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Contents:


CYT’s Mission Statement

CYT is dedicated to developing character in children and adults through training in the arts and by producing wholesome family entertainment, all of which reflect Judeo-Christian values.

CYT’s Values and Objectives
  • Placing the maximum worth on people and treating each individual with repect and significance.

  • Developing character values in individuals including commitment, discipline, self-esteem, confidence, and integrity.

  • Supporting the family unit through the direct involvement of each family member’s talents, interests, and abilities.

  • Providing a quality product without compromising a wholesome environment.

  • Being a godly role model promoting the awareness of a higher accountability.


1. Introduction

Thank you for agreeing to be on the CYT Artistic Team. Being a CYT Artistic Team member is both a privilege and a challenge. You will be working with parents and students of various ages and backgrounds who have one basic thing in common – they want to be involved in children’s theater and they want to have fun while doing it.

This manual covers all of your directing responsibilities throughout a CYT Session. It is CYT’s belief that an enthusiastic, positive, well-organized teacher who has a love for theater and a love for children will be able to make a difference in the lives of children and families in our community. Thus, the following information will help you prepare for that challenge.

Because CYT is a “culture” unto itself, many procedures and forms contained in this manual are very specific and are required of all CYT personnel, no matter where one is located across the country. Therefore, we ask that you follow this guide as closely as possible, adhering to timeframes and completing the forms as directed.

We welcome you into the CYT family and we want you to know that your time, effort and expertise are greatly appreciated!

The Artistic Team

It is essential that a strong Artistic Team is put together to insure a quality show, a show that the parents, students and staff will be proud of. Therefore, it is important to find the best people to serve on the Artistic Team.

The Artistic Team consists of the Director, the Musical Director, the Choreographer and the Accompanist. Other important team members may include the Costumer, Stage Manager, and Assistant to the Director or Rehearsal Secretary. These key people will be working closely with each other over the course of the rehearsal time.

Once the Director is selected, many times he\she has suggestions of people with whom he\she would like to work. As a Director it is always good to give suggestions to the Area Coordinator because CYT looks for quality individuals who are talented and work well with children. The ultimate decision of who will serve on the Artistic Team is made by the Area Coordinator. She/he acts as the Producer of the show and all information must be funneled through her/him.

Qualities of Artistic Team Members

Artistic Team Members must:
  • Have proficiency, passion and past experience in their expertises:

    • Director must know and love theater and know the various aspects of mounting a major production. He/She must know how to motivate actors, create stage pictures, inspire cast and crew and lead the entire company to reach their vision.

    • Musical Director must know how to read music (and play to some extent) and teach rhythm, melodies and harmonies.

    • Choreographer must know and love to teach various styles of dance and be able to tell a story and create stage pictures with movement and dance.

    • An Accompanist must be proficient at the keyboard and be able to assist in musical and dance rehearsals as well as performances.

  • Love children, love working with children, and love to see growth in the lives of all children, not just the leads.

  • Be strong moral role models. The children look up to these individuals and the responsibility of being exemplary cannot be overstated. Because we are “Christian Youth Theater,” it is preferred that the Artistic Team understand what it is to be a Christian and live a Christian lifestyle.

  • Be Enthusiastic and encouraging. People always respond better to someone who is positive. Someone who consistently encourages and gives positive reinforcement or will accomplish much more than a leader who is negative, sarcastic and harsh.

  • Demand and strive for excellence. Artistic Team members must not be satisfied with mediocrity. They must be willing to put in the extra time and effort to make sure that a production is the best it can be all things considered

  • Be a team player. They must be excited and willing to work with other people on their artistic team. Each member must be committed to negotiation, compromise and submission to each other. The “good” of the “bigger picture” must be the focus.

  • Submissive to authority. Each person on the Artistic Team must be willing to submit to the guidelines of CYT and the Area Coordinator. The Area Coordinator has the final say on issues that may arise. Because the Area Coordinator knows the area, the parents, the facility and has a history of the children, the AC is the one who is the constant thread that holds the CYT program together from session to session.


2. Director


Function: Supervises all aspects of the production in conjunction with the rest of the Artistic Team and the parent production committees. Conceptualizes the stage production, directs the actors, and instructs the crew.

Qualifications:
  • Must understand CYT Mission Statement and Values and Objectives and be willing to incorporate them when performing job-related tasks.

  • Must have professional and/or educational experience in theater arts with specific emphasis in directing.

  • Must have experience in, desire and ability to work with children.

  • Must possess the ability to create a positive, organized, and effective learning environment.
Immediate Supervisor: Area Coordinator

Receive Direction from: Artistic Director, Managing Director, Area Coordinator

Backed Up by: Area Coordinator, Musical Director

Direction Given to Others:
  • Supervises all members of the cast and crew and gives direction to the Artistic Team and Parent Production Committees.

