While the Acting Studio has earned a reputation for excellence in the theatrical arts by producing full-scale, Broadway-style shows on the Main Stage, we feel it is important that our students also experience different types of theatre performances as part of their education—including smaller, more intimate casts; shows with content that is challenging, yet appropriate for their ages and maturity levels; opportunities to learn how to perform in the round; interactive theatre; straight plays, and so much more.
Our Black Box Series classes, NEW for the 2018-19 season, will rehearse and perform set shows at the end of each semester in the intimate atmosphere of the Black Box Theatre at the MCL Grand in Lewisville. In addition, students will be involved in an outreach program that ties in with the theme or message of their show as a way of giving back to the community and furthering our mission to teach life skills through stage skills.
We know that the introduction of a new type of production/class tends to bring about questions, so we have done our best to anticipate your inquiries and provide answers below:
Is this a class or a production…or both?
Yes, it’s a class…and yes, it’s a production. Black Box Series classes are tuition-based, meet weekly, and are paid monthly, just like our other classes.
Wait?! Will The Acting Studio still do shows on the Main Stage?
Yes! We are not changing anything about the Main Stage Productions you are accustomed to! We are adding performance opportunities for our talented students, not taking anything away.
So, can I do both types of performances without conflicts?
You CAN! Also, the experience between the two types of performance opportunities will be very different. The Main Stage Productions will continue to rehearse Fridays & Saturdays, and cast members will be called to rehearsals as needed just as we have always done. The Black Box Series are performance-based classes that meet once a week at a set day/time (just like any other class), and students will rehearse during that day/time for the entirety of the semester. Once they move into the Black Box Theatre at the MCL, they will have one dress rehearsal and at least one performance per show depending on the size of the class.
What is the difference between Main Stage Productions and the Black Box Series?
Our Main Stage Productions have full sets, costumes, live orchestra and overall give both the students and the parents the experience of performing in or watching a Broadway show. The Black Box Series will feature material that requires minimal set design, students will pull and/or provide their own costumes either from home or the Acting Studio costume stock, and will use either tracks or a single pianist for the performance. We expect the same level of excellence for each, but the Black Box Series will be minimalistic and simple, whereas our Main Stage Productions have more complex technical elements.
Do these classes cost more than regular classes?
Nope! Well, with one exception: We will charge a one-time $150 performance fee to cover venue rental, musicians, and other related production expenses. Class costs vary depending on the studio, as some studios have 90-minute class times, while others have 60-minute accelerated classes. Performances will be FREE to attend (no ticket charge), with seating on a first come/first served basis.
Why do class lengths vary by studio?
Some of our studios are “newer” than others, and as such, they have a combination of more schedule flexibility and students who are less accustomed to our fast-pace, in-depth rehearsal style. For those studios, we will start with 90-minute classes at a rate of $113/month, as we want to be sure we can cover all our material while still placing focus on our students’ education and growth. Our goal, however, is to have all Black Box Series studios eventually accommodate a 60-minute accelerated weekly class, at the rate of $90/month. Regardless of class length, ALL studios will cover the SAME amount of work and produce the same show per class, so no studio will be more “advanced” or “prepared” than another. The Acting Studio teaches excellence in the theatrical arts to all of its students, equally.
Are the classes limited in size?
Yes. Part of the experience of the Black Box is a smaller, more intimate cast. We will be limiting registration to around 20 students per class, depending on the studio and the show, and we will take a wait list once the class is full. (In other words, don’t wait to sign up!)
Will the studios be combining casts?
Sometimes, depending on enrollment. As this is a class structure, we will make every effort for each studio to have their own cast for each show.
Do I have to audition to be in the class?
No. We will be reviewing how to audition for a musical at the beginning of each semester and hold an in-class audition. Registration is open and students must meet the age requirement to enroll, but other than that, the class is open for registration.
Will all the studios be doing the same shows?
Not necessarily. Each studio will ultimately select a show that’s suitable for its age range and student demographic.
What if I have more questions?
That’s wonderful! Please contact your home studio, and we will be happy to help you out.