Y-Rep Productions is a theatre program run by the Eau Claire YMCA that was started in 2014. Through the program, up to five productions are produced each year, representing a mix of mainstage classics and creative student-written pieces. Auditions are open to everyone (Y members and non-members alike) within the given age range, typically 8-14 years old. Rehearsals are then held at the Eau Claire YMCA, with tech rehearsals and performances taking place at the Chippewa Valley Theatre Guild's Grand Theatre.
This program is designed to be a relaxed, intro-to-theatre experience. Both kids who are new to acting and those who are stage veterans are welcome to participate. Mostly, this program provides a place for kids who want to try out being onstage, make new friends, and have fun! Our primary goal is to make everyone feel comfortable, try new things, be a little crazy, and show how fun theatre can be! During rehearsals, in addition to working on the staging of the show, we also discuss characterization, costume and prop possibilities, and play theatre improv games.
Consistent with the inclusive nature of all YMCA programming, everyone who signs up and auditions is guaranteed a part in the show. Each cast member will be asked to fill out an audition form which gives important information such as contact information, theatre experience, and rehearsal conflicts. As this is an introductory program, it is set up to have a less intense and rigorous schedule than you might find with a traditional theatre company. We do our best to accommodate for known absences (family vacations, basketball games, school concerts, birthday parties, etc.) in the rehearsal schedule.
Rehearsals occur 2-3 times per week as set by the director. In an effort to respect everyone's time, only the cast members involved in the scenes being rehearsed will be "called" (or "required to attend") each unique rehearsal. This also allows for some flexibility in scheduling around existing actor rehearsal conflicts. A specific rehearsal schedule will be sent out to participants in advance so that they know what to expect.
Toward the end of the rehearsal process, rehearsals will move over to the performance space. All cast members are required to attend all scheduled technical rehearsals and performances. After performance are done, we wrap up the process with a bittersweet cast party and look forward to the next production!
They’re really very easy, and probably much less scary than you'd think! You and the other kids auditioning will all meet together in a room and fill out audition forms - contact information, your theatre experience, what kind of role you might be comfortable playing, and any rehearsal conflicts. A staff member will then bring you one-at-a-time into the audition room. The audition process varies from show to show, but typically you'll be asked to read some lines from the show (we'll provide note cards!) and do some movement.
There is NO required singing or dancing for auditions for plays, though if you have experience with either of these art forms, please do let us know! You don't need to bring anything to auditions besides your stage voice! And remember – EVERYONE who auditions is guaranteed a part in the play – or possibly even more than one!
The director will take many things into account, including how the actor performed in auditions, any rehearsal conflicts listed, and how the actor would best fit into the show. Having rehearsal conflicts does not mean that you will "automatically" have a smaller role. The most important aspect to be considered is how the cast will best work together as one cohesive unit. As mentioned above, many actors will be given the chance to play more than one role, which is a great opportunity to be able to create more than one unique character onstage!
One thing NOT taken into account at all is looks - at Y-Rep, we do not type-cast or cast a character because they look like the popular version of a particular character. Sometimes this may happen coincidentally, but it is not a determining factor when casting.
Rehearsals are held at the Eau Claire YMCA and their structure will vary greatly. We may do warm-up games, talk about characters, or work on blocking (staging where the actors should go onstage).
"Tech" is short for technical rehearsal. These extra-important rehearsals take place at our performance space. This is when we act out the play onstage with costumes and props and work on integrating lights, sound, costume changes, and scene shifts. These are crucial rehearsals for both the actors and the tech staff.
We will typically do two performances of each show – often, we’ll schedule these for the same day, so that we have both a matinee and an evening performance (with time in-between for our cast party!). Tickets are available at the Eau Claire YMCA service desk in advance of the show (up until the day-of). On the day of each performance, if additional tickets are remaining, they will be available for purchase at the door of the Chippewa Valley Theatre Guild and hour before showtime.
Theatre isn’t exclusively performed onstage! In addition to actors, we also work with theatre technicians to bring our shows to life. This group, called the Silent Shadows, will participate in hands-on workshops and lessons to learn more about technical theatre, including lighting, sound, scenic design, props, costumes, stage management, and more!