Annual Concert Frequently Asked Questions
What approach do you take with the concert?
As always at Speak Up Studio, our focus is on building confidence. We find that one of the best ways to do this is to give children the opportunity to have positive performing experiences. This includes being well prepared before the day, and ensuring that our backstage area is well managed, so that the day is fun and enjoyable. Speak Up Studio will take the following steps to ensure that our concert is a positive experience for each of our students:
- By selecting material for each class that is of an appropriate level of difficulty;
- Scheduling enough rehearsal time for classes to learn and practise the script;
- Providing positive feedback to students throughout the rehearsal process;
- Regularly reviewing the progress that classes have made, and making appropriate changes if it seems that the script is too long, or too difficult;
- Providing each student with a costume that they are comfortable performing in;
- Ensuring there are enough adults backstage to supervise and assist;
- Putting strategies in place to ensure that students are kept safe;
- Making every effort to ensure students are not waiting for longer than necessary on concert and dress rehearsal day; and
- Congratulating students after the concert and helping them to feel proud of their hard work.
What is the content of the concert?
The theme of our concert is Hundred Acre Wood and the pieces we have chosen are from a vast collection of poems and stories by A.A. Milne. Milne is best known for his stories about Christopher Robin, Winnie the Pooh and other friends all set in the Hundred Acre Wood! Milne has also written a beautiful collection of poetry and other tales that we will be incorporating into our concert this year! We will also be using song and music from different movie and musical versions of the stories.
What are the important dates for the concert?
- Speak Up Term 4 classes start – Saturday 7th October, 2017
- Lines Learnt – Saturday 4th November, 2017
- Dress Rehearsal – Saturday 25th November, 2017 between 9am and 4pm
- Concert – Saturday 2nd December, 2017 between 9am and 8.30pm
Where will the concert be held?
The concert this year is being held at Marist College Ashgrove in the Molly and Len Draney Theatre. Parking The Draney Theatre is located in the south-west corner of the campus and is best accessed via the Glenlyon Drive gate. This professional theatre environment will give our children the opportunity to experience a real stage production.
How long is the concert and what time will my child be performing?
The concert will be divided into two shows (based on school venues.) Each show runs for 90 minutes. Each group will be perform in two shows throughout the day. Students will be required to stay for the full show, so they can participate in the finale and prize giving. Please review the list of performance groups to see which group your child’s class is in and to review arrival and departure times.
Is there a dress rehearsal? If so, is it compulsory?
All students are required to attend a dress rehearsal for their performance group at an allocated time. The rehearsal runs for three hours, but students are permitted to leave after their group has finished rehearsing. We will provide approximate pick up times closer to the day. Students are of course most welcome to stay to watch the full rehearsal if they would like to! Please review the list of performance groups to see which group your child’s class is in and to review arrival and departure times. We suggest that parents “drop and go” as only authorised persons will be allowed into the theatre on rehearsal day.
What are the concert terms and conditions?
Given the significant cost involved in staging such a magnificent production, we require confirmation of your child’s intention to participate in term theatre, so we can plan our budget. The concert is optional however, once committed, students are required to participate and concert fees will be charged regardless of whether the child participates on the day. All rehearsals will take place during normal class time, and students will only be required to attend one extra rehearsal – the dress rehearsal – one week before the show.
What do the children wear for the concert?
Students will be performing pantomime-style: in black tights and Speak Up t-shirts, with cloaks, capes, hats, wigs and other fabulous costume items worn over the top to create their character. All students will receive a Speak Up shirt in class in the week before the dress rehearsal, which is theirs to keep after the concert. Students are required to wear black pants or tights (please, no shorts) on both dress rehearsal and concert days. All students will perform barefoot.
My child has something else on on concert day, can they do both?
Preferably not, but please talk to us if you’re planning on juggling swimming lessons, birthday parties, or other events and we’ll let you know if we can work around them. As you can imagine, we aren’t always able to keep right on schedule during the rehearsal, and would hate to be running late and then cause you to miss your subsequent engagement!
Are parents allowed backstage?
For safety reasons, our backstage area is for students and authorised adults only. The only parents who are permitted to go backstage are pre-organised parent volunteers. Our concert is staffed by trained Speak Up staff who have Blue Cards, and who usually know a significant number of the children in our studio. Parents of kindy-age students, and parents of students with special needs will be provided with a backstage access pass to accompany their children on the day.
