Meet our Teaching Artists (PDF)
Meet our Summer Camp Staff
Summer Camp Handbook (PDF)
Summer Camp Satellite Locations
School of Theatre Training Handbook
Including contact information, policies, information on orientation and end-of-class showcases (PDF format).
Workshop Sessions Handbook
Including contact information, policies, and information on orientation (PDF format).
Creative Drama Handbook
Including contact information, policies, information on orientation and end-of-class sharings (PDF format).
Choosing a Class
The benefits of theatre classes, age appropriateness, special needs, satellite offerings, classes, the first day of classes, a typical class, Sharings and Showcase information.
Refund and Other Policies
Refund policy, switching classes, class cancellations, and absence policy.
Questions parents may ask their children after class
Public Library Policies and
the Safe Child Philosophy
2012-2013 Class Satellite Locations
Questions about Registration
How do I register for class?
The fastest and easiest way to register is through this secure website. You may also call our Customer Sales and Service Center and discuss the best class/camp offering for your child by calling 704-973-2838 (M-F, 10-5). Families who wish to pay with a check must submit a paper registration form. Registration forms are available here or at the Children’s Theatre Customer Service Center (M-F 10-5). Registration forms must be mailed to Children’s Theatre of Charlotte, 300 E. 7th Street, Charlotte, NC 28202 or may be submitted in person at the Box Office (M-F 10-5). Make checks payable to ‘Children’s Theatre of Charlotte’. Once your registration has been received, you will be e-mailed an education handbook and confirmation.
How quickly do classes/camps fill?
Classes and especially camps fill quickly. Because classes fill very quickly, you are encouraged to register for Fall, Winter and Spring sessions at the same time to ensure your space. Classes and camps are filled on a first-come, first-served basis. Please note that each class size is limited.
How can I tell if a class/camp is already full?
Because our classes and camps fill quickly, it is best to check availability before you register. The number of available spaces left in a class will be noted next to the class or camp information on the website. Information is updated regularly.
Is there a waitlist?
We do offer a waitlist for full classes and camps. Occasionally spaces become available, but we cannot guarantee class placement. Sometimes we are able to double an offering if enough people are waitlisted. If you would like to be placed on the waitlist, you should fill out a registration form and indicate that you are requesting to be waitlisted. If space becomes available, we will contact you to offer a spot. A form of payment is required at the time of registration; however you will not be charged until you have received a space. If you do not receive a space in class, your payment will be destroyed. Please note that your class spot is not secure until we have received payment.
Will I receive confirmation of my registration?
Families who register online will receive an immediate email confirmation. Additionally, Children's Theatre will send a reminder email one week prior to the session start date. Be sure to note the start date, time, and location of your class or camps on your personal calendar at the time of registration. If you have not received a confirmation within 24 hours of submitting your registration, please call the Customer Service Center at 704. 973. 2838 to confirm your registration.
Questions About Choosing a Class
Why should my student take theatre classes?
Theatre classes teach students skills which influence all areas of study and performance. Various studies have indicated high test averages from children who participate in the performing arts.
Theatre students tend to have high levels of self-confidence and greater comfort speaking, making presentations, and reading aloud. Students learn to work well with others and adapt to new situations. Our most powerful testament at Children’s Theatre is the students themselves: simply watch their work or ask them about the impact our theatre programs have had on their lives.
How do I know which class is right for my child?
Our teaching staff does an excellent job helping students to feel comfortable in all of our classes. We do offer classes with different focuses, levels of intensity, and time commitments so we recommend that you speak with your child about his or her interest prior to registration. A detailed overview of our programs is available here. Please read the class descriptions to note the significant differences between the offerings. If you have further questions about class descriptions, please do not hesitate to contact the Education office.
Our classes serve students ages 2 to 18. Students must be at least two years old by the start date of class and, unless attending a Side by Side class must be fully potty trained and may not attend class wearing diapers. Students may enroll only in classes that they qualify for based on age and grade. This helps to ensure our objective that every child in class at Children’s Theatre has a positive experience.
What if my child has special needs?
Children's Theatre classes are inclusive. Open communication with families helps us create a successful environment for every child. Please contact the Education office if you have any concerns about your child’s needs. Our programs are often beneficial to children with special needs, and we will be more than happy to speak with you about class placement for your child.
What is the difference between taking a class at ImaginOn versus a satellite?
The only difference between classes at ImaginOn versus a satellite is the site itself. We employ the same Teaching Artists, curriculum, and high standards for all of our classes. Satellite classes are offered for your convenience in an effort to serve as much of the Charlotte community as possible.