  • Works with the Musical Director, Choreographer, and Accompanist to create a balanced, artistically complete production.
Input Received from Others: Responsibilities:
  • Follows the guidelines outlined in the CYT Director's Manual.

  • Formulates Rehearsal Schedule with Artistic Team.

  • Blocks and directs production scenes.

  • Supervises the Artistic Team and Parent Production Committees in relation to specific production needs.
Introduction

Thank you for your willingness to direct one of our Christian Youth Theater productions this session. The experience promises to be filled with lots of fun, hard work, and a great time of getting to know students and parents. The following manual is designed to familiarize you with CYT policies and procedure and give you an outline of what items are needed at what times. It is imperative that you follow this manual closely, especially in regards to CYT deadlines. If you have any questions regarding the contents, please speak with your Area Coordinator, or the Artistic Director. Thank you again for your commitment. Director's Philosophy

The primary goal of a Christian Youth Theater Director is to produce quality children's theater. Therefore, providing leadership through pre-planning, communication with parent committees and organizing productive, disciplined rehearsals will help achieve that goal. Hand-in-hand with this goal is to develop character in our students which reflect Judeo Christian values. The Director must be more concerned about the people and the lives that are being touched than the production. Only when the lives of the production team members, parents, and students are touched will the art touch the lives of the audience.

The job of a Director is to encourage and develop confidence in the performers. The Director is to help guide, demonstrate, and patiently lead the cast and crew in the direction he/she wishes to go. This can best be achieved by developing a servant's heart.

The Director can accomplish more with a spirit of servanthood. When the Cast, Crew, and others involved see the Director willing to do any job (i.e., pick up trash, set up chairs, pick up costumes, etc.), they become committed to the production because they see the heart of a servant in leadership, and they will be more likely to follow.

When the Director is genuinely willing to help the production members, the atmosphere that is created is one of team work and commitment. To have a successful production, this type of feeling must be achieved, and it begins with the Director. The Cast must feel that the Director is rooting for them, cheering for them, and is on their side. If students know that the Director loves them and has their best interest at heart, the Director can ask for, and expect, a lot.

The fastest way to destroy a supportive atmosphere is to create "stars." No one is better than anyone else, in life or in theater, and therefore the Director must treat everyone with fairness and respect. Special treatment to lead characters or individuals will destroy the "team work" spirit. Parents and all volunteers should be treated with respect, likewise.

The Director is to be a positive role model for the Cast, Crew, and Production Team in every respect. A Director is expected to incorporate CCT's values and objectives into all job-related tasks.

Director Job Time Line

A CYT Director has many responsibilites. To keep on track and be as effeciate as possible please follow the Directors Job Time Line.

Intern Director

There may be times when an Intern Director is part of your Artistic Team. The following information outlines the responsibilities of an Intern Director:
  • Attend Auditions/Callbacks/Deliberations

    • Observe process and ask as many questions as you wish to gain a clear understanding of the process procedure, guidelines and CYT rules.

    • Feel free to express your opinions and ideas when asked.

    • You are there as a learner so be careful to allow the creative team to make the decisions. You personally should not make final decisions.

    • Defer to Production Team Director, Musical Director, Choreographer, Area Coordinator

  • Attend ALL Rehearsals

    • Be on time, set a good example to the kids.

    • Be ready to rehearse any scenes as the Director instructs. Observe all the different responsibilities of the directors.

    • Remain until rooms are cleaned, doors closed, lights out, etc.

    • Stay until all the students have been picked up. Never leave a child unattended.

See Intern Director Responsibilites.

Auditions
  • Become familiar with the Judges Audition form.

  • Run Auditions in a smooth, organized format. Traditionally, CYT prefers to use an open audition format to maximize encouragement of students. Therefore, parents and friends are allowed to be present throughout Auditions. However, Callbacks are closed to parents and friends. It is best if the "Judges'" table is 5-10 feet from the audition platform/area with observer chairs beginning at least eight feet behind the Judges' table. This will help to keep Judges' written comments confidential. The Area Coordinator will number forms, call out names in groups of ten, and turn the forms over to the Director. Notes can be made on the space provided at the bottom of the form or on the Judges Audition form. Make notes CLEAR. Judges should agree on scale (e.g., 1-5, bad-good) . You will use them later on "cut" letters. You should arrive approximately 20-30 minutes prior to Auditions to help with set up and make sure that the above requirements are met.

  • Keep all information of those auditioning confidential. Comments regarding other students' auditions should not be discussed outside the circle of judges. If parents call you following auditions with questions regarding their child's audition, please refer to your personal comments and remain encouraging.

