Everything a Show Parent (and Student) Needs - All in One Place!

Welcome Parents! We are thrilled you are here! CYT relies heavily on the support of our parents and we want your involvement behind the scenes to be as rewarding and fun as your child's experience on stage. This is your "one stop shop" for all information and forms related to the show: everything from the audition process to parent production teams to the cast party. 

(If you are looking for information and forms related to CYT Classes, please go to the Classes web page.)

Welcome new students!

Is this your first show? Here's a quick timeline-based overview of what to expect (for both students and parents):

1. Classes - you need to be enrolled in order to be in a show.
2. Auditions - you can find details and audition tips here.
3. Audio Files - most chapters accept electronic files: MP3, M4A (AAC), and WAV
4. Costumes - see below for measurements required on the audition form.
5. Callbacks - you may or may not get called back for more auditioning
6. Parent Meeting- if you are cast, this meeting is a must for parents
7. Show Crew - if you are not cast, you can still sign up to work behind-the-scenes
8. Rehearsals - Friday evenings and Saturdays for about 7 weeks
9. Parent Teams- Parents meet during tech rehearsal and show weeks to work on their teams
10. 2nd Parent Meeting - final prep and required meeting before Show Week
11. Performances - there are 3–7 performances (including at least one School Day Show)
12. Cast Party - usually after the opening night performance — lots of fun!
13. Strike Party - shortly after the last show, with awards and food!

Costumes

You can help our parent volunteers on the costume committee by providing accurate measurements.
  • In addition to general clothing and shoe sizes, you will need the following measurements:
         Chest (Just under armpits)
         Waist (Near Navel)
         Hips  (Widest Part)
         Inseam (Crotch to Floor)
         Shoulder to Shoulder (Shoulder seams of shirt)
  • Watch the video below to see how easy it is!

Student Backstage Crew

The backstage crew and tech teams are the "magic" that make a show happen! Members of our crew have the ability to learn sound, lights, running projections, and backstage crew where you are moving sets on and off the stage for scene changes. Some of our CYT kids are now real life stage managers in the professional world! Check out our current list of classes to see if there is a tech class offering near you or simply join one of our shows as crew to start learning how it all works!

How Are Parents Involved In a Show?

Unlike many children’s theatre programs, parents are essential to CYT. Not only does CYT welcome parents to all aspects of our program, CYT requires parent involvement at a number of levels. First and foremost, CYT depends on parents to get their children to class, to rehearsals, and to shows on time and prepared.

If your child is cast in a show, there are two mandatory Parent Meetings (one during the first rehearsal weekend, and one toward the end of through the 7–week session) that will give you all the information you need for the weeks to come. Each cast member must have at least one parent (or representative 18 years or older) attend these meetings.

Likewise, at least one parent (or adult family representative) is required to be involved in preparing for the session production. CYT has found that “Parent Production Teams” are the best way to get the essential jobs done! You will actively serve on one of the many Parent Production Teams throughout preparation for the show and/or during the show. Working side by side enables families to share a common goal.

Parent Production Teams

To put on a production, we need all parents to help by being involved on a parent team. Below are descriptions and approximate time commitments to help you decide where your gifts will best be used! Parent teams are formed by the parents of the children in each production. The teams work with the Production Coordinator and Director to develop sets, props, programs, advertising and many other things to create an unbelievable end product together!

Parents on teams that work directly with students will need to complete a background check, valid for three years. This includes: Backstage, Costumes, Green Room, Makeup, Parent Photographer, Production Assistant, Props, Tech, and/or other committees as determined by your local chapter.

Link to BACKGROUND CHECK FORM: https://www.ministryopportunities.org/Application.aspx?oid=4189

Below are descriptions and approximate time commitments to help you make your decision about a team. Keep in mind that not all chapters have all of these teams, and some might have unique teams.

Backstage Assist crew of both students and adults with moving sets on and off stage during dress rehearsals and productions.  Maintain crowd control; able to keep kids quiet and orderly backstage during show. Look good in basic black, team builder, organized, flexible & cool under pressure. 
Timeframe: Dress rehearsal week and all shows including move-in and strike; can divide up time among team members.

