Passionate about empowering young minds, fostering creativity, and bringing joy to children’s hearts? Starting a children’s community theatre might just be your calling. It’s a chance to create a vibrant hub where children can explore their talents, build confidence, and make memories that will last a lifetime.
Whether it’s acting, singing, dancing, or behind-the-scenes magic, a children’s theatre offers a platform for young talents to shine. But where do you even start? From training staff on safety to selecting and purchasing props, our comprehensive guide will walk you through the steps to open your children’s community theatre.
Train Your Staff for Safety
The theatre is a dynamic and exciting environment but presents its share of potential hazards. That’s why safety should never be overlooked!
By prioritizing and training your staff on safety, you create an environment where creativity can flourish, risks can be taken, and everyone can participate in the magic of the theatre without compromising their well-being. Training your staff on theatre safety equips them with the knowledge and skills to easily identify potential hazards, prevent accidents, and handle emergencies. It’s like giving them a trusty cape and mask to navigate the theatre world safely.
How do you ensure your staff receives top-notch safety training? One fantastic option is to enroll them in an OSHA training course. These courses cover various topics, from hazard recognition to best practices for safety procedures. They also delve into theatre-specific areas like rigging systems, equipping your staff with the knowledge and skills to safely handle rigging equipment and work at heights.
Investing in such a course for your theatre staff will protect the superheroes behind the scenes and instill confidence in parents, guardians, and participants. They’ll know your children’s community theatre is committed to their well-being, making it a trusted and beloved destination for creativity and fun.
Find a Theatre Curtain
Finding the perfect theatre curtain or drapery is crucial in creating a captivating and professional stage setting for your children’s community theatre. The right drapery can enhance the visual appeal of the stage, set the mood for performances, and provide a versatile backdrop for various scenes and productions.
To land the perfect drapery for a children’s community, theatre prioritizes the material and design. Opt for durable, high-quality fire-retardant fabrics that can withstand frequent use. Also, consider the color, texture, and pattern that align with the theme and atmosphere of your productions.
Once you find the perfect material and design, measure the dimensions of your stage and determine the appropriate size of the curtain. Ensure it covers the entire stage area and allows smooth movement and transitions.
Remember to look for a curtain that offers versatility in opening and closing options. Some curtains come with motorized systems or manual mechanisms, allowing for quick and seamless scene changes. Do consider curtains with sound-absorbing properties as well. They’ll enhance the acoustics of your theatre space, improving the clarity of performance, and thus providing an immersive audience experience.
Install a New Entrance
The entrance of a community theatre is the first point of contact between the audience and the theatre. It sets the tone and creates the initial impression of what awaits inside. When well-designed and welcoming, it’ll instantly captivate, and intrigue the audience, generating anticipation and excitement for the upcoming performances.
Besides setting good first impressions, a well-designed entrance contributes to the overall atmosphere and ambiance. By thoughtfully incorporating commercial door installations and designing elements, such as lighting, decor, and signage, the entrance can evoke the essence and theme of the production, immersing the audience in the intended mood even before they step foot inside the actual performance space.
If you do it right, the entrance area can even serve as a gathering place for pre-show activities, such as ticketing, concessions, merchandise sales, and interactions with performers. This interaction adds to the overall experience and fosters a sense of community among audience members.
More importantly, a well-designed theatre entrance with controlled access and efficient crowd management systems helps maintain order, prevent unauthorized entry, and ensure the well-being of all individuals within the theatre premises. So, invest in a grand entrance that sets the stage for unforgettable theatrical experiences.
Assemble a Costume Stock
Costumes are to the theatre what butter is to bread- they go hand in hand, enhancing the overall experience and adding that extra touch of magic. Just as butter brings flavor and richness to a slice of bread, costumes bring life and vibrancy to the stage. They enhance the visual impact of the performance, capturing the essence of the production’s period, setting, or theme, thus creating a visual spectacle that grabs the audience’s imagination and draws them deeper into the narrative.
But costumes aren’t just for the audience’s benefit—they’re also as important to the performers and the show designers.
The right costumes enable the actors to transform into their characters, allowing them to embody their roles more convincingly. Simultaneously, they allow designers to showcase their talent and craftsmanship by creating unique and visually striking outfits that reflect the character’s personality, style, and role in the story.
Additionally, a diverse and comprehensive costume stock enables the theatre to tackle different genres, styles, and themes without limitations. It provides options for multiple characters, ensemble scenes, and diverse casting choices, accommodating the unique requirements of each production.
That’s why assembling costume stock while starting a children’s community theatre is incredibly important. Explore avenues such as costume rentals, donations from community members, thrift stores, and partnerships with local clothing retailers to build your theatre’s costume stock. Be sure to prioritize quality, durability, and variety in costume selections to ensure they can withstand repeated use and meet the specific needs of different productions.
Repair Your Parking Lot
Imagine this: excited theatre-goers arrive at your children’s community theatre, ready to embark on a magical journey, only to be greeted by a neglected and crumbling parking lot. It can be a disappointing first impression and may even deter potential visitors.