  • Encourage those auditioning as much as possible (i.e., smile, say "Thank you," etc.) DO NOT express favoritism or familiarity toward students you already know.

  • Keep each audition to one minute (can be handled by a designated parent selected by the Area Coordinator; confirm with her).

  • Meet with the Musical Director and Choreographer (others may be designated by the Artistic Director as well) for the selection process. The Area Coordinator will serve as secretary during the deliberations. The Area Coordinator can only be asked her opinion in regards to the behavioral conduct of a particular student from past experience. She may not comment on the audition itself or any role possibilities for a particular student. If the Area Coordinator's or anyone on the Artistic Team has a child who auditions, she/he must leave the room while her child is discussed.

  • Have materials ready for Callbacks to assure a smooth process. This includes notifying the Area Coordinator at least one week in advance of any music, monologues, dialogues, etc., that are needed. A copy machine is available for your use at the CYT office.

NOTE: It may be helpful to video tape the auditions. You can then refer to it for deliberation and in writing "cut" letter personal notes.



Callbacks
  • Have materials ready for Callbacks to assure a smooth process. This includes notifying your Area Coordinator at least one week in advance of any music, monologues, dialogues, etc., that area needed. A copy machine is available for your use at the CYT office (call first to check availability).

  • Have a planned schedule for Callbacks. Know ahead which songs and scenes you will use. Note how little time is really needed for certain roles.

  • Be open to calling back kids for their education experience. Even if you know they aren't right, they may surprise you and at least they will have learned callback techniques and use those tools at other auditions.

  • Do not be afraid to call back many kids and make cuts along the way. Be sure that everyone called back has an opportunity to read/sing/dance. This can be done easily and without hurting feelings with supportive words like: "We've seen what we need to see from some of you. If I call your name, you are excused for the day. This does not mean you are cut from the show. Calls will be made later this evening."

  • Callbacks are also the time for non-singers to shine. Callback students who showed personality and could possibly do a character role. Have these students read for various nonsinging roles or singing roles that could be talked/sung.

Sample Callback Schedule
Annie
10:00 am-11:00 am Orphan dance callbacks/vocal callbacks
11:00 am-11:30 am Servant dance callbacks
11:00 am-11:30 am Hannigan/Lily/Rooster vocal (separate room)
11:30 am-12:00 noon Rooster/Lily/Hannigan read
12:00 noon-1:00 pm Annie/Warbucks/Grace vocal/read
1:00 pm-2:00 pm Final reading if necessary

CYT Parent Committees

CYT requires all parents of those cast in the show to be involved in one of the aspects of production. This promotes the family atmosphere of CYT and also allows for the large number of tasks to be accomplished more easily by a group of parents. The committees are listed here.

You will meet with the Chairmen of these various committees from time to time regarding your particular requirements for the show. (Reminder: Keep in mind that the office has a vast resource of costumes, props, and set materials; these should be the primary sources for production needs. All purchases must be pre-approved by the Artistic Director. Remember that these parents are volunteers and need to be treated with respect and given a lot of praise for their help. You will be working closely with the Parent Production Committees to communicate your concepts, ideas, etc. Items might include:
  • Costumes - pictures, time periods, and drawings are helpful.

  • Docent - suggest aspects of the show to highlight at docent presentations. Optional: Arrange to have cast write letters to classrooms that will be attending (use rehearsal "down time")

  • Makeup - meet with the Makeup Committee or Chairman prior to Dress Rehearsal for specialty needs.

  • Props - formulate a specific Props List and adjust as necessary. If your production has been previously performed, a sample prop list might be attached for you to alter as necessary.

  • Public Relations - attend the photo session for Publicity Shots with ideas about good photographs for promotions (see Photo Session form). NOTE: The Artistic Director predetermines who will receive a Head Shot and Biography in the program as well as those who will be featured in the Publicity Photos. This cannot be changed without approval of the Artistic Director and with good cause. Assist in preparation of numbers that could be performed early for PR purposes.

First Rehearsal and First Parent Meeting.
  • Introduce yourself at the First Parent Meeting. "Grip and Grin" with as many parents as possible and be enthusiastic about the show and their student(s).

  • Select a Rehearsal Secretary, if desired, prior to the First Parent Meeting but after Auditions. The Area Coordinator will be able to help give you suggestions of possible students.

  • Meet with the students and pass out scripts as necessary. Typically, only primary roles receive complete scripts. If minor roles need a few pages, please have the office arrange copies as needed prior to this rehearsal (be sure to give reasonable notice for copies needed). The Area Coordinator or Rehearsal Secretary will fill out the Script Inventory Form accurately and completely and collect a $40 deposit. It is absolutely necessary to fill out this form, as all scripts must be returned.

