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Whether you are a seasoned pro or just getting started in the world of youth theatre, you will want your child to come fully prepared for their classes and rehearsal. They will spend a lot of time learning and training, so you want to make sure they’re prepared!
It’s similar for getting ready to go to school! There are some basic supplies every theatre kid should have in their rehearsal bag when you drop them off at the theatre! Depending on what you’re doing, you might not need all these things. For example, if they’re taking a skills class like dance, your child probably won’t have a script, but the shoes become even more important!
Read on for details on what you should have your child's rehearsal bag.
If your child is in a production class, they will probably have a script that they need to bring to every class/rehearsal. This might seem like the easiest thing to remember, but everyone forgets at least once. So, it’s important to do a double check before you leave for the theatre!
For skills classes, they may not have a full script but if they get any scenes or music, it’s important to bring those items to class!
2. Pencil Case
You want your child to have a pencil case in their rehearsal bag. There are some basics to put in the bag:
Pencils (mechanical pencils are great because they don’t need to be sharpened.)
If you're looking for a pencil case, check out the Stageworks Carry All Pouch!
It is very important to always have a pencil or two at rehearsal. There will be lots of notes to take on blocking, acting, etc. It’s good for kids to start to learn to take their own notes.
Before they make any marks in their script, find out if the script must be returned to the publisher. If it does, then you only want to use light pencil marks that can be easily erased.
Always take notes in pencil because they can change throughout production! Sometimes blocking will change during rehearsal and then it might even go back to the original before the show makes it to the stage. So, pencils are a must!
If the kids can mark up their script, highlighters can be a huge help! You want to use bright colors that help the highlighted lines really stand out from the rest of the script.
Sticky notes in different shapes and sizes can be super helpful during the rehearsal process. If your child can’t mark up their script, Post-It notes are a great way to make notes in the script. You can also use sticky note arrows and tabs to mark pages in the script.
It’s a good idea to have a notebook for additional notes. Directors, musical directors, and choreographers will often give performance notes. These might include character development ideas, performance notes, or even just extra notes that the actor makes for themselves.
Having a notebook to write these notes down in makes it easy for kids to look back on. It can also help you as a parent if you’re working with your child at home.
You can use a small spiral notebook or a three-ring binder with loose leaf paper. If you use a three-ring binder, you can also clip the pencil bag right in the binder.
4. Water Bottle & Snacks
It’s very important to stay hydrated during rehearsals and classes, so be sure your child comes to the theatre with a water bottle every day!
We recommend using a refillable water bottle because we have a water cooler at the theatre that the kids can use to fill up! You can get a Stageworks Acting Academy Water Bottle that will work well!
Snacks are also great to have on hand, especially if it’s a longer rehearsal or class period. We do have snacks available at the concessions stand and students can bring money or purchase a concessions card.
5. Shoes & Knee Pads
We recommend that your child have shoes specifically for class, especially for dance and production classes. It helps to avoid bringing in extra dirt and grime into the classrooms and on to the stages at the theatre.
If your child is going to wear their street shoes to class, please avoid any shoes that might be a distraction such as light up shoes or shoes that are very loud when walking.
Jazz shoes are the most basic shoes a theatre kid should have. They’re great for rehearsal and will also get worn in many shows. You may find yourself needing other shoes depending on what your child is involved in, including:
Character Shoes (as your child gets older, they will move into needing character shoes as often as jazz shoes)
Tap shoes (if taking tap class or performing in a show with a tap number)
Specialty shoes requested by costumer for the production (if your child is wearing different shoes for the show, it’s a great idea to start wearing them in rehearsal as early as possible)
Another great item to keep in the bag with shoes are knee pads! You never know when choreography or blocking will involve the kids on their knees on the floor. Having a pair of knee pads to pull on is a good way to care for their knees and prevent injuries.
6. Extra Layers
It can be cold at the theatre so it’s important to have a light sweater, sweatshirt, or jacket to put on. If you know your child is prone to being cold, a small travel blanket could also be a good addition to their theatre bag.
If you're looking for a sweatshirt, check out all of the options available at our Stageworks Theatre online store.
7. Quiet Activities
During longer classes, the kids will have breaks. They will also have some downtime during production classes. It’s important for them to have something quiet to work on during those times so they don’t disturb any other rehearsals going on.
Some ideas to consider include:
Headphones and playback device – Breaks and downtime are great times to work on reviewing music and choreography. If your child has a role with many lines to memorize, they can also record their cues and play them back during downtime to practice lines. It’s important to have headphones so they can practice quietly when they have the time.
Books or magazines to read
Puzzle books, activity books, coloring books
8. Hair Care
Hair can get in the way when you’re busy in rehearsal. You want your child’s hair to be out of their face during rehearsal. They may also want it up off their neck if they get hot easily. So it’s always a good idea to have extra in their rehearsal bag!
9. Basic Supplies
There are some other basic supplies you might want to put in your child’s bag. These include:
Band aids (we have fully stocked first aid kits at the theatre but it’s always good to have some stashed in their bag)
Toothpaste and toothbrush
Glasses or extra contacts
Personal care supplies
10. Body Wipes/Towel & Handheld fan
Between stage lights and choreography, kids can really get warmed up during rehearsal.
It’s a good idea to keep a small towel or body wipes in the rehearsal bag to handle sweat. Having sweat dripping in your eyes during rehearsal is no fun at all!
For students who overheat easily, a small handheld fan can make all the difference! Here are some great options:
Don't forget the bag!
You'll also need a bag to put everything in! We have a variety of Stageworks Theatre bags available if you're looking to support the theatre:
Click here to check out all of the Stageworks Bags & Backpacks.
This may seem like a lot of stuff to fit into a rehearsal bag. It’s up to you to decide what your child should have in their bag. But if you’re new to the theatre world, we recommend trying to send your child to the theatre prepared. Younger students may not need everything listed if they’re just coming to a one-hour introduction to theatre class, but as your child gets older and gets more involved, you might find yourself needing a bigger bag!