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Youtheatre Handbook

How do I find out more about Youtheatre?

To find out information about Youtheatre, sign up to receive the Erie Playhouse enewsletter to add the student to the mailing list. Once on the mailing list, the student will receive information pertaining to classes, camp, auditions and all other Youtheatre activities.

Parents are strongly encouraged to add their names to the Erie Playhouse mailing list so they can receive important information about upcoming events at the Erie Playhouse. There are many opportunities for students and parents to become involved in Mainstage activities throughout the year as well.

In addition to receiving the enewsletter, information pertaining to upcoming Youtheatre auditions, classes and camps is posted in the Times Publishing Showcase on Thursdays. All final audition requirements* will be listed two (2) Thursdays prior to auditions under the THEATRE heading in the Showcase.

Class and Camp information is also listed in the Showcase under CHILDREN.

* If you ever read any discrepancies in any Youtheatre material, refer to the most recently published information or call the Youtheatre Office at the Erie Playhouse for clarification, 814-454-2852, ext. 6.

Youtheatre Scholarships

Students who have the desire, interest and talent to participate in Youtheatre classes or camp, but who may need some financial assistance, can apply for a Youtheatre Scholarship. The applicant must complete a brief application and submit a letter of recommendation from a teacher or principal for review.

Partial scholarships will be awarded based on the application information. If needed, an interview with the student/parents will be scheduled. You will be notified of your scholarship by telephone.


Parents must fill out a Liability Waiver/Emergency Form at the first rehearsal in order for their child to participate. A copy of the completed form will be on hand at every rehearsal and performance. Please notify the director of any changes relating to emergency contacts, etc.

Youtheatre rehearsals are usually scheduled between 4 and 6:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. Some Saturday rehearsals may take place based on the students' conflicts. We always rehearse the Sunday before we open a show (Tech Sunday).

Rehearsals will have a starting time and an ending time. Please, be on time to drop off and pick up your student. Inevitably, the production staff has other theatre commitments following Youtheatre rehearsals. We cannot wait for ride to pick up cast members.

Always bring your script, music and a pencil to every rehearsal.

Students receive a voucher for two complimentary tickets to their show. Tickets go on sale two Mondays before the opening Friday performance. Reservations can be made by calling the Box Office at 454-2852, ext. 0.

Students will receive a School Excuse Form for parents to fill out and send to their child's attendance office for our daytime school performances. Parents may feel free to use this form or send in their own.

Production Week

Production week begins on Tech Sunday and ends with the Final Dress Rehearsal. Production week takes place in the Theatre. A rehearsal is usually scheduled to help the Playhouse scenic designer move the sets into the Theatre. A time is scheduled to put the sets up, carry costumes to the dressing rooms and anything else that needs to be done for the show. Both students and parents are encouraged to help.

Parents can use the Stage Doors (at the rear of the Theatre) to drop off and pick up students. When the students enter the Theatre, they must sign in on the cast list posted in the hallway leading up to the Dressing Rooms. This is the first way we know the students are in the building (Students continue to sign in every day they enter the Theatre for production week and performances).

When we move into the Theatre, the students are to bring all their costume pieces that they were asked to provide and find a space in the designated Dressing Room (2nd or 3rd floor). Students are not allowed to try on their costumes at the Theatre until the costume designer gives them the go ahead to do so.

Our goal during production week is to start and end rehearsals on time. However, we have to be a bit more flexible with the ending time during production week because we may have to spend additional time on certain parts of the show. Parents are welcome to come inside the Theatre to wait for their children. Be sure to put money in the parking meter and don't park in any area that says your car can be towed — it will be!

Parents can photograph either of the final two dress rehearsals. Flash photography is prohibited during the actual performances. The Playhouse photographer takes photos at the last dress rehearsal. Photos can be purchased (see Youtheatre Expenses).