  • Go over the Theater Etiquette with your Cast Members. Cast Members receive their own Cast of Characters List that you may want to go over with them. You may reiterate the CYT guidelines and discipline procedure at this time.

  • Suggestion: Do not do a read through of the script at the first rehearsal; this tends to include only those with speaking roles, and therefore, others are bored and disruptive. It is better to begin rehearsing a couple of the full company musical numbers.

  • Have a prop list ready to hand over to Props Chairman, with the understanding that as rehearsals progress you may have additional needs and will notify the committee promptly.

  • Arrange meeting with costumer as soon as possible.

Items needed from the Director by the First Parent Meeting:
  • Props list

  • Musical/Scene Synopsis for the Program Chair

  • Director's Note for the Program Chair

Rehearsals
  • Be prepared!

  • Start rehearsals on time. Set a precedent at the first rehearsal that late arrivals are NOT the norm.

  • Begin rehearsals with prayer.

  • All rehearsals must have a specific purpose.

  • Follow the rehearsal schedule closely.

  • Use the optional resources: Theatrical Jargon, Entrances & Exits, Building a Character. (Play "Jeopardy", give prizes, assign "homework", . . . use your imagination).

  • Use rehearsals as a time of encouragement and growth in the performers' lives.

  • All discipline of an individual should be done privately or discretely.

  • No children's rehearsal should extend after 9:00 p.m. (exceptions occasionally for final dress.)

  • Provide time for announcements and details from Area Coordinator or other Parent Committee.

  • Changes in the rehearsal schedule must be approved by the Area Coordinator.

  • Give the Costume Committee advance notice of the costume check rehearsal date. Make this as early as possible during or before dress rehearsal week in order to give time for last minute changes, etc.

  • Maintain a professional attitude with the Parent Production Committees as well as maintaining open communication.

  • Avoid using inappropriate physical contact with students. You may NOT date a student.

  • Use your artistic team and take their input. Provide respect through rehearsal time for music and for dance.

  • Keep a united front. Make every attempt to discuss strong differences of opinions with the Music Director and Choreographer outside of rehearsals.

  • Schedule the crew to watch a run through rehearsal. Make sure you are really running through the show that day.

  • Make sure the technical crew writes cues in scripts - before dress rehearsal week, if possible.

  • Write a "Note to the Audience" or "A Note from the Director" sometime during the weeks of rehearsal so that it may appear in the program.

  • Write a Musical Synopsis of the show close to the dead line of the program printing so that any cuts or changes will appear correctly in the program.

  • Always be respectful and attentive with parents. They are your support system. Let your Area Coordinator know of any difficult or unusual situations, and allow her to help.

Move-In and Dress Rehearsals
  • Work with the show Chairman, Area Coordinator and office personnel to move in the show.

  • Super Saturday (may not be scheduled if the facility limits the time available for move-in) - usually from 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. on the Saturday prior to opening; includes move-in or finishing move-in, one or more run throughs of the production without costumes, make-up, or technical to allow the crew to become familiar with the sets and synopsis of the show. Generally, lunch is coordinated by the Production Chairman, either provided at a small cost to cast and crew or via bringing a sack lunch. If a meal is provided, your lunch is complimentary.

  • Dress rehearsals traditionally include the following schedule:

    • 4:00 - 5:00 p.m. Dressing in make-up and costume

    • 5:00 - 9:00 p.m. A dinner break is taken; dinner provided by the Production Chairman; your meals are free and will be coordinated by the Production Chairman or Area Coordinator. Dress and technical run through of the show.

Some areas may be limited by facility guidelines. Check with the Area Coordinator or Production Chairman for specifics. Your pre-prepared rehearsal schedule may indicate some of those limitations as represented by time allotment.

If you wish, you may choose to start later without a dinner break (i.e., 5:00 - 9:00 p.m.; eat before you come). If so, please notify the Area Coordinator and Production Chairman before rehearsals begin.

  • Make sure leading characters understand how to work with wireless mics. Observe dangers of fast costume changes and hugging, etc. Have them ready 20 minutes before the show for a sound check. Stress that the use of mics is a privilege and care must be taken with them.

Performances
  • Attend all performances, including School Days, unless an absence is approved by the Artistic Director with someone else in charge to cover.


  • (15 minutes before curtain) Open each performance with prayer with the Cast and Crew. Notes can be given at this time. START THE SHOW ON TIME.


  • Encourage the Cast and Crew to set high goals and standards for themselves in their particular roles to ensure a good run of the show.


