Please visit our Booster Club page for information on how to get involved, meeting dates and times, and contacts for WCSPA Parent Officers.
Commonly Asked Parent Questions:
- 1.) What is a "Tech Week"?
1.) What is a "Tech Week"?
Tech Week refers to the week any show opens. During this week, we combine all of the technical elements of the show (the scenery, lights, costumes, sound, musicians, etc.), along with the performers in the theatre for the very first time. These rehearsals (Monday-Thursday) are by far the most important, complex and stressful days involved with any show. The tech rehearsals are compressed into the shortest amount of time possible to get the show ready for a public performance. Tech week rehearsals after school go from 3-9 PM for Level 1 and 3-10PM for Levels 2-4. Performances are usually on Friday and Saturday. Call times on the day of a show is generally 5:30PM. Night shows typically start at 7:30PM. Transportation to and from these rehearsals and shows is the responsibility of the student and his/her parents. Students are always excused on-time at the end of the scheduled rehearsal.
Attendance at tech rehearsals is mandatory for all cast and crew, and can only be excused in the most extreme circumstances and with advance notice. These rehearsals are an integral part of the student’s training as well as an academic requirement for the course. All tech weeks are scheduled at the beginning of each year to help students and parents plan accordingly. Dinner is provided free of charge for the students. Meals are prepared and served by district workers along with volunteer parents from our Booster Club.
- 2.) What is a "Shop Call"?
Shop calls refer to the time after school when we build and paint the scenery, sew the costumes and work on other technical areas of the shows in preparation for 'Tech Week'. Shop calls are voluntary and usually run from 3-6 PM. Students sign-up in advance for the days they are willing to come. When we get closer to a tech week, the hours extend until 7 or 8PM. Shop calls offer students hand's on training, social engagement with the upper level students, one-on-one instruction with the faculty, and most importantly, it gives students ownership in the productions they are actively building.
- 3.) What is a "Team Day"?
Students from all four levels are integrated together in one full day of Performing Arts activities. Team Day is intended to build unity between Level One students and the students in the Upper Levels. The day is filled with fun exercises and activities. Level 1 students come to school just like they would on any other day. They will be returned to their home school in time to take their busses home.
- 4.) What are "Thespians"?
The International Thespian Organization is a student organization that supports theater arts and activities at the high school level. Many schools throughout the state have a 'Thespian Troupe'. We are Thespian Troupe 1000. The students involved call themselves Thespians, named after the first actor: Thespis. Students can become members after completing Level One. There is a small fee to join the society, which includes a subscription to a theatre magazine. Students in Levels 2-4 must be members to attend the Michigan Thespian Festival, which takes place in mid-December. The festival includes individual event competitions, workshops, performances, theater booths, college information for all students participating as well as scholarship opportunities for graduating seniors. There is a separate charge to attend the Festival.
- 5.) What is the Ad Campaign?
The Ad Campaign is the name given to the month and a half in which we solicit advertisements for our Season Program. The "Ad Book" is a season program that is handed out at each of our performances; it contains photos, student biographies and advertisements. In order to pay for the printing of our programs and to raise additional funds, students and parents alike are asked to solicit advertising from local businesses. All the money earned from the Ad Campaign in spent in that school year and is used to purchase additional supplies for productions. "Ad Slams" refer to days when students from WCSPA go out together in small groups to try and sell ads after school. Ad Slams are optional. Forms can be downloaded from our website. The Ad Campaign is our one and only fundraiser of the year.
- 6.) Shop cloths and Dance attire:
Shop clothes are necessary for the days we are painting and working on scenery in class. Essentially, shop clothes are just clothes/shoes that are old, damaged or misfit. There is no need to buy shop clothes. They just need to be something that you don't mind getting paint on.
Dance clothes are required for the dance portion of class. Students are required to wear dance/exercise clothing (comfortable, flexible, fitted clothing and Jazz shoes or other dance wear) similar to that required in a gym class. General/basic dance attire such as leotards, tights, jazz pants can be found at Discount Dance Supply: www.discountdancesupply.com. When ordering please enter the following Teacher Referral Code: TP67315
**Level One students will be fit into a pair of split-soled jazz shoes (Capezio EJ2), which are provided for their use in class by WCSPA. If absent the day of fittings, the student must be fitted at the store outside of the school day. Students will be held responsible for lost or damaged shoes, see the Dance Class Syllabus for further details. Local Dancewear Supplier:
-R&D Dancewear (Dodge Park and 15 Mile, across from Ram's Horn 586-264-7600)
RD’s is open on Saturdays and Sundays through September, see store for hours or call ahead! Be sure to mention you are a WCSPA student to receive our discount on all purchases!
- 7.) What are the out-of-school requirements for WCSPA?
Although we do not require a lot of out-of-school time, there are some specific days that are required and are graded. This depends on your son/daughter's Level. Level One students are required to attend Shakespeare Night as well as the Tech Week for their musical. Shakespeare Night is always in November and the Level One musical is in March. See the calendar for exact dates. Level 2 must take part in at least two tech weeks, Level 3 & 4 (three tech weeks). In addition to the required shows mentioned, students may volunteer to work on crew for any show. If a student volunteers and is selected, then they would also have to attend the tech week for that show as well.
- 8.) How do classes work?
Level One: Level One meets for the first two hours of the school day. Typically, Level One is divided into four smaller groups. Each of the groups sees two of the four WCSPA teachers in a day on a rotating schedule. When rehearsing for a show the class may be subdivided differently depending on the needs of the show. The student grade from WCSPA is a combination of all 4 teachers. This grade is worth twice as much as a regular class, since the class is twice as long.
Levels 2-4: These levels meet for the last two hours of the school day. Levels 2 and 3 are subdivided into two groups. Level 4 is one group. The groups rotate among teachers equally. Each Level has a unique curriculum for each of the teachers. When working on a production, the classes will be divided differently depending on the size and needs of the show. Grading varies by quarter; students are given a grading breakdown in paper each quarter.
*Occasionally, students in all levels will be taught by visiting guest artists in addition to faculty.
- 9.) What is the banquet?
The banquet is our annual celebration of all we do in WCSPA throughout the year. At the banquet students receive a medal recognizing their advancement for each level of the program. First year students are then eligible to join Thespian Troupe 1000. Some students also receive individual awards for accomplishments related to WCSPA productions. Dinner is served in a semi-formal setting. The night ends with an announcement of next year's season. Families are welcome to come, but there is generally a charge to attend (to defray the food and rental costs). Invitations with additional details will be sent out in May.
- 10.) What is a "Studio" Show?
A studio show refers to any show we produce in a location other than the Big Theatre (PAC). Usually studio shows take place in the “Little Theatre” at SHHS and are not generally advertised in our Season Program. These events may be added to our calendar throughout the year. The only studio show Level One will participate in is their Shakespeare Night. Performing in Shakespeare Night is required for all Level One students. Attendance is free for all Studio Shows. Studio shows typically begin at 7:00 PM