August 28, 2013

Dear Parents and Students,

Welcome to the memorial High School Theatre Department. We hope you have had arelaxing summer and are looking forward to another exciting school year. Thetheatre department is anxious to begin a new year as we continue to encouragestudents to imagine, create, act and discover their potential as artists. It isgoing to be a wonderful year for Theatre in edgewood and our campus as we continueto establish a tradition of success at memorial.

Please read this handbook carefully and keep it as a reference. The handbookcontains information concerning policies and expectations for this school year.Membership in this organization requires discipline, pride and a mutual respectfor others. Participation in this department will offer each student manyopportunities for growth as performers, designers and lifelong learners.

We encourage parents to become involved in their student’s theatre educationthrough volunteer opportunities. We will also have other service opportunitiesfor parents to volunteer and get involved with the theatre program.

We look forward to meeting each of you and welcoming you to the theatreprogram. We are honored to be the theatre directors for the Visual andPerforming Arts Academy. If you would like to learn more about the theatredepartment, you can view the Cedar Ridge Theatre website at

Pleasefeel free to contact me if you have questions or concerns throughout the year.

Carlos Martinez

Memorialhigh school theatre


Classroom Expectations

It is a privilege to participate in the memorial High School theatre program.Students are expected to demonstrate responsible behavior, dependability andrespect for their fellow thespians at all times. With this philosophy in mind,the following guidelines define our behavior expectations.

1. Be Prompt. Students should be in their assigned warm-upspace when the bell rings.

2. Be Prepared. Students should have the appropriatematerials for class and be ready for the day’s activity.

3. Be Present. Students should listen and follow theteacher’s instructions at all times. Cell phones and electronic devices shouldremain silent and out of view during class. (RRISD policy will be enforced atall times.)

4. Be Productive. Students should use their class timewisely to work on projects, scene work or other theatre assignments.

5. Be Polite. Students should exhibit proper theatreetiquette at all times. They should be respectful of their peers during class,rehearsals and performances.

Grading Policy

Students will receive a weekly grade based on their daily participation inclass. Students will also receive a weekly grade based on the productivity oftheir collaboration with others and productivity during class time. Classroominfractions that affect student performance will result in deductions fromweekly grades.

Each nine weeks we will be studying a different unit based on the theatrecourse description. Students will be assigned a nine weeks project to assesstheir understanding of the material. The nine weeks project is a wonderfulmeans for allowing students to create fresh and innovative ideas for theatricalparticipation.

Theatre is a performance course. Therefore, students are required to attend onelive theatrical performance per semester. Students must turn in a program fromthe production and complete a short critique based on each experience within aweek following the performance. We will have numerous opportunities for studentsto attend productions at the fine arts academy. Students are also encouraged toattend other theatrical events in the community. The deadline for fulfillingthis requirement will be December 14th and may 28th.

Theatre grades will be averaged according to the following percentages:

Participation, journal / Warm-Ups 50%

Performance Critiques, Projects and Assessments 50%

Rehearsal Expectations

It is an honor to be cast in a production at memorial. Students should exhibita sense of humility and gratitude when given this special privilege by meetingthe rehearsal expectations of the Memorial Theatre Department. All studentsinvolved in main stage productions must adhere to the following guidelines:

– Students should arrive at the theatre at least ten minutes before therehearsal is scheduled to begin. This should allow students plenty of time touse the restroom, get a drink, converse with other cast members or reviewprevious blocking.

– Students should be in their warm-up space preparing for rehearsal at leasttwo minutes prior to the scheduled rehearsal time.

– Actors are expected to have their scripts and pencils during rehearsals.

– Students should respect their director by always listening and followinginstructions.

– Actors should respectfully consult with their director prior to changingtheir appearance during a rehearsal period. Please do not change your haircolor, hair length or style prior to speaking with us about the show’s timeperiod and your character’s physical appearance in the show.

– Cast and crew members should remain focused during rehearsals. Outsidedistractions such as cell phones and other electronic devices should remainsilent and out of view during rehearsals.

– Rehearsals will be closed to those individuals not involved in theproduction. Outside spectators will only be allowed in rehearsals with priorapproval from the director.

– Students are required to be present for all scheduled rehearsals. Studentswill be given a rehearsal schedule the first day of each rehearsal process.Parents and students are encouraged to mark their calendars accordingly.Rehearsal conflicts should be addressed immediately upon casting. You may alsoview rehearsal calendars on the theatre website.

– Cast or crew members who have a previous commitment that prevents them frombeing at a rehearsal must submit a note signed by a parent or legal guardian atleast one week prior to the rehearsal in order to be excused. An unexcusedabsence from rehearsal can result in a student losing their role or otherdisciplinary action.

– Food and drinks will not be allowed in the black box theatre      ( Mr. M’s Room) or on stage duringrehearsal. Students are encouraged to bring bottled water to rehearsals.

– Rehearsals should be an innovative and collaborative process for the actors,technicians and director. It is important that we respect one another’s space,creativity and input at all times.

Audience Etiquette

memorial parents and students should exhibit appropriate audience behavior atall times. A theatrical or concert experience is a sharing between theperformer and the audience. The performers are giving their time and energy toprovide an entertaining and educational experience to the audience. In return,the audience should give its full attention to the performers. In order to dothis, the following will apply:

· Nobody moves from his/her seat or up and down the aisles once the performancebegins. Any latecomers must wait until a selection, event or act is finishedbefore taking a seat.

· During the actual performance, remain silent, except in those rare moments ofplanned audience participation. Avoid excessive movement or extraneous noise.

· Please avoid calling attention to yourself as an audience member by yellingat a performer, cheering him/her on, etc. In turn, be sure that performers onstage do not wave or acknowledge audience members.

· Appropriate response is simply clapping, but if you particularly enjoy apiece of music or act, it can be vigorous applause. Verbal or whistle soundsare never appropriate. If you especially appreciate a particular performer oract, it is fine to offer a standing ovation.

· Please adhere to our licensing agreement for all shows and do not userecording devices during performances.

An announcement will be made at the beginning of each performance to remind youto keep all electronic devices to a non-audible mode during the production.