Accidents or Emergencies

If there is a serious show-related accident/injury at the Rehearsal Hall or Theatre, report it immediately to the Director. We will reiterate this to cast/crews at rehearsals. The Liability/Waiver Form that you complete at the first rehearsal will be used in case of emergencies. Parents, please encourage safety at all times.


Students must be at the Theatre one hour before the curtain goes up. The stage doors are usually open an hour and a half before curtain. Again, students must sign in when they enter the Theatre.

Warm-ups take place at least 15 minutes before the house is open to the audience. All actors must participate in the warm-up exercises.

"Green Room" (a time for the entire cast and crew to meet prior to the show) usually takes place 10 to 15 minutes before show time and is held in the top floor dressing room. At this time, announcements are made, notes are given, and the passing of the Youtheatre necklace takes place. A member of the cast, crew or orchestra passes the necklace to someone who is special to him or her. It's a great tradition that we are very proud of! And finally, places are called and the show begins....

Students must remain in the Theatre during the entire performance. Parents can pick their children up at the stage doors at a time to be designated for each show (We never know how long each show will be, plus you have to add time for the students to talk with the audience, get out of costume, and take their make-up off.). The Director will let participants know the exact pick-up time.

The "typical" Youtheatre performance schedule is as follows:

Week 1 & 2:
Fri. - 7 p.m.
Sat. - 2 and 7 p.m.
Sun. - 2 p.m.
The second week there are performances for schools on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday at 10:30 a.m. and Noon.

Parent Volunteers

Sign up sheets for parents to volunteer as ushers, ticket takers, backstage help, lunch/snack set-up and concession workers are posted at the Rehearsal Hall during the rehearsal period. These lists are then transferred to the Theatre and posted in the program cupboard when we move in for production week.

Parent involvement is crucial to the success of our Youtheatre program. We need all parents to be a part of the production. In this way, you can meet other Youtheatre parents, see your child perform numerous times plus be a part of the whole theatrical experience!


Lunches / Snacks for School Day Shows

Lunches and snacks are provided by parents for the cast and crew on school performances. These sign up sheets are also posted at the Rehearsal Hall and then posted backstage during Production Week. The food can be delivered to the Theatre via children on the days parents are scheduled. We have a refrigerator backstage for food use. Food items include sandwiches, snacks, cookies, fruit, veggies, etc.

If your child celebrates a birthday during the run of a show, feel free to bring cake, cookies, cupcakes, etc., so we can help celebrate!

Students Interested in Crew Work

Students who wish to try their hand as Stage Manager, backstage crew, sound and light execution or as dresser can contact the Youtheatre Director to volunteer. Students need not audition for these positions, but they must show the same dedication to the show as those who had to audition. Crew members must attend at least two rehearsals prior to production week and must be at all rehearsals and performances at the Theatre.


Unfortunately, we all must feed the meters around the Erie Playhouse - on the street until 6 p.m. and in the lot behind the theatre 24 hours a day. The Erie Playhouse does not own any of the property surrounding the theatre for parking. For evening and weekend performances (non-working hours) participants can park behind the Accordia Building (the East Side of the 11th Street) parking lot, but they MUST park behind another Playhouse car when parking another driver in. A program visible in the back window makes Playhouse cars easily identifiable. Whatever you do, don't block other cars in, park in the Accordia lot during the day, or park in the tow away zones - you will be towed!

Youtheatre Expenses

Productions involving a large cast may require students to be responsible for their own costumes. If not the entire costume, more often than not, they are responsible for their undergarments, shoes and make-up. If the students are responsible for their entire costumes, they will be notified at auditions. If the Playhouse costume designer makes all the costumes, the students will be measured for their costumes.

Show shirts and cast/show photographs are sold for those students who are interested. These are not mandatory expenses.

The success of the Erie Playhouse Youtheatre has been dependent in large part on the support of both the young participants and their families. Through your hard work, active participation, dedication & commitment, and love of theatre, your family's Youtheatre experience will prove to be a rewarding one.