Where are satellites offered?
Our satellite offerings vary by season.
For the 2012-2013 sessions, we are pleased to offer classes in South Charlotte and Huntersville. See the link of the left side of this page for satellite location maps.
What happens on the first day of class?
Directional signs and staff will guide families to the proper drop off location. At the start time of class, Teaching Artists will call roll and escort students and parents to the classroom for a brief orientation.
(Please see the Summer Camp Handbook for information concerning the first day of camps.)
Can parents stay with their student during class?
With the exception of the 2-3 year old Side by Side program, Children's Theatre classes are an independent
experience for children to learn and explore in a classroom enhancing their social, developmental, and creative skills in a peer setting. For Creative Drama classes, we provide an opportunity for parents to observe the class experience during Sneak-a-Peek as well as on the Sharing Day. Other than the Sneak-a-Peek and Sharing, parents do not sit in on classes. Although it is rare, some of our youngest students may experience separation anxiety on the first day of class. We find the most effective method for separation anxiety is a quick but loving goodbye from the parent. Our class assistant or another staff member will provide your child with the one on one attention required to sooth them until they are comfortable and engaged in the class. Once students begin class activities, anxiety typically diminishes. If you have further questions or concerns, do not hesitate to contact the Education Department.
A note about separation anxiety:
Some of our youngest students may experience some separation anxiety on the first day of class. We find the most effective method for separation anxiety is a quick but loving goodbye from the parent. Once they arrive in the classroom, students are immediately engaged in classroom activities. It is our firm policy that parents do not accompany students into the classroom. We have found that this tends to heighten the distress of the student and makes the separation even more difficult. This also sets a very difficult precedent for the other students in the class who cannot understand why their parent is not with them as well. Parents are welcome to wait in the lobby area during class. Another strategy which helps to decrease anxiety is to be sure your student arrives on time, especially for the first day of class. Late students tend to feel more anxiety and have a more difficult time joining class then those who begin class with the entire group.
What happens in a typical class?
Early Childhood classes typically begin with a group circle activity which joins the students together and sets the tone for creative learning. Students practice group sharing, where a prompt is used to inspire a short presentational statement. Students engage in a variety of physical and vocal warm up activities including pantomime and creative movement. Each class is theme based, and each week a new story aligns with the theme. The Teaching Artist reads the story to the students and then leads them through a dramatization of the story. Teaching Artists incorporate a variety of visual and tactile components as a creative exploration. Music and craft activities which correlate to the theme may also be incorporated to the class. Students receive a printed handout to take home which includes written activities and comprehension questions about the story explored in class that day.
Elementary, Middle, and High school classes begin with focused warm up activities and exercises. Depending on the nature of the class, students then engage in the exploration of improvisation, musical theatre or scene study activities. Core theatre skills such as projection, diction, blocking, stage directions and objectives are reinforced through practical application of rehearsing scenes and musical numbers.
In enrichment classes at Children’s Theatre of Charlotte, emphasis is placed on the process rather than the product. This means that we focus on the creative contributions, discoveries, self-expression and growth of all the students. The notion of process drama, practiced by many Theatre Education programs around the world, emphasizes creative exploration and critical thinking. Because of this emphasis, students do not spend the entire session working toward one presentational event. The scenes and stories used during Sharing and Showcase Week are a sample of the activities that students explored throughout the course of the session.
Why aren’t classes held on stage?
Because of the process nature of our class curriculum, we find that an open classroom serves as the best environment for enrichment classes. The classroom provides a non-threatening environment for creative exploration and reinforces the concept that theatre can be created anywhere – costumes, props and stages are optional! Our School of Theatre Training program provides a more intensive exploration into the techniques of drama; in these classes students are exposed to a variety of performance spaces including the theatres. OnStage, the culmination of the School of Theatre Training program, provides a rehearsal and performance opportunity in the McColl Family Theatre or the WellsFargo Playhouse. For more information about the School of Theatre Training and OnStage, please see our season brochure or the Education Programs section of the web site.
What is a Creative Drama Series Sneak-a-Peek and Sharing?
All Children’s Theatre class sessions, except for Side by Side classes, conclude with a special Sharing Day. Sharing Day is when students present work and demonstrate skills learned throughout the session to an “audience” of their parents, family, and friends through a casual, fun, and interactive presentation in the classroom. Sneak-a-Peek Day is a 15 minute opportunity at the end of the 5th week of class for parents to sit on the sidelines and silently observe the classroom as a ‘fly on the wall’. Interruptions and distractions to the classroom including photography and video are strictly prohibited on Sneak-a-Peek Day; however families are encouraged to take video and photos on the Sharing Day at the end of the session.