  • Work with the Area Coordinator on the message to the audience (or “curtain warmer”) given by a Cast member prior to each performance. Keep it short, to the point, and entertaining.


  • Always encourage Cast and Crew members. Remember, building character, self-esteem and confidence in the participant is the primary goal.


  • Shorten School Day performances ahead of time. Maintain the story line and cut slow solos, extra dialogue or long dance numbers.


  • Prepare a School Day performance. (5-10 minute intermission for Suggestions for School Days Intermission:

    • Bring the Crew out, introduce them and tell why they are important.

    • Show the Crew at work in setting up the next scene and time them with the audience doing a count down of ten seconds.

    • Bring volunteers up from the audience (pick different school representatives) and introduce the child. Ask what school they are from. Have them do some simple safe Crew job for the audience to see. Examples might be:

      • have them push the remote button for the smoke machine

      • have them disappear behind a scrim

      • do a simple makeup demo on their faces

      • have them put on fly suit and fly them

      • have them do a silly dance when strobe light is on

      • any activity that makes them feel special and brings the audience up on stage

    • Always invite students to consider joining CYT if they are at all interested in theater. Theater needs boys and girls of all ages - not only those who can sing, dance and act, but people with organizational skills, lighting and sound and crew. A "Join CYT" commercial is appropriate at this time.

    • Keep it entertaining

    • Let them stand and stretch. Do not mention the restrooms.

    • Optional: Recognize individuals/classes who wrote letters to Cast or Crew.

  • Draft a thank you letter for all the good work, etc., during the run of the show. Be sure to include cast, crew, Parents, Committees, Area Coordinator, and any other groups (i.e., band, accompanist). Turn it in to the Area Coordinator or office before the last show. You will NOT RECEIVE YOUR PAYCHECK until this has been submitted.

Post Production Activities
  • Pass out The Rose Award Ballots before the last show (the Area Coordinator will have copies of the ballots). Explain to the cast and crew members what the Rose Award is for: the Rose Award is given to the Cast or Crew member who best exemplifies Christ-like qualities. Jesus was referred to in the Bible as the "rose of Sharon." This term illustrates the sweet aroma of Christ-like qualities. In II Corinthians Paul exorts us to be a fragrance of Christ -- we should be a sweet aroma to all whom we come in contact with. The Rose award is that kind of person -- A Cast or Crew member who has been Christ-like, a delight to be around, helpful, considerate, positive and encouraging. Ballots can be collected up until the Strike Party. The Area Coordinator can tally the votes if desired.

  • Help with tear down and clean up procedures.

  • Motivate Cast and Crew to turn in scripts before closing night. The Rehearsal Secretary and/or Area Coordinator will collect scripts.

  • Know and work within the guidelines of the facility being used (return of chairs to the proper place, time constraints, etc.)

  • Attend the Strike Party and help initiate the activities involved. The Strike Party meal is complimentary to the Director. The show Chair or Area Coordinator will coordinate this with you. After the meal, it is traditional to illustrate some humorous activities of the production. Please be sensitive to the feelings of your Cast and Crew. Get together with other production personnel (i.e., Musical Director, Choreographer, etc.) to act out a few strikes to begin with; then let Cast and Crew members, "perform" some of the humorous highlights of the show. Following the "strike" of the show, strike awards will be given as follows (you and the other production personnel determine all award recipients except the Rose Award, which is chosen by the Cast and Crew members):


3. Musical Director


Function: Supervises all musical aspects of the production in conjunction with the rest of the members of the Artistic Team.

Qualifications:
  • Must understand the CYT Mission Statement and Values and Objectives and be willing to incorporate them when performing job-related tasks

  • Must have extensive background and/or a degree in music, preferably with an emphasis in vocal or choral music.

  • Must have professional or performance experience in theater arts, with emphasis in music.

  • Must have experience and desire to work with children.

  • Must possess the ability to create a positive, organized, and effective learning environment.
Immediate Supervisor: Director

Receive Direction From: Artistic Director, Managing Director, Area Coordinator, Director

Backed Up by: Director

Direction Given to Others:
  • Works with cast members for all group and solo vocal numbers. Teaches melodies and harmonies, as necessary, to produce a high quality, musical performance.

  • Coordinates music instruction schedule with Accompanist and other members of the Artistic Team.

  • Organizes a small band to supplement the piano, if appropriate, and directs the members.
Input Received from Others: Responsibilities:
  • Follows the guidelines outlined in the CYT Musical Director Manual.