Will my child be supervised backstage?
During both dress rehearsal and concert day, our Speak Up Concert team, including teachers, stage crew, and Speak Up Studio and Theatre staff, will be backstage supervising students. We will have activities and movies backstage to keep the students entertained while they are waiting to perform. On both dress rehearsal and concert day, students must be signed in by a parent or guardian as they arrive at the theatre.
My child is too shy to perform on stage. What should we do?
We have been teaching drama for a very long time. We pride ourselves in helping shy children build confidence. If you are concerned for your child, please talk to us about it, and we will be happy to explain our approach and even put you in touch with a parent whose “shy” child participated proudly in our concert last year. Also remember that if your child is participating in speech and drama to build confidence, it’s very important that you have confidence in them! You’ll be amazed at what they can achieve with the right preparation. Encouraging your child to practise at home, and giving them lots of praise when they have a go is great place to start!
Why are you doing two shows?
In 2014 – 2016 our students performed in one only show each. So, why the change to two shows? Well, there were a or a number of reasons that led to this decision:
- So much work and effort goes into the concert, that it always seemed a shame to put in months of effort, and only share it with audiences once!
- Our musical and play production classes have always performed their shows twice, and we find that the second performance is really when students find their “grove” and start to feel comfortable on stage. Once the initial “shock” of lights and audience are out of the way, and students have a one successful performance under their belts, we find they are able to relax a little. The second show is usually more polished than the first, because students have a confidence that can take them to new heights on stage. An amazing performance is one of the keys to developing confidence, and that of course, is our main goal at Speak Up!
Does my child have to perform in both shows?
Yes please! Your child is part of a team that will learn and grow as a group throughout concert term. Together they develop performance skills, create characters, learn their lines and encourage and support each other. They develop strong friendships and learn how to work together on stage. Just like a sporting team, every member of the team is essential! Some of our classes will have character parts, spots in choreography, or partner work, so we literally can’t do it without them! We are so excited to give students a genuine opportunity to work as part of a team, and we hope parents share our goal of encouraging friendships and camaraderie within class groups.
What do the children work on in class leading up to the concert?
Throughout term four, students will be working on a tailored program that is designed to teach them about performance, character, voice, and movement. They will be participating in activities that will help them be prepared to perform on stage. Students will work on a single script during the term, which will become a very polished piece for the concert. All students will be given a poem or play to work on early in term four. It would be fantastic if parents could help their children practice, and ensure that all lines are memorised by 4th November.
Will kindy children be participating in the concert?
Yes! Our fabulous Chatterbugs are invited to participate in our concert. The concert fees for Chatterbugs will be reduced to $60. Parents of Chatterbugs will be required to be backstage with them during the dress rehearsal and will be seated at the front of the theatre during the concert. Our Chatterbugs will sit with their parents during the concert and only join us on stage for their piece, before returning to their parents to watch the rest of the concert.
Will my child still be able to participate in classes if they do not do the concert?
Certainly! Any child that is not able to participate in the concert will still be able to attend class just as any other term. They will still be able to participate in all activities, and have the opportunity to develop a polished performance piece which will be performed for parents in class at the end of the term.
What is the cost of participating?
Concert fees are $100 per student. If students are enrolled in more than one program (eg a group lesson as well as a private lesson) the fee for additional programs is $50. We’re very aware of financial pressure on families, and the concert fees covers costs only – of theatre hire, professional technicians, staff wages for both dress rehearsal day and concert day, and the hire of your child’s costume. Payment plans are available if needed. Fees for Chatterbugs (kindy classes) will be reduced to $60.
Is the concert ticketed?
Yes. Our venue seats less than 400 people, and we will be selling tickets to monitor audience numbers. Tickets will be available to purchase via the Speak Up Studio website from the 1st of November. Tickets will cost $16.50 for adults and $11 for school aged children. Children under four, who do not require a seat do not need to purchase a ticket.
Will there be a video of the concert available?
A professional USB of the concert will be available to purchase. A professional photographer will also be at the concert to photograph the students on stage. These photos will be provided for free via our website after the concert. Flash photography is not permitted during the concert as it interferes with the professional video.