We hope that these FAQ's will provide you with some
of the information you need to know about C.R.O.W.
If you still have questions or concerns, please feel
free to CONTACT US directly.
Q: Is there a cost/charge to participate in the C.R.O.W. mainstage Spring musical?
A: No! The only things you'll need to provide for your child are shoes, undergarments, hair accessories, and some make up for performances. C.R.O.W. provides all of the costumes, scripts, music, sets, lights, magic, and much MUCH more at no cost to your family. This fact, alone, differentiates us from 95% of all other youth theatre organizations in the nation.
Q: But doesn't it cost a lot to put up these huge Broadway-caliber youth productions?
A: Yes...our shows are gigantic, and are quite expensive to produce! But we know it matters, and we work really hard to keep the arts alive for our kids. We raise money by obtaining sponsorships from local businesses, accepting direct donations, selling ads in our program, and doing many different types of fundraisers, all so that your child can participate in the magic of live theatre without adding any financial strain to your family. We also rely heavily on volunteers....we could not do what we do without the support of our wonderful parents, local businesses, and community members who value the arts!
Q: Can my child audition for your mainstage shows if he/she is involved in sports or another activity on one or more nights per week?
A: Usually, no. C.R.O.W. requires all of our cast members to attend all required rehearsals. The show must be your primary commitment from Mid-January through Mid-April. In general, no rehearsals may be missed for other activities. However, not all cast members are called every single night. You will receive a copy of the rehearsal schedule at the first rehearsal, if you are offered a role. There will also be a general rehearsal schedule posted at the audition. Our rehearsals are from 6:30-8:45 pm (sometimes a little later) Monday through Thursday nights. If you have questions, feel free to ask us.
Q: What do I need to do to prepare for a C.R.O.W. audition?
A: In general, you just need to prepare a short song (about 16-32 bars) that shows off your voice. You may bring sheet music, or a background track on a device (such as an ipod) with no vocals on it (instrumental only). You should bring along some dance shoes (such as jazz or ballet shoes) if you have them. If not, sneakers will work. Another great thing to bring is a 8" x 10" Headshot and Resume. Remember....the more prepared and professional you can be, the better your chances of being cast in our show! Please CLICK HERE to visit our "Audition Tips" page for more information to help you succeed!
Q: What ages do you use in your shows?
A: Our youngest cast members are 4-7 years old and act as "Telegrammers" during our productions. For the mainstage production, we cast children and young adults up to age 22+. Occasionally, we will cast an older adult in a certain role, but we do try to cast youth whenever possible. Should you have any questions about C.R.O.W.'s casting policies, you are encouraged to EMAIL US.
Q: What's a "Telegrammer"?
A: A Telegrammer is an opportunity for our youngest performers to dip their toes into the water without the full commitment of the mainstage musical. Telegrammers perform a short song/dance before Act One and Act Two, and deliver "telegrams" (handwritten personal messages to cast/crew members) during Intermission. Telegrammers get a chance to see what it's like to be involved in a C.R.O.W. show, but don't have to come to as many rehearsals. Many of our Telegrammers have gone on to become mainstage show cast members! The rehearsal schedule for Telegrammers is reduced to only one night per week, with the exception of tech week.
Q: How do you cast your shows? Who decides?
A: Our casting decisions are made by a committee of production team members. Usually, this includes the Director, Musical Director, Assistant Director, Assistant Musical Director, and Producers.
Q: Why don’t you just announce casting immediately? Why do you wait a few days?
A: Putting together our mainstage musicals, is like a giant puzzle. Our directorial team cares very deeply about all of the kids who show up and audition for our shows. We always take a few days after auditions and callbacks to “let it sit,” and to make sure that we all still agree that we have made the right choices. Unfortunately, we are never able to cast every single child, but there have been occasions in the past where we have made a last-minute switch! So….while we know that it is nerve-wracking to wait for audition results, please know that everything is done from the heart and with complete respect for all of our kids and families. IMPORTANT: Parents, please take this time to be mentally prepared to help your child process the outcome. Should they receive some bad news, we hope you’ll use it as a lesson on grace, professionalism, and perseverance. We also hope that you will enroll your child in classes, workshops, or camps to hone those skills and to be better prepared next time.
