Open Forum

Dealing with students who want to drop

  • 1.  Dealing with students who want to drop

    Posted 02-11-2019 23:10
    I'd like to know what others have said to students who want to drop from shows. How do you convince them to stay true to their commitment?

    Sonja Brown, Theatre Teacher
    Thespian Troupe 839
    Galt High School

  • 2.  RE: Dealing with students who want to drop

    Posted 02-12-2019 08:20
    If a student wants to drop, he or she is going to drop.  Rather than convince them to stay if they don't want to, I try to look for a reason why (overextended/too much workload in other classes, pressure from family, dissatisfaction with the part, personal issues within the cast), and that tends to dictate my response.  If it is something from outside, like a family situation or being overextended, then I will let the student know that I respect that the decision is out of his or her hands and he or she will be welcome to audition for another show in the future if the situation changes.  If a student drops due to dissatisfaction, I will let him or her know there are consequences and not to audition for the next show.

    Robert Ellis
    Theater I-IV Honors
    Performing Arts Department Lead
    Cosby High School
    Midlothian, VA

  • 3.  RE: Dealing with students who want to drop

    Posted 02-12-2019 08:57
    Honestly, I will usually let kids drop. If they don't want to be there then I don't really want them to be there, either. If I have a more fully developed relationship with the student I will have a real heart-to-heart conversation with them about it. Sometimes a call to the parent will solve it.

    But if they want to leave, they should go. Just yesterday I had a student make two separate cracks about quitting the musical and I told them that if they wanted to go they should do it now but if they were going to stay they would have to stop talking about.

    When a student goes, I just march on like it's water off a ducks back. Recast the role and move on making the show the best it can be with the company I have.

    I might be out here on a limb all by myself but that is my two cents.

    Mark A. Zimmerman
    Theatre Director,

    Akron School for the Arts
    Firestone High School
    470 Castle Blvd
    Akron, Ohio 44313


  • 4.  RE: Dealing with students who want to drop

    Posted 02-12-2019 11:04
    I agree with the others who let the kids drop.  If you convince them to stay, they are often not really committed and they do badly.  I also agree that it depends on the circumstances.  If they have some issue that can be resolved (i.e. they just broke up with the leading lady and don't want it to be awkward......not that this has happened....), then I try to work it out.  However, if they just aren't "into it", then so long, farewell.  I don't generally say that they won't be cast in another of my shows, but  that is generally the case.

    Holly Striska
    Theater Teacher
    Berwyn IL

  • 5.  RE: Dealing with students who want to drop

    Posted 02-14-2019 08:13
    I lay out the expectations in the very beginning of the season in a contract which I spend the first rehearsal going over and part of that is commitment to the production, as well as a respectful troupe attitude.  It depends on the situation, but I try to work with them in advance as much as possible if it's a scheduling issue with work, sports, band, etc and also communicate to all coaches and teachers for the kids to split their time.  I do echo that students who just realize this isn't their thing or just decide not to be there, I let them drop but emphasize if they want to do cast or crew again in the future, they first need to go through an interview process with me.  I hold all of my kids very accountable and to a very high standard as I'm sure most everyone on this forum does as well.  They need to recognize that as an ensemble, they are a part of a team and they need to think about their actions and potential consequences.  I always refer back to the contract if things get out of control or "approach" out of control to try to anticipate disruptions to the show and rehearsal.  Hope this helps.

    Kristin Lundberg
    Theatre Arts Instructor
    Rocky Mount High School
    Rocky Mount NC