Who is YYT? YYT is a corps of volunteers committed to providing theater experience to children in the Ypsilanti area. YYT was founded in 2005 as a community outreach of St. Luke's Episcopal Church by O'Bryan Worley and Leslie Cypert, who are no longer active in the company but to whom we owe a debt of gratitude.
What age are the actors? We are looking for young actors ages 8-18 years old.
What kind of time commitment will we be asked to make? From audition to performance, a production generally takes 10-12 weeks. (We try to compress the summer rehearsal schedule, so that there's less of a time commitment). Given this short duration we need commitment from all participants to stage a successful production. We ask for actors' schedule conflicts at auditions so that we can honor our families' needs, then fully expecting actors to fully attend all rehearsals when called (about twice a week for most actors, more for lead roles.) We also ask for volunteer hours from ALL parents and guardians, this is vital and required for participation (more details below).
What will it cost for my child to participate? Our participation fee (per show) is currently $50 per child plus $30 for each additional child in the family. This fee covers the cost of the theater experience, a t-shirt and the cast party. Parent, guardian and family participation with volunteer positions is also required. We go over a play's productions needs and schedule at the mandatory parent meeting.
Additional costs. We ask parents/actors to shop for costume parts and pieces. A list of requirements will be provided and you'll be asked to visit local thrift shops for the required pieces. This should result in minimal cost, typically between $15 and $20 total. Your resale shopping assignment will be explained early in the rehearsal schedule. If you are not able to turn your child's costume in to the costume department by the deadline, you will be expected to make an appointment with our costume department to go shopping with them.
Parents and families must pay to see performances. Parents fulfilling volunteer requirements working backstage during performances (who are in the theater but cannot watch the show) do not pay, but all audience members must pay for a ticket to see the show. There is a discount for watching a show more than one time, which is non-transferable.
You will also have an opportunity to purchase a DVD of the performance (professionally recorded and edited by Worm Farm Productions). DVDs usually cost $15 and purchase is NOT required.
Are scholarships available? Scholarships are awarded by the Board in honor of Ronny and Alex Cypert who passed away — much too early — in 2009. Scholarships are available for any child whose family is unable to pay the fee. Scholarships may be awarded in the amount of $20 for the first child and $10 for each additional child in the family, or may cover the entire participation fee, depending on the need of the family. If hardship exists, please talk to a board member at auditions.
Is the fee refundable? Fees are not refundable.
If you have specific questions, please feel free to email them to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Who can audition? While it may occasionally vary according to production, all YYT actors are between the ages of 8 and 18 (high school seniors who are 19 are ok too). REHEARSALS
Do I need experience? No previous experience is necessary to audition for YYT.
Do I need to prepare a monologue? Short answer, no. Though some actors choose to prepare something ahead of time. If you do choose to, prepare a short speech, poem, song, anything you like, only 30 seconds long! (Don’t bring in something long to do.) Memorize it, practice it over and over, OUT LOUD so your mouth can chomp-out those words. Try some silly “actor stuff”—try out accents and funny voices! Have fun, be goofy, make it funny, make it loud!
We will have little speeches available to read from the show, maybe a song and some improvisation. The speeches are short and you will have time to read them over before trying one out loud. A song might be in groups of 3, just for fun. Improvisation? We'd give you an idea and you can make something up! Dress loose for movement, wear “play shoes,” (something you can run and dance in safely and comfortably) and plan on spending the whole two hours. Auditions are often a lot of fun for everyone involved and the creative process will begin then!
Do I need to sign up to audition? No, but we ask that you be on time for auditions and be prepared to stay for the full two hours. Please let your parents/guardians know that we MAY finish early on audition evenings, so they are asked to stay. You only need to attend one audition session.
Does everyone get cast? Usually, yes. It depends on the show we are doing, but our philosophy, in general, is to give every child a role.
What happens at a regular rehearsal? You will receive an email from the director, Mr. Rob, on Sunday, with the following week's schedule. The rehearsal schedule will depend on how quickly and accurately actors are learning their lines and blocking, etc. The typical rehearsal agenda will generally follow this pattern:
SCHEDULED WORK · 6:30 - 8:30 p.m.
It goes like this: First there are warm-ups and then specified acts/scenes are read through. There will also be practice moving, singing, acting. Actors will also be expected to "Run lines" and repeat by memory in small groups.
There will also be costume fittings and discussions about props and scenery, especially as we get closer to the production.
As an actor, do I have to be at every rehearsal? During auditions (or during the first week of rehearsal) we will distribute a calendar which will tell you when you need to be in attendance. We work hard to schedule around actors' other commitments, so attending all rehearsals for which YOU are scheduled is important. If we find it necessary to revise the rehearsal schedule, we will distribute copies of the new schedule via email, and it will also be posted on this website. Typically, the week's schedule will be posted on Sundays.
Because we work hard at rehearsals and count on all the participants to attend, two unexcused absences may result in dismissal from the production.
PARENT / GUARDIAN PARTICIPATION
As a parent/guardian, how many rehearsals do I need to attend? We ask that each family provide an adult to serve as a rehearsal monitor for at least three rehearsals per child. Having that many extra adults means that our young actors have adult supervision at all times. One important role of a rehearsal monitor is keeping the "nonworking" actors quiet so that Mr. Rob can accomplish more with the "working" actors. Another is keeping the actors safe, as they use a public facility. We would also like help maintaining our friendly and safe environment for our actors so that everyone feels welcome and comfortable being themselves and being creative.
Feel free to bring your non-participating children (as long as they will not disrupt the rehearsal).
We'll also have lots of costume fittings, prop-building/painting to do, and we need your help with those. All parents and guardians are expected to help with production of the show, this is where we actively build the community aspect of community theater. And full participation enhances the whole experience for everyone. No previous painting or sewing experience is necessary, you are only required to show up. There will always be simple coloring in lines and gluing. More detailed information will be provided as we move toward the performance. There will be many opportunities at all hours, and at various days of the week and weekend, so something will be available for everyone. Though it is a lot of work, it is also a lot of fun.
There is also mandatory parent/guardian attendance for Strike as well. This is when we take down the set, pack costumes, and clean up and move out of the theater. So please plan on being present for a couple of hours after the last performance. Further details will be available through email.
Feel free to attend more rehearsals if you like. It will give you a good sense of what your child is doing and will be extremely helpful to YYT organizers!
Can I do tech if I don't want to act in the production? Absolutely! Technical work can be very difficult, so our requirements for tech are ages 14-21. We encourage anyone interested to contact us via e-mail (email@example.com), or attend an audition to fill out a form.