and/or hoodies – $15-26
  • Congrat Ads (appears in the show playbill) – $5-10
  • Souvenirs such as Brag Buttons, Stickers, Posters, Etc – $5-10
  • Professional Show Photo Link – $25

**While we think the Production Fee is a great value, we understand that it can be a daunting amount, especially for families that have multiple children in the production. If you would like to discuss special arrangements/payment plan options, please contact the First Act office at (913) 681-3318.

Are there options available for financial support?

The Kevin Milbourn scholarship fund is dedicated to helping students fulfill their dreams of participating in First Act Theatre Arts classes and productions through financial assistance. Apply here.

While we think the Production Fee is a great value, we understand that it can be a daunting amount, especially for families that have multiple children in the production. If you would like to discuss special arrangements/payment plan options, please contact the First Act office at (913) 681-3318.

What is a show bin and why do you use them?

A show bin is a small tote that students will bring with them to the theater during the week of the show. This is used to hold all of their personal items they’ll need during the show including hair products and supplies, makeup, makeup wipes, personal costume items, and more. Because we cannot leave anything at the theater overnight, these bins allow students to have everything in one spot easily that they will need. Students often decorate their bins with stickers from shows they’ve been in or signatures from their friends!

Can I take pictures or videos of the show?

Because of copyright rules, photography and videography are NOT allowed at First Act shows. However, along with your production fee, you will receive a professional video recording of the show. You also have the option to purchase a gallery of professional pictures, including a cast photo and individual headshot of your student for $25.

Who do I contact when I have questions about the production? 

Our production coordinators serve as the first point of contact for all parents of students in First Act shows. They are a liaison between parents and the directing team, and will communicate at least once a week with the entire production community via email. They will also hold the two parent production meetings, and answer any questions you have!

Fun for the Whole Family

First Act Theatre Arts is not just for students! Families are a large part of making our program successful, and family members have a great time getting to know one another and working toward a great show!

Not only are families integral in helping ensure students are present and prepared, but they are also a vital part of the production process. When a student is cast in a production, at least one adult family member must attend two Production Meetings and serve on a Production Committee. These production committees work alongside the Artistic Team, Production Coordinator, and First Act Office Staff to design and build the production’s costumes, sets, marketing materials, and more! Being part of a Production Committee is a great opportunity for fellowship and fun! Through production work, many of our First Act families make lifelong friendships!

How to get into musical theatre as a kid?

Getting into musical theatre as a child can be an exciting and rewarding journey! Here are some steps you can take to pursue this passion:

  1. Take Acting, Singing, and Dancing Classes: Enroll in classes in acting, singing, and dancing to develop your skills and become a well-rounded performer. Many community centers, performing arts schools, and private instructors offer classes specifically for children.
  2. Join School or Community Productions: Participate in school plays, musicals, or community theatre productions. This will give you valuable experience and help you build confidence on stage.
  3. Audition for Youth Theatre Programs: Look for youth theatre programs or children’s theatre companies in your area. These organizations often offer workshops, classes, and performance opportunities tailored to young performers.
  4. Attend Musical Theatre Camps: Consider attending a summer camp focused on musical theatre. These camps provide intensive training in singing, acting, and dancing, as well as the opportunity to collaborate with other young performers.
  5. Build a Repertoire of Songs and Monologues: Start building a repertoire of songs and monologues that showcase your talents. Choose pieces that highlight your strengths and range as a performer.
  6. Stay Informed About Auditions: Keep an eye out for audition notices for youth productions, school musicals, and community theatre shows. Auditioning regularly will help you gain experience and exposure in the musical theatre world.
  7. Network and Make Connections: Attend musical theatre workshops, conventions, and events in your area to meet other young performers, directors, and industry professionals. Networking can open doors to new opportunities and help you establish connections in the industry.
  8. Work on Your Craft Consistently: Practice regularly and continue to hone your skills as a performer. Whether it’s singing scales, practicing dance routines, or memorizing lines, consistent practice is key to improvement.
  9. Stay Positive and Persistent: Rejection is a natural part of the audition process, so don’t be discouraged by setbacks. Stay positive, keep working hard, and remain persistent in pursuing your passion for musical theatre.
  10. Have Fun and Enjoy the Journey: Most importantly, have fun and enjoy the journey! Musical theatre is a rewarding and enriching experience that allows you to express yourself creatively and share your talents with others. Embrace every opportunity to perform and learn, and remember to always follow your passion!

Why is Youth Theatre important?

Youth theatre plays a crucial role in the development and growth of children and adolescents, offering numerous benefits beyond just performance skills. Here’s why youth theatre is important:

  1. Creativity and Expression: Youth theatre provides a platform for children to explore and express their creativity. Through acting, singing, dancing, and improvisation, young performers learn to express themselves in imaginative and innovative ways.
  2. Confidence Building: Participating in theatre helps boost self-confidence and self-esteem. Performing in front of an audience, memorizing lines, and collaborating with fellow cast members all contribute to a sense of accomplishment and pride in one’s abilities.
  3. Communication Skills: Youth theatre teaches effective communication skills, both verbal and non-verbal. Performers learn how to articulate their thoughts, express emotions, and convey ideas clearly and persuasively, which are valuable skills in all aspects of life.
  4. Teamwork and Collaboration: Theatre is a collaborative art form that requires teamwork and cooperation. Young performers learn to work together towards a common goal, respect each other’s ideas, and support one another, fostering valuable interpersonal skills and empathy.
  5. Problem-Solving Abilities: Rehearsing and performing in theatre productions often involve overcoming challenges and finding creative solutions. Whether it’s adapting to last-minute changes, resolving conflicts, or improvising on stage, youth theatre helps develop problem-solving skills and adaptability.
  6. Cultural and Historical Awareness: Many theatre productions explore diverse cultures, historical events, and social issues, providing opportunities for young performers to broaden their understanding of the world around them. Youth theatre encourages empathy, tolerance, and appreciation for different perspectives.
  7. Emotional Intelligence: Acting requires performers to understand and convey a wide range of emotions authentically. Through character development and storytelling, youth theatre helps children develop emotional intelligence, empathy, and the ability to connect with others on a deeper level.
  8. Critical Thinking: Analyzing scripts, interpreting characters, and making creative choices all require critical thinking skills. Youth theatre encourages young performers to think critically, analyze situations from multiple perspectives, and make informed decisions.
  9. Lifelong Appreciation for the Arts: Participating in youth theatre often sparks a lifelong appreciation for the performing arts. Whether or not they pursue a career in theatre, young performers gain an understanding and appreciation for the value of artistic expression and cultural enrichment.
  10. Community Engagement and Inclusion: Youth theatre brings together young people from diverse backgrounds and creates inclusive spaces where everyone is valued and respected. It fosters a sense of belonging and community, nurturing social connections and friendships that can last a lifetime.

 

Overall, youth theatre is important because it nurtures creativity, confidence, communication skills, and empathy while providing young people with a supportive environment to learn, grow, and express themselves.