General Info for Participants
FAQ

Below are some of the things we do at BackStory that tend to be standard across classes and casts! If you ever have a question, please don't hesitate to reach out to Ms. Mary, our Executive Director or Ms. Kelly, our Program Coordinator for more info!

Behavior Expectations

We write our blocking in PENCIL
but our LINES are Highlighted

(this means we know our own roles really well AND stay flexible in our thinking and teamwork)

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Advocate for Yourself

  • Ask Questions

  • Make your needs known

  • Take care of you and your responsibilities first.

  • Lead with kindness & it will follow

Show Up for the Team with your Best Self

  • Check your day's baggage at the door.

  • Be present in the room (not on your phone, not focused on other things than the task at hand.)

  • Be prepared with all you are responsible for. (Ex. Lines memorized, script in hand, blocking written in pencil.)

Keep Stuff Safe

  • If it's not your prop, PLEASE DON'T TOUCH IT.

  • If it is your prop, use it appropriately

  • If it's not on your body, put it on a hanger/in bin.

  • If it's not yours, PLEASE DON'T TOUCH IT.

Art is First - Director as the Leader

  • When we share and build together, we give wonderful art to the audience!

  • Your development as an artist; doing one thing better than the time before, creates art.

  • The director is the leader; follow the leader and trust their vision.

Assume Positive Intent

  • We are all here to make art.

  • We are all here to have fun.

  • Assume the best of people first.

  • Lead with Empathy

Solve Conflicts Effectively

  • Use "Ouch/Oops" in the moment to address a hurt feeling or misunderstanding.

  • Talk to the person 1 on 1, using "I" statements; don't gossip with peers.

  • If you can't solve the issue on your own or you don't feel okay, talk with the director or producer.

The Basics

  • Call time - This is the time you need to be ready to warm up, rehearse, etc.

  • Communicate - If you're going to be late, don't understand a direction, or need something, let your teacher, director, producer, or stage manager know right away!

  • Base Layer - This is a layer of clothing for actors to wear that goes under their costume. This layer fits fairly tightly and could be black, white, or match your skin tone. Directors may ask for different colors based on costuming. The base layer protects costumes from excess sweat, provides modesty during costume changes, and may protect the skin against irritating fabrics. A good base layer is comfortable, breathable, and keeps you covered from your knees up to your shoulders. Ex. Leggings and a t-shirt.

  • Off Book - This means you have your lines memorized, your blocking (where you go on stage) learned, and you're ready to perform. After you're off book, the director, or an assistant may be "on book" to give you a line if you forget. If you're in REHEARSAL and forget your lines, you just call, "Line!', to be reminded of the first 2-3 words so you can stay in character and keep going. At some point, you won't be able to call for line and will use the skill of "covering" to keep going as in a performance.

  • Tech Week/Tech Rehearsal - These rehearsals are focused time to resolve blocking issues, incorporate additional tech (lights/sound) and are often treated like performances (using props and costumes and covering rather than "line" calling). However, they may also involve cue-to-cue runs or hone in on specific scenes to coordinate lights/sound on stage.

  • What to Bring to Class or Rehearsal - Water bottle, script, pencil, highlighter, paper* to take notes, non-messy snack. *Some students like to take notes on their phone but this can be inefficient for capturing blocking changes or complex movement.

  • Other things you might be asked to bring - A device that can record (music rehearsal or classes), your base layer, costume pieces or props for yourself, a replacement prop (basically a stand in until you have your real prop), lunch or dinner for longer rehearsal days.

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Why Should I Take an Academy Class?
Learn and Reinforce Theater Basics
Self Confidence
Safe Space to Try New Things!
Develop Skills for:

- Communication
- Team work
- Perseverance

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Why Should I Take a Technique Class or Workshop?
Reinforce Skills
Learn New Skills
Take your abilities to the next level
Focused learning
Opportunity to try something new
Short time commitments
Grow and learn in low stress space

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Why Should I Take Classes once I've done a Stage Production or become a Youth Leader

Learning never stops
Continual practice of your craft
Discovering New Passions
Filling learning gaps
Getting to know new people
Exemplifies a growth mindset.