Apple Club (Theatre Training for 5-7 years) FAQs
Becoming a member of The Apple Club is often the start of a very exciting journey. Once children join this workshop, they are able to audition for some of our major productions, they can appear in our annual main stage production of Starry Nights and are old enough to benefit from lots of other opportunities available to Playbox members. Most of all, The Apple Club is HUGE fun, deeply imaginative and rooted in theatre skills…children quickly develop in confidence, social skills, become more articulate and able to collaborate. Here are a few answers to some of our most asked questions!
What are the workshops about? They’re about lots of different things! Each week we take a different story or stimulus as a springboard. This might be a book, a poem, a painting or a prop. The workshop then guides the group through a range of exercises that respond to the theme of the week.
What skills might I use in a workshop? Each week the workshop will encourage members to explore a range of different skills and techniques, and these depend upon the starting point. A typical week will see Apple Club children engaging with MIME, MOVEMENT, IMPROVISATION, ROLE PLAY, VOICE, STORYTELLING, DEVISING, TABLEAUX, DISCUSSION, THEATRE GAMES & WARM UP ACTIVITIES.
Do we perform in the Apple Club workshops? No we don’t. The weekly workshop is focussed on development of skills and confidence, whilst encouraging lots of super collaboration, team devising and responding to each week’s stimulus. The Apple Club is designed to enable every child to develop at their own rate and to achieve as highly as they possibly can. People come to Playbox Theatre for all sorts of reasons, and some of them don’t seek to perform. Without the need to constantly work towards a presentation, we are able to prepare fully-rounded weekly workshops, each time taking a fresh stimulus as a springboard. From time to time, parents are invited in to share an Open Workshop…and occasionally there will be a celebratory and informal presentation at the end of a season e.g. at Christmas – although we stress this is not a performance that has been rehearsed over a number of weeks. For children who do want to perform there are lots of chances to do this and your director will tell you each time an opportunity comes up.
Do I have to come every week? We do encourage members to attend as regularly as they possibly can, and to make their workshop a priority. The group bond is very important to the success of the workshop and this is always much stronger when the group are committed and attend every week. Children progress so much more quickly when they can build strong relationships with their director and their group members, and this happens more effectively when attendance is high. Of course, we know that there will be occasions when children just can’t make it, and there is never any penalty for this…we just want them to be there every time!
Do I need to bring anything with me? No! Just yourself and lots of imagination. Sometimes children like to bring something small to share with the rest of the group at ‘News Time’, at the beginning of the workshop. However, we don’t encourage people to bring items with them as we only hear 2-3 pieces of ‘news’ each week and don’t want to disappoint children. Anything that’s brought into the workshop will need to go on a table at the side during the session, so that members are totally free to work.
Will I have to do any homework? Absolutely not! It’s an hour of joy and engagement and, although the benefits will be felt throughout the week, in other parts of life, there is no homework set at all. Sometimes there might be a tongue-twister to practise!
I’m very shy, is Apple Club right for me? Of course it is! The type of children who love coming to Apple Club is very diverse. Some children who join are already very confident and are looking to really extend their skills…others are incredibly nervous and parents are hoping that Playbox workshops will help to address this. Our workshop team are highly skilled and have huge experience in welcoming new children and, in particular, settling children who are anxious or shy. Our directors are supported by a team of senior assistants, so all children are given the attention and kindness they need. Parents often see a dramatic improvement in their nervous child’s confidence incredibly quickly. Frequently this will also impact upon their behaviour at school and in other areas of life.
Will I be able to audition for Playbox productions? Once a child is of school age, they are eligible to audition for some of Playbox’s main stage productions. Each project we mount has specific casting requirements, and age suitability will always be detailed on the casting newsletter (Casting Spotlight). Every year we stage a major production with our ‘Young Production Company’, where the actors are all between aged 5-13 yrs. Although it is very competitive, all Apple Club members are invited to attend the audition for this production. Sometimes, other major productions also seek cast members from 5+. In addition, every year EVERYONE has the opportunity to perform on the main stage in a large production, if they register for STARRY NIGHTS. This is our special annual fundraiser which works over a week to create a big show with members from age 5-19 yrs, and is incredibly popular!
Will I have to read scripts? Absolutely not! There is no script work in The Apple Club, although we do encourage children to read and read as much as possible, as this will improve their use of language, imagination and ability to communicate.
Do we do any singing and dancing in the Apple Club workshops? Not usually. The Apple Club is primarily an ‘acting’ workshop, with children responding to a range of exercises that focus on the theme of the week. For children who are very keen to explore singing and dancing, we’d encourage you to look at MUSICAL THEATRE JUNIOR which runs on a Wednesday evening in Warwick.
How much does it cost? Current fees are £105 per season. A season runs in conjunction with the school term, so is between 10-12 weeks. Children register for a full season and then renew each holiday.
Can I try a taster session first? We do not offer ‘taster’ workshops, as is very disruptive to the stability of a group to constantly have new members dropping in and out. Instead, whilst fees are payable in advance, you are eligible for a refund if, after 2 weeks, your child really doesn’t want to stay with Playbox. The refund must be applied for via email to the Membership Manager and is subject to a £10 admin fee.
What should I wear? You don’t need to wear anything special to Apple Club. Comfortable clothes that you can move freely in are absolutely fine. You should always wear soft shoes. Because the workshops are highly physical, we do ask all children to wear trousers, leggings or shorts (rather than skirts or dresses).
Is there a uniform I can choose to wear? We don’t have a specific uniform, as we want to encourage children to be individual and to wear clothes to their workshops that make them feel confident and comfortable. We do have a great selection of Playbox merchandise and lots of members love to wear a Playbox t-shirt or hoodie. These are available to order online at any time, or just call us on 01926 419555.
Will I have to go on a waiting list? Some of the workshops have waiting lists and others have a couple of spaces, so this is a tricky question to answer! We try to open up new workshops where the demand is very high, so that your waiting time is as short as possible. Ideally, if you can give us a few options for potential workshops you could join, then this will help us to offer you a space as quickly as possible. Once you join a waiting list, you’re already part of the team and you’ll receive priority information about holiday workshops, special events, masterclasses etc.
How do I apply to join? If you’d like to join The Apple Club, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and provide us with the child’s Name, DOB, phone number, Email address, postal address. Provide this information along with details of which Apple Club your child would love to join (which venue, which day of the week and which time). Some of the groups will have waiting lists, so it’s always helpful to give us a 1st, 2nd and 3rd option. Alternatively, you can call the membership desk on 01926 419555 ext.1 and speak directly to a member of staff.
We hope that you will leap on board and join the 100s of happy, energetic, thoughtful and inquisitive Apple Club members currently experiencing Playbox Theatre.