Welcome to Spark!  

We are so excited to have your child/children here with us this semester.  We feel truly blessed to be able to do what we do. “Theatre is like little league for artists”  Theatre is amazing!  Not only does it include all disciplines of art but it is all inclusive.  There is a place for everyone in the theater; the shy, outspoken, short, tall, old, young, you name it.  There is nothing quite like watching a group of young artists come together to create magic on stage. No where else can you combine so much individuality and creativity into one big piece of art.  Participating in theater will help children develop in so many ways. At Spark we offer many different productions diverse in both age and skill level. 

Joining theatre will help students:

  • Build Confidence

  • Develop Skills

  • Learn how to work with others

  • Use Creativity

  • Manage Responsibilities

  • Gain Independence

  • Express Dedication 

  • Have Fun!

We have put some rules, guidelines, and procedures in place to help us to teach these lessons, to allow us to do our jobs to the best of our ability, and to benefit the quality of production.

Who we are:

Spark is a 501c3 non profit organization.  Our mission statement is as follows:

Mission: 

Our mission is to bring the joy and opportunity of a fine arts education to every child and to empower all to learn, create, and inspire.  

Vision: 

We believe that every child should have opportunities that spark their interest and creativity.  These experiences have the power to shape a child and lead them down a path of self discovery, confidence, and success throughout their life.  

Our goal is to:

  • Provide High Quality Arts

  • Seek Mentors and Teachers with Passion

  • Create a Nurturing environment

  • Uphold High Standards l

  • Offer Diversity in programs through multidisciplinary and cultural arts 

  • Give Scholarships and Tuition Assistance

  • Reach out in the community to provide exposure, opportunity, awareness

Communication:

Facebook: www.facebook.com/sparktx

Instagram: sparkintexas

Website: www.sparktx.org

Phone Number: 281-516-8382

Email:  inspire@sparktx.org, Nicole@sparktx.org, Dana@sparktx.org 

Phone:

Our office phone number is 281-516-8382. We will return calls during her office hours. 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.  You may also send a text to get a quicker response.  

*Please do not contact staff or directors on their 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 tasks and phone calls from parents at various times of the day and night. 


Email:

Please add the “Create a Spark Foundation” email to your contacts. If we send out an email, please read the email and it’s entirety. Also, please refer to emails and the website for answers before calling or emailing with questions to be sure the answer has already not been given.


Show Pages:

Each cast will have a show page.  We will update this page often with all pertinent information.  If you have questions about any aspect of your show, please reference your show page first.  You can get to the show page by clicking on the drop down under “login” on our website. From there you can click on your show by cast.  Example: “Tuesday Homeschool Oklahoma”


Remind:  

There are times when we need to get a quick message to all of our families.  For this purpose we will be using remind. Please download the remind app on your cell phone.  We will also send out a notification when the show pages have been updated.  

Drop Off and Pick Up:

Please be aware that we cannot let students into the building earlier than 15 minutes prior to class.  Directors may have arrived early to prepare for the rehearsal and this prep time will be cut short if students arrive 30 min. early.  Doors will be locked until 15 minutes before rehearsal. If you have a special circumstance that you need to drop your child off early, please make arrangements with the front desk.  Children must be picked up on time for the last class of the day. Late pick ups will be charged one dollar a minute to cover the additional staff costs.


Students over the age of 8 may check themselves in at the front desk, however, all students under the age of 16 need to be checked out by a parent after class.  This is for your child’s safety.


Permission to Leave Campus: 

We are fortunate to be located near chick-fil-a as well as several other restaurants.  Our teen students have enjoyed the freedom of leaving campus to get food during breaks as long as they are with one or more friends.  We need a parent's permission slip if your child leaves campus. Students of driving age will need to check out at the front desk if they leave during a rehearsal.  We will have a permission slip at the front desk for parents to sign.  

Absences and Rehearsal Attendance:

We strive to uphold a very high standard of quality at Spark, not only in our final productions, but in the overall experience each student has throughout the semester. Theater is a team unique team effort. In order to keep our standards high, we expect to have the entire cast at every rehearsal, dress and tech rehearsal, and show. 

Valid Absences:

  • 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 if these extra obligations until the week of, but if you know in advance, please notify us immediately. 



Even with only these two exceptions, we will still have many absences. Kids get sick and school comes first. We understand that the 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, a lot of new material is covered at each rehearsal. Absences, tardiness, and students leaving early affect the entire cast. We must be notified as far in advance as possible when conflict arises. When we know a student will be absent, tardy, or 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 the material that is missed. Unfortunately, there is not time to go back and rework  scenes and dance numbers with the entire cast to make up for one student’s absence.

