How To Host A Show

Residency Week

How the week-long residency works.

On Monday two CSA actor/educators audition and cast approximately fifty students, ranging in age from kindergarten through grade twelve, or beyond. The rehearsal process starts soon after the auditions are finished. (Approximate times for rehearsals 3-5pm & 5:30-7:30pm). In just five days of intense rehearsal all the songs, lines, dances and staging are learned. In addition to the more challenging roles, students can participate as assistant directors. Assistant directors learn how to operate equipment and assist with building the set. Everyone is not called to all the rehearsals but they need to be available throughout the week. Other activities (sports, music lessons, club meetings, etc.) should be put on hold for the week by those in the show. The residency includes two public performances of the final production on Friday or Saturday as well as three enrichment workshops for interested school and community groups, given during the week. Additional workshops and performances can be added for an additional fee.



Audition: CSA’s two Tour actor/educators audition and cast approximately fifty students, ranging in age from kindergarten through grade twelve, in a full-length original musical production.

Rehearsals: CSA actor/educators lead the cast members through a concentrated five day rehearsal schedule (about 4 1/2 hours a day) when all songs, dances and lines, are learned.

Workshops: 3 enrichment workshops are conducted with school or community groups in a wide variety of theatrical topics, such as mime, Shakespeare, puppets, improvisation along with many others. howto_kids

Performances: 2 public performances culminate the week of rehearsals when your children take the stage in a full musical production with professionally designed scenery, costumes, lighting and make-up.



Audition Space: A large area like a gym or multi-purpose room is best.

Rehearsal Spaces: Two rooms are required. It is helpful if one space can be at least the same size as the performance area.

Performance Space: The “stage area” must be at least 25’W 16’D 10’H with consideration given to “backstage” access.

Piano and Accompanist: Both are needed Wednesday through Friday/Saturday of a typical residency week.

Housing: Must be provided for the two actor/educators, either in a hotel/motel or with host families.


Who Sponsors Residency Weeks?

  • Schools and School Districts
  • Home-School Groups
  • Arts Organizations
  • Non-Profit Organizations
  • Day Camps
  • Vacation Camps
  • Summer Camps


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Typical Residency Week Schedule

What to expect in a “typical” Children’s Stage Adventures week.

The tour actors will call your organization’s contact person approximately a week before their arrival to go over the checklist and answer any last minute questions.

The tour actors will arrive on Sunday prior to production week.


Monday Organizational Meeting

A meeting with your organization’s contact person is held on Monday to finalize details. Included in this meeting should be:

An introduction to the accompanist, at which time she/he can pick up the musical score.

A tour of the facility to view the audition-rehearsal and performance spaces can be handled at this time.

Copies should be made of rehearsal schedules the cast and crew need immediately after auditions to take home to their parents.

A schedule of workshops that have been chosen along with their locations can be finalized.

This is also an opportunity to meet any other key staff, such as principals, secretaries and custodians.

Scheduling the load-in time for set and equipment is finalized at this time.

This meeting should be held no less than 1 hour prior to the start of audition time.


Outline of Typical Week

(There is some flexibility in this schedule.)

Day 1, Monday

A 2-hour audition is held. It is important that all who plan on participating in auditions understand that they need to arrive just prior to the starting time and stay the full two hours until the cast is announced. Everyone auditions together at the same time. Nothing has to be prepared by the participants prior to the audition. The cast is announced at the end of the audition. The cast and crew will be told at that time what rehearsals they need to attend. They will also receive a printed schedule of the rehearsals as part of a letter of information to take home to their parents. Those not needed at the first rehearsal are dismissed.

A half-hour break is given before the first rehearsal begins. This allows those staying for the first rehearsal to contact their parents and get a bite to eat.

A two-hour rehearsal is held for the required cast and crew.


Day 2, Tuesday

(Workshops may be held during non-rehearsal times.)

Session 1 – 2 separate, 2hr rehearsals for the required cast and crew members.

A half-hour dinner break for those staying for Session 2, those not required at session 2 are dismissed.

Session 2 – 2 separate, 2hr rehearsals for the required cast and crew members.


Day 3, Wednesday

(Workshops may be held during non-rehearsal time.)

Session 1 – 2 separate, 2hr rehearsals for the required cast and crew members.

A half-hour dinner break for those staying for Session 2 (youngest group will be dismissed).

Session 2 – 2 hour song rehearsal with accompanist for all cast and crew (except youngest group).


Day 4, Thursday

(Workshops may be held during non-rehearsal time. The set is assembled in the performance space during non-rehearsal time.)

Session 1 – 2hrs all cast and accompanist for the first run-through of the show.

Dinner Break for half hour

Session 2 – 2hrs all cast and accompanist (except youngest group)


Day 5, Friday

(Workshops may be held during non-rehearsal time.)

