Rules and regulations for all Wildfish families.
Thanks for being part of Wildfish this semester! At Wildfish Theatre Company, we are not just creating excellent musical theatre performers, we are cultivating an experience for our students that will help them grow as leaders and learn important life lessons. We want them to be successful in anything they choose to do, and many of the lessons learned while producing a show can be applied to everyday life and make them more successful people.
Some of these lessons include:
- Respect & Consideration for Others
- Self Reliance
We have set rules in place to help us teach these lessons, to allow us to do our jobs to the best of our ability, and to benefit the quality of the production at the end of the semester.
Our office phone number is 713-899-7595. We will return calls during our office hours, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday-Friday. If you call, we will attempt to get back to you as soon as possible, however please understand that it may take up to 24 hours.
*Please do not contact us on our personal phones. An email is best, and if we do contact you back on our personal cell phones, please refrain from using this communication first. It’s overwhelming to get texts and phone calls from parents at various times of day/night.
The BEST way to contact us if you are running late for a rehearsal, unexpected illness or something regarding the next day’s rehearsal or performance is to email firstname.lastname@example.org as we do check the email before, during and after rehearsal.
Please add email@example.com to your contacts. If we send out an email, please read the email in its entirety. Also, please refer to emails/website for answers before calling or emailing with a question to be sure the answer has not already been given.
ABSENCES / REHEARSAL ATTENDANCE
We have a very high standard of quality at Wildfish. Not only in the finished product of the show, but also in the experience throughout the semester for all students. Theatre and the rehearsal process are a unique team effort. In order to keep to our standards and allow us to do our jobs to the best of our ability, we have a policy of NO ABSENCES. This means any foreseen circumstances in which your child would miss class, or have to leave early or arrive late. It is distracting when students leave class early for other events, so we need plenty of advance notice.
This INCLUDES dress rehearsals and performances. Each class is scheduled for 2 (sometimes 3 or 4 for certain classes) performances of their show and the show date/times have been set from the beginning and cannot be changed. Also, you need to allow call-time when determining your schedule. Call time can be from ½ hour to 1 hour prior to the show and is determined and announced as we near performance dates.
The only valid absences are:
- Severe illness that is accompanied by fever and is contagious.
- School obligation that counts as a grade and occurs during our class hours. Schools do not always tell students of these extra obligations until the week of, but if you know in advance you must notify us immediately. Having “too much homework” is not included in this.
Even with only these two exceptions, we will still have many absences. Kids get sick and school comes first. We understand that these strict limitations do not work for everyone, and that is ok. Please consider if this works for your child’s schedule before signing them up for class. Perhaps if it doesn’t work this semester, it can work for another.
IF A REHEARSAL IS MISSED
During the production process, new material is covered at each rehearsal. Absences / tardiness /leaving early affects the entire cast. We must be notified as far in advance as possible when a conflict arises. When we know a student will be absent / tardy / leave early it allows us to do our best to adjust the rehearsal schedule accordingly. Please understand that it is our job to consider the entire cast and production, and if your child is absent, they may be staged out of a number or scene. Sometimes a private lesson can be arranged to learn material missed. We do not have time to go back and rework a scene with the whole cast to make up for one student’s absence.
We will always be willing to work with a student who has an excused absence if we can and if it is not too complicated for the rest of the class to stage him/her back in. We have a limited amount of time. We cannot spend 45 minutes of a class reworking something for one person. Forty-five minutes out of a 30-45 hr rehearsal process is A LOT of time. If we cannot put them back in, it is certainly not a punishment. We are as fair as we can be, but being fair to a single cast member at the expense of the cast is not the focus of this program, or theatre in general.
CLASS PICK UP
- Students 3rd grade and younger must be signed out by an adult. Please come down and sign them out after class. Students 4th grade and older can be picked up outside at the top of the stairs, if you wish. Students are not supposed to wait outside the building without an adult. Please discuss this with your child. We will also let the kids know they are not allowed to leave the building until they see you/your car.
- Traffic in and around the Galleria area is often heavy; please always try to plan ahead and arrive promptly to pick your child up at the end of class. If you arrive more than five minutes early, please DO NOT form a line around the shopping complex. This has been a growing trend lately, and we have been notified by management on numerous occasions that it is not allowed and against Fire Codes. Park and then pull up when class is released. There is plenty of parking in the lot during the semester class pick-up times.
Class Schedules/Show Times are on the calendar on our website at www.wildfishtheatre.org. Please refer to this for questions regarding rehearsal schedule. If it is on the calendar, we have class. If it is not, we do not.
It is possible that you will need to provide some costume pieces for your student. We should be able to let you know at least 4 weeks before they are required to have it. Wildfish has a really amazing professional costumer who will communicate exactly what you need to get and where you can buy it. We appreciate your cooperation with providing the pieces that are impractical to fit or share!
We will ask for your help! We cannot get the costumes completed alone. Often we call a work day to help organize, sew, glue, cut, and more. It is the only way we can handle the volume of work. Each semester has about 300 kids requiring costuming. The volunteer work days are on the calendar in advance, so please look for them. No need to RSVP - just show up ready to have fun and work.
Students should wear clothes that they can move in without worry. Hair must be pulled out of the face for rehearsals. They MUST wear shoes. If your child is coming straight from school, be sure to pack a change of shoes or clothes, if needed.
NO Short skirts, Flip-Flops, Crocs, Thong Sandals
NO FOOD IN THE THEATRE!!!!!
Please be sure your child eats a meal or snack before class and that they refrain from bringing food into the building. If they must eat a snack, please have them eat on the stairs and then put it away in bags. All too often, food is spilled in the seats during class. Also, the concessions are NOT for the students.