  • Solicits input from Director and other members of the Artistic Team.
The CYT's Musical Director's Philosophy

The primary goal of Christian Youth Theater is to produce quality children's theater. Therefore, providing leadership through pre-planning, communication with parent committees and organizing hard working, disciplined rehearsals will help achieve that goal. The secondary goal is to reflect Judeo Christian values through training in the arts. The Musical Director must be more concerned about the people and the lives that are being touched than the production. Only when the lives of the production team members, parents, and students are touched will the art touch the lives of the audience.

The Musical Director is part of the Artistic team whose job it is to encourage and develop confidence in the performers. The Musical Director is to help guide, demonstrate, and patiently lead the cast and crew in the direction he/she wishes to go in tandem with the Director. This can best be achieved by developing a servant's heart.

Musical Director's Pre-Production Responsibilities

Approximately one month prior to the Audition date:
  • Obtain script and score from the CYT office to read through.

  • Determine Cast needs according to voice type, range, chorus sizes, etc.

  • Obtain CYT video and/or (rent the movie) and recording of music, if available.

  • Contact and/or meet with Director, Choreographer and Area Coordinator to discuss the show audition expectations, and rehearsal schedule. Work with Artistic team to plan a rehearsal schedule that maximizes rehearsal time and maximizes down time.

  • Work with the office staff and Area Coordinator to have materials (songs and/or word sheets) ready for auditions and call backs.

  • Work with the Area Coordinator to find an Accompanist for auditions, call backs, rehearsals, and show.

Musical Director's Rehearsal Responsibilities
  • Teach all music in the show. Teach proper notes and clear diction, remind students to memorize it, and then review it first thing the next time you have the same students again. Teach group songs and major harmonies early in schedule.

  • Come PREPARED to every rehearsal. This means have lyrics checked out against the score, bring lyrics for everyone who needs them, know which notes will be used, be prepared to teach any parts, figure out how to divide it up ahead of time, have the solos and dance breaks planned.

  • Provide tapes or CD's for students if necessary

  • Treat students' voices with care by warming up; do not over-tax in rehearsals.

  • Work with the Director/Choreographer to insure adequate rehearsal time for music and adjust the schedule if needed. Stay within the alloted rehearsal hours.

  • Make sure the music works well with the dances if rehearsing separately, i.e., words with tempos and dance steps with tempos.

  • Familiarize yourself with the student's abilities in order to maximize their unique talents.

  • Depending on your students' abilities, teach harmonies and/or counter melodies to challenge them beyond what they think they can do.

  • Be flexible enough to change a number if it isn’t working (e.g., add more people to weak solos).

  • Contact any instrumentalists desired for the show, i.e., drummers, bass players, synthesizer players, etc. These are volunteer positions and preferably students. Inform them of Dress Rehearsal, show and School Days dates and times. Suggest they attend the last run throughs of the rehearsals to become familiar with the show music.

  • Write a Musical Synopsis of the show close to the deadline of the program printing so that any cuts or changes will appear correctly in the program. Have the Director approve the final program synopsis.

Musical Director's Movie-In & Dress Rehearsal Responsibilities
  • Take the responsibility to rehearse songs which need extra attention. Use all available opp ortunities.

  • Without interrupting the pace and flow of the show, take individuals, or small groups aside to woodshed weak parts.

  • Run the last rehearsal before Sup er Saturday with the Choreographer while the Director goes to the move-in of the sets.

Musical Director's Post Production Responsibilities
  • Turn in any scores, extra music or videos to the Area Coordinator

  • Assist the Accompanist in tear down of musical instruments (if used).

  • Evaluate accompanist and band members (see evaluation).


4. Choreographer


Function: Supervises all dance and movement aspects of the production in conjunction with the rest of the Artistic Team and the Parent Production Committees.

Qualifications:
  • Must understand the CYT Mission Statement and Values and Objectives and be willing to incorporate them when performing job-related tasks.

  • Must have extensive background and/or degree in dance.

  • Must have professional and/or performance experience in theater arts with emphasis in dance.

  • Must have experience and desire to work with children.

  • Must possess the ability to create a positive, organized, and effective learning environment.
Immediate Supervisor: Director

Receive Direction from: Artistic Director, Managing Director, Area Coordinator, Director

Backed Up by: Director

Direction Given to Others:
  • Creates choreography and stage pictures for the production.

  • Works with cast members for all group and individual dance numbers.

  • Coordinates choreography instruction schedule with Accompanist and other Artistic Team members.

  • Works with Costumer for special dance needs.
Input Received from Others: Responsibilities:
  • Follows the guidelines outlined in the CYT Choreographer Manual.
Choreographer's Philosophy

The primary goal of Christian Youth Theater is to produce a quality art form. Therefore providing leadership through pre-planning, communication with parent committees and organizing hard working, disciplined rehearsals will help achieve that goal. The secondary goal is to reflect Judeo Christian values through training in the arts. The Choreographer must be more concerned about the people and the lives that are being touched than the production. Only when the lives of the production team members, parents, and students are touched will the art touch the lives of the audience.