We will always be willing to work with a student who has an excused absence when possible. It is not feasible for us to spend 45 minutes of class reworking something for one person.  If we are unable to 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 rest of the cast is not ideal.

Dress code:

Theatre students should wear something comfortable to dance in such as a pair of leggings and a tee shirt or sweat pants.  We do follow the Tomball ISD dress standards. Shorts need to be mid thigh and we do not allow low necklines or short shorts.  We want all of our students to feel comfortable working with and dancing with other students in their classes. Each student will need a pair of black jazz shoes.  These will be worn in rehearsal and during the show. Please do not wear jewelry and make sure hair is pulled back out of the face. 

Food:

  • No food will be allowed in the theater! 

  • Please be sure that your child eats a meal or snack before class. If students have a snack or meal break during rehearsal, please pack food that can be stored easily in a lunch box.  No gum! It is dangerous to dance and sing with gum in your mouth.

  • Students need to bring a water bottle labeled with her name to class.

  • Donations of small water bottles are always appreciated and allow us to provide water when students forget their own. Water bottles left behind will be kept for a short time and then donated to goodwill.

Lost and found:

We only keep lost and found items for one month and then we take them to Goodwill.  Please do not bring valuable items to rehearsal as students will need to store them outside of the room.  

Cell Phone Use:

We believe in the digital age it is more important than ever that students get a break from their devices.  Use of electronic devices, iPads, smart phones, or laptops,is prohibited during class time with the exception of using them to record music or video blocking.  If you need to reach your child, please call the office. 

Shows/Tickets:

Tickets are sold online or at the door.  We encourage families to purchase tickets online as many of our shows will sell out.  Each student is typically given two free parent tickets (through the use of a discount code) per child enrolled in our program and the remainder of the tickets are $8.  The number of shows per cast will be determined by the number of enrollment.  

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.  If we have permission to record the show, we will arrange for a videographer to record the performances.

Photos:

We have been fortunate to have professional photographers who have volunteered their time to photograph our students.  These photos are typically available for digital purchase and all proceeds will go to Spark. You will get information about your specific cast through your show page.  

Volunteering:

There are many volunteer positions at Spark that need to be filled!  We do not require volunteer hours but love and accept any help that we get from parents.  As a non profit organization, we rely on volunteers and believe that our volunteers have shaped the culture of Spark.  A sign up and questionnaire will be posted to the show page and we encourage you to get as involved as you are able! We will be looking for a cast mom for each cast and will also be arranging work days for specific projects.  Please fill out the volunteer questionnaire and let us know about any skills you are willing to contribute.  

Outside Acting, Dance, Voice Lessons:

We encourage students to take outside (or Spark) acting, dance, or voice lessons as this will help improve student’s skills. However, another teacher may not contradict or change our direction for a show or music in any way.

Costumes:

*Click here to see additional Information from the costume department.

In order to keep our costume fees low, we save and re-use all of our costumes. We also borrow many of our costumes from other theatres that we have working relationships with.  Because of this, students do not keep their costumes. We will ask for your help! We cannot get all the costumes completed alone. Often we call the 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 350 kids requiring costuming. 


Tuition:

Tuition: Tuition is due by the 5th of every month. We require that our students sign up for auto draft unless other arrangements have been made. If you have entered payment information online, you are signed up for auto draft and your payment will come out automatically. If you would like to pay tuition in full please email inspire@sparktx.org so that we can adjust the charges to your account.  Please note that there have been updates this year regarding tuition payments. There will be a $25 monthly late fee if not paid on due date, as well as $10 fee for no card on file for autopay (ACH) not on account. We will be happy to assist you in setting up your account for automatic payments. To access your account, please LOGIN.

Good Attitude/Casting

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 students audition was and how they handle previous semesters. We always have the best intentions for each individual child. Please trust your director. 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 Spark 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 that they are given!

Scripts and Memorization

Students will need to bring scripts and a pencil for every rehearsal!  Actors 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 the script is left behind, they can share with a classmate. Sometimes we have extra scripts to borrow. If the script is lost, just email us and asked 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. This should betreated like homework. The general rule of theater 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, I would only occur after giving a student a warning (or two, or three) and likely sending an email home. We never want to take lines away from a child. This is the last resort option that we must take for the sake of the show and is something that would only occur in the last month of class while we are in run throughs.




Rehearsal Etiquette and Guidelines

Parents, please read through these guidelines with your child and have them sign and return to us.