Clean Up Tidy, toss, and sweep after Saturday rehearsals, tech week rehearsals, parent meetings, and shows.
Timeframe: After most Saturday rehearsals, tech week rehearsals, and shows.

Costumes Assist the head of the team in designing and fitting costumes for each character in the production. Enjoy thrift shopping, sewing and/or making alterations.
Timeframe: Before the show gathering and making costumes, during the show any upkeep or replacements. After the show, collect all costumes and launder washables. “A well-costumed show is a labor of love and joy to behold.”

Green Room Create simple activities for cast members and maintain a quiet, orderly Green Room. Make cue sheet, clean-up charts and circulate supervision sheet to make sure each dress rehearsal and show is covered. Need to be a good disciplinarian.
Timeframe: Dress rehearsal week and all shows; divide up time among team members.

House Enjoy serving people and providing quality customer service. Sell tickets at the door, set up ushers for all performances. Oversee care and upkeep of the seating and lobby areas of the theater.
Timeframe: A few hours spent pre-show recruiting ushers & equipment preparation and during the show; can split up time among team members.

Makeup Assist the head of the team in designing characters’ makeup and applying specialty makeup at shows. Apply makeup and style hair. Help instruct cast and parents in applying makeup and styling hair. 
Timeframe: Costume Parade, a few rehearsals, all dress rehearsals and shows.

Marketing Help distribute fliers and posters and publicize show to the community (as well as program ad sales information and contacting schools). Supervise the publicity table and student tours during the shows. Will need to work with the CYT Chicago marketing team.
Timeframe: Before the show, during shows at PR table, can divide up time and responsibilities among the team.

Parent Photographer Takes photos during dress rehearsals; helps process parents’ order for these photos. Takes photos for program.
Timeframe: Throughout the run of the show.

Production Assistant Oversee all the above committees. Work closely with the Area Coordinator and the Director in all aspects of the show production. Someone who enjoys all aspects of theater, works well with people, and is organized.
Timeframe: During rehearsals through end of show.

Props Collect all props needed from the Production’s prop list. Enjoy searching thrift stores or being creative at making props with a minimal budget. Supervise the prop table during dress rehearsals/shows. 
Timeframe: Rehearsals the week before move-in with props. Before show and during dress week and show, checking to make sure all props are accounted for and in order. After show returning props to CYT storage and borrowed items to owners. Can divide up time among team.

Refreshments Responsible for purchasing refreshments and supplies at wholesale and selling food items at public performances.
Timeframe: Before show to purchase items, before show and at intermission setting up and cleaning up refreshment area as well as selling refreshments.  

Sets Build, borrow, buy or rent any sets needed for the production. Work with Director on obtaining a list of scenes to be built. Unload sets at the theater and set up. Make any necessary repairs to the set during the run of the show. Take down the sets following the last performance and take to the CYT storage.
Timeframe: Before show opens, during, and after show closes.

Silent Auction Collect fund raising items for Silent Auction. Plan, collect items, and create Donation Baskets. Work the Donation Basket and Silent Auction tables during all the public shows. Assign and instruct cast members for collecting donations during the show intermissions.
Timeframe:  Before the show and during the week of dress rehearsals and shows.

Souvenirs Purchase and make unique show-themed items, flowers, and congratulatory items to sell during public shows.
Timeframe: Before and during shows.

Strike Party This committee organizes the party for all cast families after the show closes. This is the committee for those who like event-planning, have a gift of hospitality, are creative and sociable, are a bit thrifty, and love celebrating with the cast and crew for a job well done.

Tech Assist and monitor cast with microphone use. Set up and run sound board and/or lighting per schedule set by team head. Works well under pressure and is able to be flexible and take direction.  
Timeframe: Must be available for show week from move-in through strike, including school day shows.  Theater technical experience is desired but not necessary.
 
Each team must have a Chair to oversee the team and delegate and help execute responsibilities. While the team Chair is responsible for organizing and conducting sign-ups, each member is encouraged to become familiar with the team procedures.   The Chair makes sure all aspects of the job have been assigned and are completed. (Extra hours required.)