Q: What's "tech week?"
A: "Tech week" refers to the week right before the show opens. The rehearsals will take place at the theatre. It is a very complicated rehearsal process during that week, in which all of the technical components of a show must come together (lights, costumes, make-up, sound, etc). If you or your child is cast in the show, absolutely no rehearsals can be missed during tech week. We need everyone present to make the show work! Also, tech week rehearsals frequently run much later than normal rehearsals. While there is no release time "set in stone," we can safely tell you that you and/or your child may not be released until 10 pm or later. This does not apply to Telegrammers who are released early.
Q: My child was not cast in your upcoming musical theatre production, and I'm confused/angry/upset. Why didn't he/she get in? His/her friend or sibling did get in.
A: This is always a difficult situation for parents and children to understand. Every year, the C.R.O.W. team must make several very tough decisions regarding which children are cast in our productions. We are looking for cast members who exhibit a strong audition in the following categories: voice, dance, acting, and stage presence. We view the audition as practice for real life. In life, you do not always get everything you go out for. Particularly, if you're unprepared, timid, don't dress professionally, or don't show a strong desire to be considered. It is important that a child demonstrate that he/she really wants to be a part of our production by providing a strong audition in all areas. Many of our cast members have been preparing for the audition for months and months.
If your child was not cast this year, encourage him/her to try again next year! Not only do we strive to put up the highest quality stage production we can, but we believe in the crucial educational philosophies of perseverance, dedication, motivation, professionalism, and hard work. We want your child to do well!
If you have more specific questions about your child's audition, please feel free to email Melanie at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Q: This whole thing seems like a big time commitment for a young person. Is it "worth it?"
A: We can't stress how "worth it," participating in a C.R.O.W. show is. Each year, we offer leading roles to kids who are carefully selected based upon a rigorous audition process. This teaches kids that nothing worth having is easily attained. The remainder of our cast is offered supporting and ensemble roles in which they can grow, observe, and learn. Many of our kids started in a small role and worked their way to the top!
Although our rehearsals take place outside of the classroom, our arts program is deeply rooted in education. Our goal is not just to put on a great show. Our goal is to teach kids about the performing arts. In addition, we strive to provide local youth the most professional process we can. This includes the very best of every technical theatre component such as lighting, sound, make-up, sets, special effects, and costumes.
So, if building character, making new friends, growing self-esteem, developing self-awareness, and working toward a common goal are "worth it" to you....then your child definitely should audition for a C.R.O.W. show.
Q: Why don't you just cast every single child that auditions?
A: With too many cast members onstage, kids don't get the rich kind of experience we want them to have. We've seen it too many times in other children's theatres...a cast of 100 kids, standing around onstage, looking bored. When there are too many kids in a cast, focusing on each individual child is just not possible. Also, brace yourself, but we don't believe that everyone "deserves a trophy." We believe in rewarding kids who are professional and prepared when they come to our audition. It's an important life skill that all young people need to learn. You don't get in just by showing up.
Q: Is there a cost for C.R.O.W. Summer Camps / Workshops / Classes?
A: Yes, our summer camps, workshops, and classes are the educational components of our program. This is where our kids learn the important skills needed to participate in our main stage productions. In order to provide the best possible curriculum and instruction, we do require a tuition fee. However, if you compare to most other organizations in the nation, you will see that C.R.O.W.'s tuition fees are less than half of what others require.
Q: How do I apply for a Summer Camp scholarship?
A: Limited financial need based scholarships are available. See our summer camp tab for more information and to print out a scholarship application. Keep an eye on the deadline!
If you have another question not addressed here, please feel free to CONTACT US directly.