The job of a Choreographer is to encourage and develop confidence in the performers. The Choreographer is to help guide, demonstrate, and patiently lead the Cast and Crew in the direction he/she wishes to go. This can only be achieved by developing a servant's heart.

The Choreographer can accomplish more with a spirit of servanthood. When the actors, Cast, Crew, and others involved see the Choreographer willing to do any job (i.e., pick up trash, set up chairs, pick up costumes, etc.), they become committed to the production, because they see the heart of a servant in leadership, and they are more willing to follow.

When the Choreographer is genuinely willing to help the production members, the atmosphere that is created is one of team work and commitment. To have a successful production, this type of feeling must be achieved. The cast must feel that the Choreographer is rooting for them, cheering for them, and he/she is on their side.

The fastest way to destroy a supportive atmosphere is to create "stars." No one is better than anyone else, and therefore, the Choreographer should treat everyone with fairness an respect. Special treatment to lead characters or individuals will destroy the "team work" feeling. Parents should be treated with respect as well.

The Choreographer is to be a positive role model to the cast, crew, and production team in every respect. He/she is expected to incorporate CCT's values and objectives into all job related tasks.

The rest of this manual will take you through the various activities associated with directing a CYT production. Each section reviews basic policies, your responsibilities, items needed, and appropriate deadlines.

Choreographer's Pre-Production Responsibilities

Approximately one month prior to the Audition date:
  • Obtain script to read. Familiarize yourself with the show by watching videos, movies or other recordings of the show.

  • Determine Casting requirements for dances required, chorus size, etc.

  • Contact and/or meet with the Director, Musical Director, and Area Coordinator to discuss the show and audition expectations and rehearsal schedule.

  • Prepare a tape for music needed for dance call backs. This can be your own music that fits the type of music of the show, or you can contact the accompanist to make a tape for you.

  • Familiarize yourself with style of dance that is needed for the show, i.e., Waltz for Sleeping Beauty, Calypso for Joseph, Tap for Annie.

Choreographer's Rehearsals Responsibilities
  • Create interesting stage pictures with dance and movement.

  • If rehearsing dances separately, check with the Musical Director to concur on tempos, rate and feasibility of your moves with the words and music.

  • The first time you hear a song to teach choreography to should not be at rehearsal. If you are unfamiliar with the songs in the show borrow a video of past CYT performances. Talk to your Musical Director and see if you can get the songs on tape to work with prior to rehearsal. Prepare, Prepare, Prepare. It saves time and helps the professional atmosphere CYT tries to create.

  • Work with the Director, Musical Director and Accompanist to make sure your choreography enhances the story within the style of the songs.

  • Pre-block all dance numbers before rehearsals start to use as a guide. However, adapt to each rehearsal.

  • Have a rehearsal secretary or yourself write down positions of each cast member. For large production numbers inevitably someone will forget or miss a rehearsal and it is difficult to keep track of 30-40 cast members. So write it down!

  • Utilize the special skills and talents of dancers and Cast. (For example: If you have students that can do gymnastics or ballet and it would be appropriate for the show -- USE IT!)

  • The dances, movement and blocking should ALWAYS serve the story, lyrics and music, never the other way around.

  • Always be aware of creating new stage pictures during a number. Do this during transitions in lyrics, musical movement and climaxes in the song.

  • Select movements and dances that are appropriate for your audience, parents and the ages of the students. It is better to err on the side of being too conservative.

  • Be a humble Choreographer and be willing to change, adapt and cut any part of the dances. Submit to the final decision of the Director in a gracious professional way. Be flexible.

  • Have fun! When you're having a great time putting the dances together, your Cast will as well.

  • Try to get them to stretch their dancing skills. Don't be satisfied with mediocrity. Push for perfection and clean, sharp dance numbers.

  • Work toward great stage pictures at the end of large production numbers.

Choreographer's Move-In & Dress Rehearsal Responsibilities
  • Mark off the stage with numbers discreetly placed in front of the stage to assist the Cast in finding their marks on stage.

  • Rehearse all numbers on the new stage area at least once on Super Saturday so the Dress Rehearsals run smoothly.

  • Without interrupting the pace and flow of the rehearsal, take problem dances aside and rehearse them separately.

5. Accompanist

Basic Function: Provides accompaniment for auditions, callbacks, rehearsals, and performances.

Immediate Supervisor: Musical Director

Direction and Evaluation Received from: Artistic Director, Area Coordinator, Director, Musical Director

Responsibilities:
  • Read and understand the CYT Mission Statement, as well as Values and Objectives, and be willing to incorporate them when performing job related tasks.