A reminder about the Sneak-a-Peek and Sharing will be sent home with students a week prior to the event. For both events parents should gather at the check-in area and will be escorted to the classroom by the class assistant.
What is a School of Theatre Training Showcase?
On the final class day, parents and friends are invited into the classroom for a informal performance demonstrating some of the work done through out the year. Showcases often include performances of audition packages, scenes, musical numbers, and a certificate presentation. In the spring, School of Theatre Training students are eligible to participate in OnStage, a student performance project. Please see the School of Theatre Training page of the website for complete details.
Questions about Policies
What is the refund policy?
Creative Drama Series, Workshop Sessions, and School of Theatre Training Refund Deadline
Class tuition can be refunded in full up to one month prior to the class start date. Refunds will not be granted after the deadline. Registration and handling fees are non-refundable. Tuition cannot be credited to future class sessions or programs.
Summer Camp Refund Policy
Our policy allows for gift certificate credit or a tuition refund up to 2 weeks prior to the first day of camp. Registration and handling fees are non-refundable. No refunds or credits will be granted after that date.
Les Miserables school edition-Performance Experience: Gift certificate credit or a tuition refund is available prior to June 1. Registration and handling fees are non-refundable. No refunds or credits will be granted after May 31.
All refunds must be requested in writing. To request a refund, please fill out our electronic Refund Request Form.
What if I need to switch classes/camps?
If families find that they have a scheduling conflict and need to switch their class day or time or camp, they may call the Customer Service Center at 704-973-2838 to request this change. Students will not be moved from their assigned class or camps after the refund deadline. Please be aware that switching class is contingent upon space availability in the desired class.
Is there a chance that a class could be cancelled due to low enrollment?
Children's Theatre reserves the right to cancel classes for which fewer than five students are enrolled. In this event, we will notify the families affected by a cancelled class with a choice of suitable replacement classes and/or full refunds.
Are classes cancelled due to inclimate weather?
If ImaginOn or a Satellite location is closed due to severe weather, Children's Theatre will not hold classes. Local news and radio stations will report library and location closings. You may also check this website's home page or call 704-973-2838 for information regarding building closings. Make-up days for cancelled classes may or may not be scheduled based on individual class schedules and circumstances.
Are make up classes available?
We strive to keep class sizes small and maintain an excellent Teaching Artist/student ratio. For these reasons, we are unable to offer make up classes.
Absences, late arrivals, and withdraws:
Families are expected to bring students to class on time. Please inform your child’s Teaching Artist in advance of any necessary absences during the session when possible, especially if your student will not be able to attend the last day of class during the Sharing or Showcase.
What are the qualifications of CTC Teaching Artists?
Staff members at Children’s Theatre are accomplished, talented educators with a passion for working with young people. All our Teaching Artists have been trained in theatre education and many have advanced degrees in theatre, education or both. Our Teaching Artists are active participants as CMS educators or theatre professionals in the community. Staff members are certified in CPR and first aid. Background checks are processed on all Children's Theatre staff.
Lost and Found:
Be sure to label everything, especially coats. Lost items at ImaginOn may be claimed at the Security Office, which is located directly behind the ImaginOn Security Desk on the first floor.
Is Financial Assistance available?
Eligible families may receive scholarships for classes through our Community Involvement Program. Full and partial scholarship slots are limited and fill rapidly.
Questions You Can Ask Your Child After Class
We encourage parents to initiate discussion with students about the class experience.
Here are some questions to get started!
Creative Drama Series
- What story did you act out today?
- What character did you play in the story?
- What other characters are in the story?
- How did the story end?
- What warm up activities did you do in class?
- What is your favorite theatre game?
- Did you play podium today? What was today’s topic?
- What song did you sing or listen to today?
Scene Study Classes
- What scene are you working on in class?
- What character are you playing?
- What is your character’s objective in the scene?
- What tactics will you employ to reach your objective?
- What games and warm-up activities did you do in class today?
- What is a theatre term or terms that you learned in class?
- What important guidelines are you learning for improvisation?
- What do you find most challenging about improvisation?
- When do the improvisation exercises seem most successful?
- How do you create a scene without using a script?
- What are some essential things to keep in mind as you are improvising?
