Frequently Asked Questions

STW 2015 Students and Interns enjoy a game of Zip Zap Zop

How do I buy tickets?

Go to the "Box Office" page on this website for details.

How many students will participate?

We anticipate 45 or more will join the program this summer;  we had 25 students in our inaugural 2015 season.

Who is eligible?

Students currently (2015/16)  in grades 6-12 may join.  

Why are students going into 6th grade excluded?

Students up to and including grade 6 are primary school students.  A different supervisory structure is demanded for primary students than is demanded for secondary students.

I live in the North Shore CSD but go to private school - can I apply?

Yes.  We give initial preference to students attending North Shore HS & MS, but will admit students attending other schools as space allows.

I don't live in the North Shore CSD - can I apply?

Yes.  We give initial preference to students who reside in our school district, but will admit students from outside the school district as space allows.  Apply now and we will let you know by mid-February.

My family can't afford to pay the tuition - what should I do?

We offer full and partial needs-based tuition assistance and deferred payment plans.  When you submit your application, please also send an email to requesting additional information about scholarship funds.

Will my application be rejected because we can't pay?

We will consider all applications, regardless of ability to pay.  We have (or can raise) funds for the equivalent of four or five scholarships per season, depending upon overall enrollment.  Available funds will be awarded to students based on need, with older students given preference.  

Who reviews requests for tuition aid?

 As with all information about our students, applications for tuition aid are kept strictly confidential.  Staff are not informed of tuition assistance decisions.  Only board members of North Shore Arts Angels, Inc. will know about requests for and awards of tuition assistance.  

How many productions will you be staging this season?

We aim to stage multiple productions each season, depending upon enrollment.  In our first year, we produced a musical theater concert called "Live Out Loud" that featured new works by established and emerging composers in the musical theater business.  Our mainstage production was the musical "The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee."

Am I guaranteed the role I want on stage?  Or the position I want behind the scenes?

No.  Auditions for on-stage roles and interviews for non-performance leadership positions will occur in the first few days of the program.  Roles and responsibilities will be announced by the end of the week.  All students wishing to perform on stage will have some role to play in one or both productions.  Students with on-stage roles will be encouraged to also work behind the scenes.  Students who wish to work exclusively off-stage will be expected to explore various aspects of stagecraft and will be given responsibilities based on the capacity they demonstrate to handle the demands of various jobs.

How do auditions work?

Students will be taught music to sing for the audition and will be given and coached on sides (the theater term for a set of lines to be learned prior to an audition.)  Students will audition one at a time, privately, in front of the director, music director and/or producer, with support from one or more interns.  

Will there be callbacks?

Callbacks - or requests from the creative staff to see one ore more actors again - will be used sparingly, if at all.  A student who is gets a callback is no more or less likely to be cast in a role than the majority of students who will not get a callback.  

Who decides roles and responsibilities?

The director and music director decide roles;  the director and production manager assign backstage responsiblities.  The producer oversees the process and may offer input.  

May I appeal decisions about casting or off-stage positions? 

No.  But students may, as time permits, speak individually with the director or music director about their auditions.

Can I get my money back if I don't like the role or job I've been given?

No.  Tuition payments are refundable prior to the start of the program only if a student from the waitlist takes your place.  We cannot refund tuition after the start of the program as we will have contracted staff, paid for royalties and budgeted for numerous other expenses of this non-profit program based on funds received.

Will interns be cast in performance roles? Why?

Yes, two or three Acting/Singing Interns will be cast in performance roles. Incorporating more seasoned performers into the acting company elevates the level of performance to the benefit of all and allows for mentorship from within.  As more experienced performers, our interns inspire our younger actors by raising the bar.  They show, by example, what is expected at each step of the rehearsal process.  Part of the mission of the STW is to provide training to college students who stand to learn a great deal from working with their younger peers _  how to lead, teach, inspire and improve their craft. Just as our off-stage interns benefit by taking active roles in their areas of expertise, our performance interns get the most out of their internship experience by participating directly in the performance aspects of the production.  We can't imagine running the program without them!

Will there be a nurse on site?

No, but the staff you interact with daily will be trained in first aid and will have immediate access to appropriate first aid equipment and supplies. They will be instructed and drilled in how to call for emergency medical assistance from our top-notch local emergency responders.

Who are the staff members?

Please visit "Who We Are" for details about the members of our staff.  Generally,  students will work daily with one or more of the following:  producer, director, music director, associate music director, production manager, associate production manager, choreographers and associate director.  Additionally, college-age interns are working on various aspects of the production.  Designers and assistant designers will provide master instruction in specialty areas like sets, costumes, lights, sound, props and graphic design. 

What is the student/teacher ratio?

We expect to have a daily staff of 16 and about 45 students, but the ratios vary depending upon the tasks being worked on.  Some students will work in large groups supervised by an adult and one or more interns; other students will work in pairs supervised by an adult and one or more interns.

Where will instruction take place?

We will be using the performing arts facilities of North Shore High School that include the theater, its woodshop and all other associated workspaces; several rehearsal spaces and a costume shop.  Our production office is adjacent to the theater lobby.

Are these spaces air-conditioned?

Most  of the spaces are air-conditioned with the exception of the dance rehearsal room, which has fans to circulate fresh air.  In the air-conditioned spaces, temperatures fluctuate and students are encouraged to bring an extra sweater or sweatshirt so they can cover up when moving into colder spaces.

What safety measures will be in place?

Students will be instructed in how to respond in various emergency situations and we will have an emergency drill to ensure that everyone understands what to do when an alarm sounds.  Students working backstage with equipment associated with set construction, lighting and sound will be given specific instruction about how to safely handle equipment they use and will not be permitted to use any equipment without proper preparation and supervision.   

What security measures will be in place?

The high school is a locked facility.  Only the main entrance opposite the principal's office is unlocked during the day.  Students will be instructed to ALWAYS enter and exit the building through the main entrance and to check-in at the production office on arrival.  Attendance will be checked throughout the day.  Students will not be permitted to leave the premises until dismissal.

Will district employees and other workers be on site during the program?

Yes.  Administrators, guidance counselors, clerical personnel, custodians and maintenance staff will be in the building and/or on the grounds.  While no major renovations are scheduled for the performing arts wing of the HS this summer, general maintainence work and projects that may include outside contractors may be underway nearby in the building or on the grounds.  Our staff will wear identity tags clearly identifying them as Summer Theater Workshop personnel.  Students will be instructed in what to do if approached by an unknown adult.

Who hires the staff? 

North Shore Arts Angels as sponsor of the program is represented during the workshop by its president, Julia Brennan, working as producer.  Ms. Brennan conducted an extensive search for a artistic director and reviewed hundreds of applications with support from the North Shore Director of FIne and Performing Arts.  The artistic director maks recommendations about further hires to the producer, who conducts background checks on all hires.  

How were interns selected?

Internship opportunities are announced in December in time for interested students to be interviewed over their winter break.  Interns pursuing advanced training the arts are sought and preference is given to North Shore alumni.  We also reach out to colleges and universities with strong theater programs.  Last year, hundreds of students from around the country applied for internships.  Interns were selected primarily on the program's need for support in various aspects of the dramatic arts and a demonstrated ability to work with students in grades 6-12.  Candidates with more experience specific to the program needs were favored over candidates with less experience.