Playbox Parties FAQs

Playbox Theatre Parties are a wonderful way to celebrate a special day…we offer two types of events, both hosted at The Dream Factory in Warwick. Make A Play parties are for children who would love to take part in the adventure, whilst Performance Parties give you the VIP treatment, watching a production and visiting backstage! We can’t wait to party with you…


MAKE A PLAY PARTIES

What age are Make A Play Parties suitable for? We offer celebrations for children turning 4 years – 12 years. All of the material we run is tailored to suit the age of the group attending. Playbox Parties are not suitable for children under 3 years, or children who aren’t happy to attend without a parent.

How many children can come? Our capacity is 25, with a minimum number of 8 children. We have to be strict on this maximum, due to the size of the party studio and the number of directors working on the events.

Can we choose our own theme? Each year we introduce a range of new party themes to the list. We hope that there is something in there to suit most tastes! The current themes can be found on the Parties page! It is not usually possible to create something from scratch for a one-off party, however we are happy to be approached if there is something that a child is passionate about. An additional fee would be payable if a bespoke event was to be agreed.

What happens in a Make A Play Party? Lots of things! The party is split into 2 halves. The first 55 mins is spent with children enjoying a fully themed theatre workshop, which explores the theme that has been selected. Playbox Theatre’s workshop approach includes mime, movement, role play, game play, storytelling and improvisation.

After this, there is a break for birthday tea, which is hosted in an adjacent studio. Tea is served by Playbox staff and usually lasts around 15-20 mins.

Following this, the children return to the party studio with their director to create a mini ‘performance’ for parents to come and watch within the last 10 mins of the event. All of the children take part in staging the presentation which is a celebration of everything they’ve been exploring with us!

Who runs the parties? Our Party Directors are senior members of the Playbox Theatre Creative Team, and bring a wealth of experience in facilitating theatre events for young people of all ages. They are highly skilled and dedicated to ensuring that every child has a wonderful experience…and that the birthday child has a day they will never forget.

Where do the parties take place? All Playbox Parties take place at our theatre, The Dream Factory, in Warwick. We have a special ‘party studio’ which is designed especially for celebrations. It has an enchanted tree installation, fairy lights, theatrical lighting and sound, so filled with magic every time!

The group haven’t done anything like this before…what happens if they’re very shy? Our directors have huge experience and are very good at settling children into a party. There is a huge amount of teamwork involved in the exercises the group will be a part of, so no-one needs to feel under pressure, or that ‘all eyes are on them’. These are creative, sensitive events where every child is very well looked after. They are perfect for children who are newcomers to theatre…as well as those who already have ‘the bug’!

Will the birthday child have the chance to play their favourite character in the presentation? Absolutely! It is their special day, so they will always have the chance to take the central character in the presentation, with their friends creating the rest of the story that they perform in.

Do you provide costumes and props? Make A Play Parties are focussed on the direct engagement with the workshop material, so we do not tend to use costumes or props. There will sometimes be the opportunity to offer simple face painting at tea time, but there is a lot to pack into the 2 hours, so the focus must always be on the content of the workshop and the staging of the presentation.

Can the children come in fancy dress? Yes they can! As long as children can move practically in whatever they arrive in, and as long as they won’t get too hot, they are very welcome to fancy dress for the occasion. We will leave this with the party family to arrange.

What is on the menu? Birthday tea is a traditional party spread! The menu includes a range of sandwiches (cheese, ham, tuna & jam); mini sausages; cheese & pineapple on sticks; crudites; grapes; mini chocolate brownies; iced cupcakes; vanilla ice cream; orange & blackcurrant squash.

Do you cater for dietary requirements? All of our food is nut free and we are happy to discuss catering for special dietary requirements. We ask families to flag-up any specific needs as early as possible. If a very different, or specialist, menu is needed, a surcharge may be payable.  This would be discussed at the time with the family.

It doesn’t seem like a very long time to create a performance…do they really manage to get it done in time? Yes they do! The presentation is very informal and is a great way for children and parents to celebrate what has been explored throughout the party. Our directors have lots of experience of creating presentations within this time-frame and can achieve miracles! The Playbox director narrates and guides the children through their presentation, offering as much, or as little, support as needed.

