Frequently asked questions
Do you run programs during the school year?
We have been running a lot of new programming during the school year! Our most successful programs are our Winter Intensive in December and our Spring Theatre Classes, held through the Lake Zurich Parks and Rec department. We change our programming from year to year though so stay tuned to see what we have in store for the 2020-2021 school year!
When do you run your summer programs?
What are the age breakdowns?
Here are the age breakdowns for the 2020 summer:
Where are you located?
Our rehearsal space is located at Alpine Chapel on Miller and Echo Lake Road in Lake Zurich, IL. Our shows are performed at the Lake Zurich High School Performing Arts Center.
When do you rehearse?
This varies but we mostly rehearse after 5 PM on weeknights. You can find each program's rehearsal schedule on the Summer Shows page of our website.
Do you work around conflicts?
In summer, we only have 6 short weeks to put together a full length musical production, so although we recognize that it can be a busy time we have some limits. If you will be missing more than 2 weeks of rehearsals we recommend that you find a different program that works better for your schedule. Please be forthright with your conflicts on your audition packet so we aren't blindsided by anything.
Why was I waitlisted?
Because we are a no cut program (everyone who auditions makes the show) we set a cap for how many students can audition for each show. It varies depending on the director's preference and the age of the students but can run anywhere between 65-85 students for each cast. We wait list students who try to sign up after we reach our cap and they will receive an audition slot if another student drops theirs. They can also be added to the ensemble after casting if anyone does not accept their role. This summer we received an unexpected number of sign ups and have unusually high wait lists. We are currently working on a plan that will allow us to run more shows in the summer to allow more students to participate.
Can my child do your program if they are a beginning or non-reader?
Absolutely! For our youngest program, Fireflies, we have a large number of mentors from our older programs to help guide new students through the show process. We choose shows that are age appropriate and written for young students so the material is easy and accessible. Students often gain confidence in their reading abilities when they are listening to a song, singing the lyrics, and following along in their script. Student mentors will help your child find the page and follow along if needed, but reading is not a large portion of our rehearsals.
What does a typical rehearsal look like?
This is program dependent! Our older programs spend a large portion of their time working on complicated harmonies, learning choreography, and doing in depth character studies. Our younger programs (especially Fireflies!) do warmups, play theatre games, sing songs, learn blocking and choreography, and learn about theatre through a variety of activities. We try to keeps things interesting and different each week and each rehearsal seems to fly by because of it!
Can my child participate if they have never done performing arts before?
Yes yes yes!!! We developed this program with the mission of creating accessible arts education opportunities for children in our community. We understand that performing can be scary but also exciting and fun! We make sure that all auditions are prefaced with an audition workshop that teaches the skills necessary to audition for a show. These skills are transferable to real experiences for your child later in life. We never cut children from the show, if they audition then they are in. This low-pressure and nurturing atmosphere is the foundation of our program as an educational arts experience, an experience meant for all!
Should I sign up if my child does not have friends in their program?
Yes! Our program is where longterm friendships across schools and towns develop. Our students in the Senior Company have known each other since their early days in our younger programs and have developed deep bonds with one another. We have a zero tolerance policy on bullying and exclusion and our directors are trained to spot students who may need some help connecting with their peers. We can confidently say that we have never had a child exit our program without at least one new friend.
If my child auditions, are we locked in to doing the show?
No. If you are on the fence about signing up, we recommend signing up for an audition slot and having your child come to our workshop. They will get a taste for what the program looks like and you can decide if they want to audition after that experience. It is even ok if you decide after casting that we are not the program for your family. We do not require tuition payment until the first rehearsal and we can give refunds in the first 2 weeks if there are extenuating circumstances. We developed this program as both a family tradition to do year after year and also a wading pool where children can dip their toes in the water to discover if theatre is an interest of theirs.
Are the shows age appropriate?
Yes. We have a long list of requirements that go into show choice. These requirements are entirely tied to the age group of the program we are choosing for. For example, our Fireflies show was chosen because Winnie the Pooh is a well known character and an overall wholesome message. We chose the "Kids" version of the show because it is the easiest level that allows for the greatest success from our participants. We put a lot of forethought into these choices and always welcome questions about the material ahead of time.
With COVID-19, will there be any change to Cricket's summer season?
Our summer musicals are officially cancelled because of COVID-19 restrictions put in by local and state governments. We will still be running Letters to Sala, our summer play, because it is a much smaller cast size and the show dates are later in the summer. We are so sad to be doing this but we care about the safety and health of all our students and would hate to put that at risk in these times. We plan to return next summer with our full range of shows and even hope to run the same 4 shows we planned for this year.