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1.  Drama Club Participation Fees

Hello everyone. I hope everybody had a Great summer.  Our "summer" is about to end since we start school this Wednesday, Aug 13th. But we get out before Memorial Day. I guess that's our trade off.

Anyway, I am posting because I need some input from other Troupe Directors on the situation of "Club Participation Fees". Our fees are $75 per person per club. The school board made this policy because of the levy failures that we have had. I am trying to come up with incentives for a reason to join Drama Club since you don't have to be a member of Drama Club to tryout or be in shows. The ideas that I have come up with so far is:

  1. A Troupe T-shirt
  2. If you want to attend National you have to be a member
  3. Priority tryouts. (They get to pick the day and time to tryout for a show, based on the try-out schedule, before non-club members.
  4. Drama Club member of the month.

 Plus, they have to be a member of Drama Club for 1 full school year to be able to run for an officer position.

Any feedback or suggestions are greatly appreciated.David

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David Thomas
Troupe Director
Huber Heights City Schools
Huber Heights OH
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2.  RE: Drama Club Participation Fees

Do you take field trips as a club? We usually go see a few shows during the year (on school days of course) and these are only open to members. I also allow members of the club to choose techie jobs for production before opening it to the school. This has been really helpful in growing the club since I have to "cut" children from being techies because of too much interest.

Do you have a ROTC class on your campus? If so, do they have a field med day? Our campus does, and holds the med day for another 5-6 schools and we provide all of the "casualties". Again, the members of the club are put on the list to participate first and get to choose their stations and wounds before anyone else.

Finally, are your kids allowed to walk with graduation honors from your club? Several of my students joined, and stayed in the club, because they are allowed to display the honors they earned. It is very important to the kids that they are allowed this opportunity to show their love, and the fact that they worked hard,  for theatre when walking.

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Shira Schwartz
Chandler Unified School District
Chandler AZ
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3.  RE: Drama Club Participation Fees

If possible, use the club membership card/pass as a free ticket to a production of yours.  If that student is in the show, he/she can give their card to a friend or family member to use.

We do about 8 different productions a year (musical, short plays, talent shows, improv comedy, etc.). Every club member is free with their pass to all of those shows.  In one year, membership went from 25 to 115 and we are now the largest non-sports affiliated club on campus.

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Josh Ruben
Fine Arts Head
Chattanooga TN
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4.  RE: Drama Club Participation Fees

WOW! $75/person/club. That's a lot. Good luck there.

I charge only $5 per person to be in Drama Club, but they have to be a Drama Club member to earn ITS points. Once a student is an ITS student, Drama Club dues are waived. Once an ITS member, always a  Drama Club member.

We do shirts, lots of local trips - especially going to support neighboring schools with their shows. Drama Club members get dibs on these trips. At times there are kids in the general student body who want to go, but since they're not in the Club, they often don't get to go. Last year with a student body of 346 kids, my Drama Club was 48 kids, pretty good.

Also, if you can afford it, try to give your group a sense of elitism. I met with my officers the other day, and we act like Drama Club is lit a fraternity or sorority. We have a RUSH week with different activities after school. Everyone in the school is invited, but the time to join the club is the frist week of school. This year we have our membership RUSH from August 25-29.

Monday, we have an ice cream social after school.
Tuesday, we're watching "Bye, Bye Birdie" in the school auditorium.
Wednesday, we're having a barbecue in the school courtyard with ITS members bringing side dishes..
Thursday, improve in the high school auditorium.
We end membership at 3 p.m. on that Friday.

There are students set up at lunch to collect membership forms.

Each Drama Club member must be involved with at least one show: acting, stage crew, publicity, tickets ... something.

I try and have as many activities as we can so the kids feel like it is an active group, which we are.

Best of luck!

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Jared Grigsby
English and Journalism Teacher / Drama Director
MSD of Boone Township
Hebron IN
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5.  RE: Drama Club Participation Fees

The $75 is per club and was set by our school board because of the amount of levy failures we have had. So the $75 is not something that I am allowed to change. For sports, it is $428 per sport per student with a cap of about $1200. This is why I am looking at incentives to join Drama Club.
David
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David Thomas
Troupe Director
Huber Heights City Schools
Huber Heights OH
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6.  RE: Drama Club Participation Fees

There has been a change in the law in our state. Students must now pay a participation fee for any club or are not allowed to participate. The fee for performing arts is $75-$400. The sponsor has discretionary power concerning the amount.

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Shira Schwartz
Chandler Unified School District
Chandler AZ
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