NO GUM!! It is dangerous to dance and sing with gum, and we often wind up with gum stuck under the arms of the chairs.
BRING A WATER BOTTLE
Students need to bring a water bottle labeled with their name to class. We have a water dispenser they are welcome to refill with. We cannot provide cups for 300. If for some reason a child forgets their bottle, we will have some cups for them to use. Donations of plastic/paper cups are always appreciated! Water bottles left behind will go in the refrigerator.
LOST AND FOUND
Clothes will be hung up on the racks in the lobby dressing room and snacks / water bottles will go on the bar or in the refrigerator. We only keep lost and found through the semester, and then we take it to Salvation Army.
Students and parents are expected to be gracious and respectful about our casting choices. Casting is always done with the success of each student in mind and is not an easy task. Please encourage and support your child throughout the process. Our casting decisions are not up for discussion. We put a great deal of time and thought into casting, keeping aware of how the students audition was and how they handled previous semesters. We always have the best intentions for each individual child. Trust us. Just because your student may get a small role in the show does not mean he or she will be overlooked or not featured. It has been the case many times at Wildfish that a child will have a smaller role one semester and a leading role the next! Encourage your child to work very hard at the part they are given!
SCRIPTS & LINE MEMORIZATION
Please bring scripts and a pencil to every rehearsal!
Students will be writing down blocking and vocal notes and it really helps them retain what they learn in class if they have a chance to write it down and practice at home. If a script is left behind, they can look on with a classmate. Sometimes we have extra scripts to borrow. If a script is lost, just email firstname.lastname@example.org and ask for a digital copy to print.
Once cast, students are expected to memorize material as soon as possible. Some roles have large “line loads” and will require extensive outside study. It should be treated like homework. The general rule of theatre is once a scene or number has been staged, the actor is expected to be “off-book” when the scene is rehearsed again. Please help your child memorize their lines just like you help them study for a test.
CONSEQUENCES OF NOT KNOWING LINES
If a student does not learn their lines, it is possible that we will give them to another student who either already knows them or already knows their own lines very well. This, of course, would only occur after giving the student warning or two- or three- and likely sending an email home. We never want to take lines away from a child. This is a last resort option that we must take for the sake of the show. It is something that would only occur in the last month of class while we are in run-throughs.
If you receive an email that is a general note to the whole class regarding memorization of lines- assume that it could be your child! We do not always have the time to send individual emails out- especially when one problem is an issue with many students.
We support and encourage students to take voice/acting/dancing technique lessons outside of our classes! It will help improve their skills. However, another teacher may not contradict or change our direction for the show/music in any way.
If you need a copy of the sheet music to practice with an instructor, you may come in before or after class to borrow the score and run up to Fedex and make a copy. Please double-check with your musical director that you are performing the song in the key that the score is written in. We often change the key for certain singers, and it is important to convey that information to anyone helping you with the music.
Use of electronic devices (iPads, Smart Phones, Laptops, iPods) is prohibited during class time – with the EXCEPTION of using it to record music or video blocking.
We have an intimate space and tickets will be limited per student, per show. It will depend on the size of the cast. Each student gets 2 complimentary tickets to use at each performance. Tickets will be available for purchase the week of your child’s performance, and also a half-hour before the show at the door. The number of guests allowed for the show depends on the size of the class – we will let you know how many closer to show time. Some classes may have 5 guests per show, some may have 7 or 8.
Please share all ticket information with your guests so we do not receive a phone call from someone wanting to buy tickets for “So and So’s” show. There are many casts of the same shows, and sometimes we don’t have the information saved in our memories. Make sure guests know the date and time of your child’s particular show.
We require parent help and participation to make the shows as professional and complete as possible. Please come forward and let us know if you have a useful skill-set like sewing.
We will have a Communication Parent liaison for each class, as well as a Performance Day Parent organizer. Look out for their emails!
We could not function without the help of parent volunteers! Please be checking your email for volunteer opportunities. We would love to see each parent of every child volunteer once for every semester — it does not have to be a big job, but we are very small-staffed, and we appreciate all the help we get!
SHOW INFO - Hair, Call Times, Seats, Guest Etiquette
Emails regarding hair, call times, and what to bring or wear under your costume for the show will be sent in the weeks before the show. Look for these emails and SAVE them so you do not have any questions later.
Volunteers are allowed to save one seat for themselves only. Other than volunteer privilege, there is NO SEAT SAVING prior to performance.
Please tell your guests to arrive NO EARLIER than 30 minutes prior to show. Tickets will not be sold before then anyway. Often we have shows back-to-back, so when many people are early, it creates a problem. We will not open the house until 15 minutes before the show. It gets hot in there! You will thank us.
There is no late seating!! It is a small theater and there is one entrance (that we also use as an entrance for the actors.) It is very distracting for the audience and performers when we seat latecomers. If you have guests running late, please notify us.
We are family-friendly and we are happy to include young children in the audience. However, please be sure that the children you are responsible for stay seated and do not talk or use cell phones during the performance. If you have a young child that might make a lot of noise, please sit near the aisle by the exit door. We do not want to distract the students or the parents watching the show. All ages are welcome of course, please just be mindful of everyone’s experience during the show, especially the cast members.
Our priority is for the students to put on a show that they can be proud of! The students come first!
VIDEO / INTERNET SHARING
It is against copyright laws to video any portion of the performance. You will be allowed to take pictures (no flash). If we find anything that we have produced on YouTube or Facebook, we will immediately contact you to take it down. If you were to be caught by the Rights holding houses, it is up to a $20,000 fine.