Musical Theatre Classes
- Which physical and vocal warm-ups did you do in class today?
- Which exercises do you think are most helpful to get you warmed up?
- What song did you sing or listen to today?
- Is the song from a musical? Which one?
- What choreography did you explore today?
What if I want my student use the library before or after class?
Students should meet in the mezzanine area outside the McColl Theatre (the first landing off of the ramp) before class. Teaching Artists will meet students promptly at the start of their class time and take them to their room. Teaching Artists will pick up and drop off students at this same location each week. Students should report promptly to this location each week. Students should be picked up immediately after class. Please contact the Education Department if an emergency arises which would cause delay in you meeting your child after class.
If you would like your child to stay in the library after class and they are 8 years of age or older, please make clear pick-up arrangements with your child prior to class. Once your child is released into the library, they are under the library’s policies and guidelines. Children’s Theatre is not responsible for children in the library. This policy applies to ALL students from ages 8-18. Please read over the following Charlotte Mecklenburg Library guidelines before electing to leave your child unsupervised.
Behavior at Children’s Programs
- We expect parents/caregivers to remain in the library during programs if their child is under 8 years of age.
- Children who are old enough to be in the library by themselves may attend programs without a parent or caretaker, unless otherwise indicated in the event guide.
- Parents are encouraged to remain in the building during the programming in case an emergency should arise.
- Parents should promptly pick up children upon conclusion of the program.
- We expect parents/caregivers to help their children arrive on time for programs.
- We expect parents/caregivers to keep sick children at home and not bring them to the library,
especially during children’s programs when illness may easily be spread to other children.
Guidelines for Unaccompanied Children in Elementary Grades
Children are welcome in the library for a period of time to research an assignment, complete a homework task, attend a library program, or for a period of time to select books and read in the library. We expect parents/caregivers to set reasonable time limits for their children’s library visits. We will call a parent/caregiver to pick up a child when children have been left unattended at the Library for extended periods of time or if their behavior becomes disruptive. Children over the age of 9 should not be left unattended more than two hours, unless they are attending a scheduled library program. Children must know how to reach a caregiver in case of an emergency, and both child and caregiver should be aware of library hours.
Library Safe Child Philosophy
We are glad your children are here! We want ImaginOn to be a welcoming, educational and safe place for your child.
We are primarily concerned with your child’s safety, and it is for the safety of each child that the library has adopted this child safe philosophy.
The Library staff is here to serve the public and has many duties to perform in order to help all of our customers in the best way possible. As a result, the staff cannot monitor the location, safety or behavior of your child.
Responsibilities of Library Staff
- When a child is behaving in a noisy, unruly or disruptive manner, a staff member will advise the child to stop the behavior and explain the behavior expected of them.
- If disruptive behavior continues a staff member (or security) will locate the parent/caretaker and explain that the child is disturbing others and that the parent is responsible for their child’s behavior.
- If the parent/caregiver is not in the library, staff will attempt to reach them by phone.
In extreme cases, if the parent/caregiver cannot be reached, the police will be called.
- If the parent/caretaker cannot or will not control the child, they will be asked to leave until the child’s behavior improves.
- Unless the child is in danger or harming him/herself or others, the staff member will not touch or pick up the child.
Responsibilities of Parents or Caretakers
- Parents/caregivers are responsible for the safety, behavior and supervision of their children at all times in the Library and on Library property. Parents are responsible for their children even when the parent is not present in the building.
- We expect children left unattended in the library to be mature enough to follow the library rules on their own, to be able to take responsibility for their own safety and to be able to leave the library without an adult.
- Parents/caregivers should not view the library as an alternative to long or short-term child care. Unlike a childcare facility, the library is not a closed environment. Staff cannot monitor everyone who enters, and all customers are free to use any public area within the library.
- Please remember this is a public building. For your child’s safety, your child should remain in view. You are responsible for their safety, behavior and supervision of your child at all times.
- Please monitor your child’s activities on the computer.
- Be kind to your children even if they don’t follow the library rules. Bring them to the library often. Teach them library manners one at a time. If they are too noisy, take them to the lobby for a “time out,” but please don’t shout at them. They’ll learn.
Responsibilities of Children
The librarian is here to help you. Please ask! People who come to the library want to read, use the computer and study.
- Use your quiet voice
- Take hiding, jumping and running games outside the library.
- Be patient and wait your turn.
- Treat books with care and put them on a table when you finish.
- Be safe in the library. Stay with the person who brought you.