  1. Have a positive attitude.  A positive attitude is everything! 

  2. Treat your fellow actors and director with respect both in and outside of class. 

  3. Be on time. 

  4. listen to your director, choreographer, music director, and stage manager or student assistant. Spark has a lot of faculty working with each class to finish our show in time, and it’s important to take notes and direction from everyone.

  5. Always bring a pencil and your script to rehearse and write down the notes the director gives you

  6. Pay attention during rehearsal. Know when it’s your time to be on stage. Do not make the director or  your stage manager have to come find you.

  7. Be directable.  This means trying to things asked of you, even if you disagree or feel silly. No one will ever laugh at you for taking risks and being expressive. That is what people usually admire most.

  8. No fooling around or talking backstage during rehearsal. It can distract other actors and can be noisy and disruptive to the rehearsal process.

  9. Your creative ideas are always welcome and encouraged, but remember the director has the final say. 

  10. Do not handle other people's props.  We have a lot of classes and shows and wear and  tear on props means re-creating and fixing them multiple times before the show even goes up! Let’s prevent putting more work on our set and prop designer.

  11. Learn your lines as soon as they’re handed out. Do not assume you have all semester to get them down. Real character development begins after you know your lines. It’s best to know them before we get to your scene. The rehearsal time will be cut in half.

  12. Be willing to help in anyway you can to make this a successful production. Theater is a collaborative creation.

  13. Support fellow actors with positively! Never discourage a student and never ever give notes.  Only the director is allowed to tell a student if they have made a mistake.

  14. Do not complain about costumes. A simple thank you is appropriate. Do not complain to friends either.

  15. Always hang up your costume and place props back in their proper place after rehearsal

  16. Please respect the facility. Do not pick tape off the floor or paint off the walls.  Clean up after yourself and throw away your own trash.  



Name *
Name

I have read these rules with my parents and I agree to follow them. I understand that breaking these rules may result in a meeting with the director and one of my parents or possibly being removed from the class.

Casting advice for parents:

Your child might be disappointed in casting. It can make it harder on your student by complaining about the size of their part your child. Help him see the positive by going through how big they can make the part the best it can be. Try not to comment on other students getting “bigger parts etc. Any kind of negative talk is infectious.

Over the years I have responded to a few parent / student concerns that pop up from time to time. And I thought I could share my insight

“If you would just give my kid a chance “

I’ve heard this one before and the thought here is that if they have a “more “to do, they will be “better.“  Any time you’re on stage is an opportunity to stand out. Believe me, kids that give their all do not go on noticed. It is not uncommon that newer, more reserved kids will be cast as an ensemble role.  We truly notice when they are always prepared to get on stage for their parts, how they use a lot of expression, and when they quickly memorize their lyrics and/or lines.

“They just didn’t really like their part “

How many of us have gotten a job that just wasn’t what we wanted?  It happens, but there have been times that I have created my best work from my worst circumstances. If you’re disappointed that you only have two or three lines, you be the most expressive kid on that stage and get yourself in the front line for dancing. When my sister was an Oliver, there was a girl playing the Doctor who examined Oliver in the top of act 2. She literally stole the show by coming up with a comedic, engaging character that really turned the audience. I bet you didn’t even know there was a doctor in Oliver.  I have told students before, don’t sabotage your performance in the show because you didn’t get the part you wanted.  

“They feel unimportant to the show “

I have witnessed several kids have fallen victim to this notion. Being what is considered by some to be a “lesser“ part and seems “insignificant.“  If a kid feels their role is in significant, they won’t try to excel with what they have. Great shows are only great if all the actors in the ensemble are working hard. Generally, the most exciting part of the musical are the big singing and dancing numbers! When we go to the junior theater Festival everyone is in the ensemble since we mostly do large singing and dancing numbers. One year we did little mermaid, and the girl playing Ariel had significantly less to do then literally everyone else in the cast.

“My kid is so sassy and has so much personality at home “

Really? Your nine-year-old girl is sassy with you question LOL! Yes, every kid has a big personality at home. I have a four going on 13-year-old myself. But she does not do the same thing for an audience that she will do for me. Here’s the thing, you should be your child’s biggest fan. We have been working with talented kids for 20 years. We have a pretty good idea of how to gauge potential, and this is a great training program. We strive for everyone to be improving in their skills, no matter the experience level or age. As parents we see our kids through rose colored glasses, as we should.  When my daughter did Seussicall and said her line, “you think that it’s heaven on earth, yes you do!““ I cried. It was brilliant!

Theater can be really fun if you let it be about learning and having an experience.  My greatest experiences have always been on shows where I didn’t have the biggest part. I made amazing friends and put on a fantastic show. The size of my role played no significance in my growth or the lifelong memories