Can parents come in to watch the party? As with most Playbox events, children should attend the party independently in order to squeeze as much out of the experience as possible. The space is not large enough to accommodate spectators during the workshop, and the parties are very focussed and need to run without distraction. Of course, the parents of the birthday child are welcome to stay in throughout…or can leave the team to it!

What do parents do while the party is taking place? Parents can choose to leave the premises, or to stay and relax in our front of house lounge. We supervise the children from start to finish, so don’t require parents to stay. Of course, they are all encouraged to come back 10 mins early to enjoy the presentation at the end!

Can you cater for parents whilst they are waiting? Absolutely! Our café is always open during birthday parties and we can discuss parents’ individual requirements. You can leave your guests to use the café themselves, or you can run a tab…or we can offer bespoke catering starting at £2 per head for unlimited coffee, tea and homemade biscuits. Please enquire for further information and menus.

What happens if extra children turn up on the day…or fewer than we have paid for? We really do need final numbers 7 days before the party takes place, so that all departments can prepare properly. If extra children turn up on the day, we will do our best to accommodate extra places at the tea table and to cater for them. An additional fee of £7 per child would be payable on the day. If fewer children turn up, we are unable to refund once the balance has been paid, as we will already have catered and prepared for the number of children established at the time of balance payment.

When do Make A Play Parties run? We run birthday parties throughout the year on Saturday afternoons, Sunday mornings and Sunday afternoons.

Do we need to provide party bags and invitations? No! We provide invitations, party bags, helium balloons and party hats for all guests, as well as the birthday tea and party itself.

What about a birthday cake? The birthday cake is the only thing that parents need to provide. Our café team will be happy to slice it and wrap it in napkins, according to parents’ instructions.

How much do Make A Play Parties cost and when do I have to make payments by? The cost for a party is £295 for up to 12 children, and this includes everything. Any additional child is charged at £7 per head. We request a deposit of £147.50 within 7 days of the booking being made, then the balance is due 7 days before the party, once you have your final numbers (we adjust the balance according to how many children are going to be attending).


PERFORMANCE PARTIES

When do Performance Parties run? Performance Parties are available every time that a production is on at The Dream Factory and as long as there is availability at the show.

How do I know if there is a suitable production on for my child’s birthday? Our production schedule is always available on our website and will give you full information about what a show is and who it is suitable for. Alternatively, you can give us a ring and we’ll be able to tell you what is in the pipeline!

What are the minimum and maximum numbers for Performance Parties? For a Performance Party, there would need to be a minimum of 8 x children attending. There is no maximum number…as long as we have enough seats available.

Do you supervise the children during the party? Yes – Playbox staff do not supervise Performance Parties. You would need to book adult tickets at the regular adult price as part of your party booking. Playbox staff will guide you on the backstage tour and take you to your room for tea, but you are responsible for looking after your group during the performance, and during tea (although our front of house and café staff will always be there to help in any way that they can!).

How many adults should accompany the group? We recommend at least 1 adult for every 8 children attending the party.

What happens after the performance? At the end of the show, the birthday party will stay in the auditorium until everyone else has left. The director will then come on stage and invite the group to come down and join them. Several members of the cast will return to the stage and take part in a Q&A, facilitated by the director. Senior cast members, or Playbox staff, will then take the birthday party on a backstage tour, before delivering you all to the space where birthday tea is taking place.

Where does birthday tea take place? Usually birthday tea happens in the glass studio at the entrance to The Dream Factory. Occasionally tea will be located in another private studio, if there are several events taking place at the same time.

What is on the menu for tea? Lots of yummy things! Please see the answer to this question in the Make A Play section of this page.

What is included in the price of a Performance Party and how much do they cost? Performance Parties are £20 per head, with adults paying the regular adult ticket price (which varies from production to production). This figure includes best available seats at the performance, Q&A and backstage tour, birthday tea, invitations, party hats & helium balloons for all guests, as well as party bags.

I would love to book a Playbox Party – what do I do now?

We are so pleased and we promise you and your family a wonderful celebration! Please email info@playboxtheatre.com or call 01926 419555 ext.3 to discuss availability and to make your booking.