  • Exhibit extensive background in performance and music theory.

  • Have the desire to work with children and possess the ability to enhance a positive, organized, and effective learning environment.

  • Provide accompaniment for auditions, callbacks, rehearsals, and performances.

  • Work directly with Musical Director and provide assistance and support.

  • Provide a rehearsal CD of all show numbers to be used by the Choreographer and as a backup at rehearsals.
Compensation:

A gratuity is issued at the close of the session

Accompanist Job Timeline

General:
  • Support and help Musical Director.

  • Give musical help and encouragement to the kids
Before Auditions:
  • Clear dates for auditions, callbacks, all rehearsals needed, and shows

  • Notify Musical Director of any conflicts well in advance.
Auditions:
  • Play for any auditioners who bring sheet music.

  • Tip: Before they sing, double-check key, tempo, intro, and ending with them.
Callbacks:
  • Be prepared to play songs or portions of songs that Musical Director needs for callbacks (Musical Director should supply list no later than first class day).
Rehearsals:
  • Be prepared to play songs taught that day and warm-ups as needed.

  • Be ready to play individual parts at fist, then add accompaniment.

    1. Tips:
    2. Organize your music notebook with tabs for each song.

    3. Make notes about who sings what part for future reference (kids may ask you later what their notes were).

    4. Note starting cues for each song as you learn it.

    5. Note any changes, cues, or repeats on your score.
Recordng:
  • Be available to record parts for singers of needed (it is easiest to do this while rehearsing their part).

  • Offer to record songs for any rehearsals you have to miss.

  • Record dance breaks for Choreographer as needed.
Move-in:
  • Make sure equipment has arrived and is in working order (e.g., keyboard or piano, bench, lights, monitors, power strips, gels for lights).

  • Tip:
    • Have extra light bulb on hand at all times.
Dress week:
  • Finalize music for all scene changes.

  • Plan overture and entr’acte with Musical Director if needed (60 seconds each).

  • Rehearse with band as per instructions from Musical Director

  • Polish any rough spots.
Performances:
  • Arrive at call time to set up, warm up vocalists, and warm up band.

  • Be available to run songs that need extra work.
School Days:
  • Run warm-ups if Musical Director is absent, especially for 9:00 a.m. shows.

  • Note: Piano sometimes plays alone on School Days. Make any adjustments needed and recruit help for other sound effects if needed.
Closing: Payment:
  • Check is sent from CYT after show closes.

  • Submit form and receipts for any material you have purchased to the Area Coordinator.


6. Discipline Procedure

CYT students are required to abide by certain guidelines as stated in the confirmation packet they receive at registration:
  • CYT is a privilege and only good behavior is allowed. Respect of teachers and staff and parents is expected.

  • Honoring language will be used. No name-calling or profanity is allowed.

  • CYT expects the student's conduct to be respectful of property and therefore, any damage done to property will be expected to be replaced or repaired by the student.

  • CYT expects purity of self in relationships with others and one's own body; therefore, drugs, alcohol, or smoking are strictly prohibited. Overt physical contact is inappropriate at CYT activities. CYT students are expected to dress appropriately and modestly.

  • CYT wants all students to do their best and believe the Lord to do a work in their lives.

  • CYT students that are cast in the show are required to attend their CYT class for the entire 10 week session, including Showcase on the last day of class.

Directors need to follow the discipline procedures outlined below for individual students when action is needed. If no results are received from step one, proceed to the following steps:
  • Step 1 - Talk with the individual student about the misbehavior. Notify Area Coordinator.

  • Step 2 - Call the parent and explain the misbehavior of the student. Notify Area Coordinator.

  • Step 3 - Area Coordinator will talk individually with the student.

  • Step 4 - Area Coordinator will notify the Artistic Director, who will talk with the student and parents. Possible dismissal from the activity may result.

This is the overall policy of CYT for disciplinary action. A Director may choose to initiate his/her own individual method of discipline for a particular situation for a limited time period. It is important, however, no matter what method is used, that documentation of incidents and actions is kept.

The Director's Statement of Compliance also outlines some responsibilities for the Director. Note, in particular, item h. "Will be a good example to student." This includes not engaging in or encouraging inappropriate, illegal, or immoral behavior. Remember, you are a role model for students and should behave in such a manner as to imitate Christ-like qualities while in the presence of CYT students, whether or not the activity is CYT related. Be encouraging and loving, always being aware that your students see you as the authority and example to follow.

7. Resources

Download PDFs

Director Contract (SAMPLE)
Staff Code of Conduct
Child Abuse Reporting Guidelines
W-9