Questions and Answers
What about auditions? You
don't have to "pass" the audition to be in the cast. But the
distribution of parts is determined by audition. The class session is
are an introduction to the show and to the staff. An audition sign-up
will be circulated. The auditions follow. We
try to provide everyone a speaking part because one of our goals is to
experience for all, not just for the already-experienced. We frequently
double-cast to extend the number of key roles. But the final
decision regarding double-casting will be the director's.
Why a tuition? We’re not funded by
the School District. In "good" years BUSD may have a little money
to spare for this. But we have not sought it for the following reasons.
- The money would have to be removed from some other current BUSD
- This program benefits a small group – the cast and their
families. Three expert teachers and a support crew spend 4 hours per
week for twelve weeks fashioning a wondrous experience for only 18-24
kids. It seems fair
that the families who enjoy the windfall should bear most of the cost.
- Public money has rules attached. We observe all rules which deal
with opportunity, safety and equity for the kids. But for none of
the adult staff is this our principal livelihood. The rules don't
fit this situation well.
- By paying our way we keep our mission.
Isn’t there enough youth theater out there already?
We believe there is more demand than the current programs
at the middle schools and high school can serve. In BUSD there are
2100 7th-9th graders but very few slots in the casts of musical
productions. Our program compares strongly in quality, challenge
and efficiency with
all local programs, even with private ones which cost much more. Kids
parent want more venues.
Why exclude 6th graders? Our
first three productions were dominated by sixth graders. Their
amazing efforts gave this Troupe its birth. Now that we're not based at
one middle school, we don't expect 6th graders to trek around town
after us but to support
their own schools. We are assembling older, more experienced youth who
thinking about doing drama at high school.
Why include 9th - 11th graders?
BHS has one theater program. The competition for parts it its two
yearly productions excludes all but a handful of 9th and 10th
This forces 9th and 10th graders who want to advance to BHS productions
to go outside Berkeley for a venue.