A well-maintained parking lot is essential when starting a theatre. It may not be the star of the show, but it plays a crucial supporting role in ensuring a smooth and enjoyable experience for your audience.
A parking lot in tip-top condition also provides a safe and convenient space for your patrons to park their vehicles. It ensures everyone can navigate the area easily and find suitable parking spaces without hassle. Additionally, a well-maintained parking lot contributes to the overall aesthetics of your theatre. When neat and well-kept, it reflects the care and attention to detail that goes into the entire theatre experience. So, if you find the parking lot in your chosen theatre venue in disarray, ensure you engage professional blacktop services to assess the condition of your parking lot, repair any cracks or potholes, and apply a fresh coat of asphalt if needed.
Add a New Marquee
A marquee is like the theater’s smile, welcoming visitors and setting the stage for the excitement that awaits inside. Investing in a well-designed, visually appealing one with clear signage and vibrant lighting can catch the attention of potential audience members and generate interest in what your children’s community theatre has to offer.
A marquee also serves as a marketing tool, allowing you to showcase your brand and promote upcoming productions. By regularly updating the marquee with show titles, dates, and other relevant information, you can pique the curiosity of passersby and entice them to attend your performances. It creates a buzz and helps build anticipation within the community.
Given its essence in your theatre’s success, it’s only wise to engage professionals who offer sign installs to design your new marquee. These experts have the knowledge and experience to ensure proper marquee installation, considering factors such as visibility, durability, and compliance with local regulations.
They can assist you in selecting the right materials, colors, and design elements that align with your theatre’s aesthetic and brand identity, conversely allowing you to build an instantly recognizable marquee synonymous with the vibrant entertainment you provide and a landmark within your community. Invest in a new marquee because it attracts attention, builds excitement, and reinforces your theatre’s presence in the community.
Purchase Art for Your Library
Not all children’s community theatres have a dedicated library space, which is why you should incorporate one.
Besides being an instant, stand-out feature for your community theatre, a library within the setting provides a space for children to engage with literature, explore new stories, and discover the joy of reading. It promotes literacy, fosters a love for books, and encourages children to develop their imaginations through the power of storytelling. It becomes a hub for educational resources where young minds can expand their knowledge and explore different cultures, ideas, and perspectives.
But note, creating a visually captivating library space in your children’s community theatre goes beyond shelves and books. You should also incorporate art. Adding unique, customized, commissioned metal art design to your theatre creates an environment that stimulates curiosity and sparks creativity. The art adds depths and meaning to the library space, becoming a conversation starter, igniting discussions about the characters and themes depicted, and fostering a sense of connection with the literary world.
Consider collaborating with talented artists who can bring your vision to reality. Working closely with them, you can create commissioned artwork that resonates with the spirit of your children’s community theatre.
Props play a significant role in bringing stories to life and immersing the audience in the magic of the stage. From whimsical objects to essential items that enhance the narrative, the right props can transport performers and spectators into a world of imagination and wonder.
While there are plenty of avenues to source props from, German nutcracker shops are an excellent option to curate an impressive collection of props for your children’s community theatre.
These shops typically offer a variety of traditional handicrafts, ornaments, and decorative pieces that can be used to enhance the visual appeal of your productions. From handmade Christmas decorations to unique furniture replicas, these props can lend an air of authenticity to period pieces, fairy tales, or holiday-themed performances. Additionally, incorporating props from a German nutcracker shop adds an element of cultural diversity to your theatre productions.
Stock Your Costume Shop
A costume shop is a dedicated space or area where costumes are designed, created, stored, and maintained. It serves as a hub for all things costumes, providing a workspace for costume designers, seamstresses, and volunteers to bring their creative ideas to life.
A well-stocked costume shop in your children’s community theatre enables the designers to customize costumes to fit specific characters and performances.
With well-stocked sewing supplies, for instance, they can alter garments, create unique designs, and add intricate details that enhance the overall visual impact of the available costumes. They can also perform regular maintenance and repairs to extend your costumes’ lifespan and ensure performers always look their best on stage.
Maintain Your HVAC System
A well-functioning HVAC is a critical component of any community theatre. It creates a comfortable environment for performers, ensuring they can deliver their best performances without being hindered by extreme temperatures or poor air quality. On the other hand, it ensures the audience enjoys a pleasant experience, allowing them to immerse themselves in the production fully.
Additionally, a well-maintained HVAC system won’t break down, causing untimely downtimes or leaving you with major bills. That said, ensure you invest in regular maintenance and repairs for your HVAC system.
Hire local commercial HVAC repairs to assess, diagnose, and address any issues with your system. They can conduct routine inspections, clean or replace filters, check for leaks, and perform necessary repairs or upgrades to keep your HVAC system running smoothly.
Opening a children’s community theatre is an exciting and rewarding endeavor that combines creativity, imagination, and community engagement. Follow the tips in this comprehensive guide, embrace the journey, seek inspiration from successful theatre models, and adapt your approach to meet the unique needs of your community. With dedication, creativity, and imagination, your children’s community theatre can become a vibrant hub of artistic expression and joyful experiences for years.