why performing arts


The benefits of performing arts education are many.

Children who participate in theater classes and performances are often more at ease in public speaking and tend to be more comfortable communicating ideas and opinions with others, including adults. Theater is a great place for kids to gain self-confidence and a feeling of acceptance.

Our school of dance offers students of all skill levels and different areas of interest an opportunity to learn technique, achieve flexibility, and gain confidence while participating in a supportive and creative environment.

Studies show that kids who are involved in drama and music do better in math, reading, history, geography and citizenship.

Watching and participating in theater fosters literacy, stimulates interest in a wide variety of subjects, introduces diverse cultures and characters, and encourages compassion and tolerance. Children also benefit from interacting with the players after the show, where they can talk with the performers they’ve just seen!

We offer a rich variety of performance events and classes year round. Whether as audience or performer, we hope your family will join us in the theater at the Lawrence Arts Center!

At the Lawrence Arts Center, we offer a range of productions including shows that are “all play” — all who audition are cast. These shows include A Kansas Nutcracker and four Summer Youth Theater productions.

We suggest that you enroll in acting and performance based classes throughout the year. Theater classes are listed under education by age group. Please let us know if we can assist you in choosing classes or getting enrolled!

For some shows, we have a youth cast participation fee. After the cast list goes up, please enroll in the appropriate class. Your educational fee will help to defray costs of costumes, sets, publicity and other production elements.

Scholarships are available – simply fill out the financial aid form along with your enrollment.

Adults, we welcome you to join the party and know you’ll have a great time working with us. Many performances include adult and child roles!

Performers should have hair and make-up prepared one-half hour before shows begin.

Be aware that sound carries from backstage to the theater, so practice being quiet backstage during rehearsals!

Never bring valuables to rehearsals!

Each show will come with its own rehearsal schedule. Some shows rehearse 2 to 3 weeks, others are a 6 to 8 week commitment. Please refer to handouts given at show-specific auditions. We will work around some scheduling conflicts, however, we strongly encourage principal players to be available the entire rehearsal period.

There will be additional auditions for some shows, including The Kansas Nutcracker and Escape from the Labyrinth.

Please talk with the Lawrence Arts Center Directors or Instructors and ask them to recommend classes for those interested in participating in theater at the Arts Center.

We request that if you are only interested in a particular role, you let the director know prior to your audition, on the information form.

Costumes are fitted during rehearsal times, so be prepared to be pulled out of rehearsal to get this job done.

During some shows with large casts, it is recommended that participants bring activities to keep busy during long waits. Books, homework or quiet games like cards are good for those times when you are not on stage. During shows with extended rehearsal periods, the Arts Center will provide tutoring for students to help them with their school work during down times.

No food is allowed in the auditorium, but there is a designated eating area for snacks when time allows and costumes are not on!

We want you to have fun but we expect you to work hard. The best theater education is to be in the best show possible. We expect excellent rehearsal discipline which includes:

•  Memorizing lines, blocking and choreography promptly and to the best of your ability.

•  Bringing a pencil and your bound or covered script to every rehearsal.

•  Bringing a positive and cooperative attitude to every rehearsal.

•  Being prepared with quiet things to do during rehearsal ‘down times.’

•  Encouraging your family and friends to come see the performances.

•  Treating all other actors and all staff members with respect.

•  Being responsible for your own costumes, props and good health!

Final rehearsals are a fun and active time when the hard work of the performers is complimented with technical elements. Be ready for hard work and a lot of waiting through the time spent on the details of the production. For rehearsals to be efficient we expect all actors, dancers and musicians to be on time and ready for their roles.

Directors will attempt to let the youngest performers out as soon as possible. Dress rehearsal for some shows may run late, so please be aware of this when signing up for shows!