Session 1 – rehearsal all cast and accompanist.

Dinner Break for half hour

Session 2 – rehearsal all cast and accompanist (except youngest group)


Day 6, Saturday

Show Day!

Cast and crew are called to the performance space approx. 3 hours prior to show time.

The cast will get their costumes (separate dressing areas are needed for boys & girls).

Dress rehearsal is held with all cast, crew and accompanist.

A quick snack break is taken.

Make-up time (space large enough for 60+ people in cast and crew is needed for a pre-show make-up area).


Show Time #1

After the show is concluded a photo session is held for parents and friends to take pictures.

Cast members remove their costumes and leave the costumes in their costume bags. Cast and crew vacate the performance area for a rest and dinner break. Actor/educators take a break also.

Cast members return 1 hour prior to Show Time #2, get into costume, and touch up make-up.


Show Time #2

Photo call

After photo call the actors return their costumes to the tour actors and are free to leave.

The set is taken down and loaded out (anyone wanting to assist with this process is welcome).


Day 7, Sunday

Tour actors leave for their next destination.


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A fundraising opportunity for your non-profit organization!

Your non-profit organization can positively affect the lives of 100 children or more in your community while at the same time raising money for other activities. Children’s Stage Adventures rates are fixed and don’t change if your organization is successful in raising money by hosting a residency week.

In the past non-profits have raised funds with a Children’s Stage Adventure through:

  • Ticket sales
  • Dinner theatre experience
  • Incorporate performance as part of existing community event or celebration
  • Organizing weeklong day-camps around the CSA residency (Great for school vacation weeks!)
  • Marketing the performances to other schools or day-camps
  • Sale of professional videotape of performances
  • Corporate sponsorships
  • The staff at Children’s Stage Adventures would be glad to speak with you about using these activities to assist in your organization’s fundraising. E-mail us today with your questions.


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Frequently Asked Questions

How much does a residency week cost?

Residency Package Price

$2,400.00 – $3,400.00 for residency week. This includes audition and rehearsal times conducted by CSA staff, 2 performances and 3 enrichment workshops. All costumes, set, lights, make-up and scripts are provided by CSA.

$750.00 deposit reserves your week. The balance is due prior to performance.

Fees for additional workshops and performances.

$250.00 per performance.

$75.00 per workshop. (A total of 12 additional workshops can be purchased)

It is the responsibility of the sponsoring organization to provide housing for the tour staff, 2 adults, as well as an accompanist for rehearsals and performances. Suitable housing can be provided in private homes by host families, or in a commercial lodging establishment willing to assist the sponsor. Organizations usually find a volunteer accompanist but it is not unheard of that some are compensated for their service. This would be negotiated between the organization and the accompanist. There are no other additional costs for the residency week.


What are the technical requirements for the performance space?

Size: 25’W/16’D/10’H (flexible)

Two 110-power sources to the back stage area

Accessories: 2-step units from floor to stage, if needed

CSA provides lighting for the performances if none is available in your facility.


Will CSA conduct a day of Workshops for our school separate from a residency week?

Yes, CSA actor/educators are available for daylong residencies of Theatre Workshops. Up to 6 workshops can be conducted each day. The fee for a daylong residency of workshops is $500.00, and a two-day residency of workshops would be $900.00. One and Two-day Workshop Residencies are by special arrangement and available when CSA’s tour schedule allows.


Can the shows be cast with children from one grade level?

CSA shows were written to include children ranging in age from 5 to 18. This is to achieve the highest quality show possible and to keep the animosity between students to a minimum. This being said CSA has had successful residencies using the students from a single grade level (both 4th and 5th Grades). Some roles are adjusted to accommodate the age of the actors.


Can one of the two performances be given Friday for the school?

Yes. A Friday afternoon performance for the school is an excellent opportunity for the student body to experience a live theatrical production as well as appreciate the hard work of their fellow classmates.


Can a Children’s Stage Adventure be used as a fundraiser?

Yes, non-profit groups can use CSA as a fundraiser. Please check out our page on using CSA as a fundraiser.


Have other sponsors been successful in attaining grant funding for CSA?

Yes! Many sponsors have been successful in obtaining grant funds to help cover the cost of a residency week. Grant proposals and money amounts vary from state to state but there is funding available, especially for arts programs that involve children. Corporate sponsorships are another location to prospect for funding. Contact your local or state arts councils for grant information. CSA can also assist you with suggestions of funding sources. E-mail us with your questions.


Can rehearsals be conducted during the school day?

One of the many benefits to the Children’s Stage Adventures schedule is its flexibility. Rehearsal times can be adjusted to meet your organization’s needs. It is important to keep in mind that there is a required amount of rehearsal necessary to achieve a rewarding and successful production.


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