Open Forum

1.  Parent Meetings after Casting a Show

Posted 09-12-2017 13:19

Good Morning,


I wanted to know if you require parents to attend an "orientation" meeting after you production is cast?  I have been holding parent meetings for many, many years, and lately I am wondering if I need to have them?  I tried having just new families attend a required meeting, but with schedule conflicts, etc. the attendance was really low.  I always just end up sending out my meeting notes and power points to everyone anyway.....  (Though I am not sure if anyone reads them.)  What do you all do?


Ginny Schreiber

Middle School Drama

Forest Ridge School

425-679-0143 |

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2.  RE: Parent Meetings after Casting a Show

Posted 09-12-2017 13:54
Hello Ginny,
We actually have the meeting before auditions. 
The parent meeting is *tonight* as a matter of fact... and auditions are tomorrow! It's always the night before. 
We do not require it, but HIGHLY recommend it for all parents of students interested in auditioning or doing crew. 
We give a parent contract out that clearly states all parents must volunteer in SOME way... every parent is different, but if they cannot help in even a small way, their children cannot participate. 
We've obviously had a few minor exceptions (students in group homes, for example)... but the majority of the parents "get it" and are on-board with helping. 
I'm clear that the program is entirely student-led, but that it takes a village and we simply need parent involvement to make everything happen and spread out the adult responsibilities. 
That said, I've noticed that having meetings like this and getting all required paperwork out of the way BEFORE auditions ensures it actually gets done. 
After auditions, everyone gets a bit more lax. 
It also helps our retention rate of students that are not cast that choose to stay involved by doing crew. 
I hope that this helps!

3.  RE: Parent Meetings after Casting a Show

Posted 09-13-2017 09:36
I have mine BEFORE cast lists go up.  It is a requirement for parents/guardians to attend if their student is being considered/auditioning for a principle role.  I review the casting policies, rehearsal schedule, evening rehearsals, etc.  I started this a number of years ago due to the "crazy parents", and since then it has totally eliminated those parents who think Little Suzy is God's gift to theatre.

Mike Hancey
Musical Theatre, Drama, Theatre Guild, & Theater Manager
Laramie High School
Laramie, WY

4.  RE: Parent Meetings after Casting a Show

Posted 09-13-2017 09:52
Yes, we have ours tonight also.  Once the show is cast and the crew has meet at least once I put together an info packet with contacts, contRacts, sign ups, schedule, break-a-leg program message forms and other info.

At the meeting the director speaks, along with the TD, to let them know what is expected.  To dispel the dread of tech week I ask veteran parents to talk about how the experience of theatre changes their kid in a positive way.   Some of the most important reasons I still hold this meeting (in my 18th year) is to 1) see folks face-to-face, 2) volunteer sign ups make or break our show 3) comfort the newbies.

It's always worth it!  I must say that I work at an all-boys Catholic HS and the parents are very active and give, give, give.  Whether it's time or tech week meals or donations they are generous.  My meeting is from 6:30-7:30pm SHARP and I never ever hold them longer than that.


Valerie O'Riordan
Drama Director, MFA, AEA, Russi House Provincial
Archbishop Riordan High School
San Francisco CA

5.  RE: Parent Meetings after Casting a Show

Posted 09-13-2017 09:55
I make the parent meeting for theatre at the high school mandatory for any parent who has a student (new or not) interested in participating in theatre, and hold it at least 1/2 week before auditions. The reason for finally making it mandatory was because, in the past, the only parents who created drama or issues for the theatre company turned out to be the ones who did not attend the meeting. The parents that attend are told up front of the possible late nights of production week, which creates less problems when that week arrives. At the meeting all the rules and schedule are gone over and the theatre process is explained. It is an opportunity for me to explain that leadership opportunities exist in the crew head positions, and that tech crews are as important as actors. I encourage them to support their student in the program, no matter what aspect they become involved in. It is also the one time we get to meet the parents and it is a great time for them to ask questions of me, the student theatre council or the theatre booster board.  Also, we need these parents to help out and support the program, and we seem to get better results if everyone is onboard at the start. Important paperwork is filled out, and a Contract of rules and expected behaviors is signed by the parent and their student. The meeting is tonight, and we have had almost 100 people in attendance in the past. That doesn't mean all the students join, because this school has a $400 pay to participate fee for theatre, but at least they get information to help make an informed decision. In case parents cannot attend the meeting in the fall, I hold another one in late November, after the fall performance. Parents are expected to make one of the meetings, as there is far less misunderstanding and confusion about the program when they attend. This has worked for me, and the extra time of preparing two meetings has paid off in less headaches later.

Valerie Farschman, Drama Director
MLS Theatre Company, Troupe 1422
Marion L Steele High School
Amherst, Ohio