Co-curricular Theatre Policies
Xavier Theatre/St. Francis Xavier High School
Thank you for your interest in Xavier Theatre. We have a reputation for producing high quality shows in a variety of styles throughout the school year. Each year, our shows are attended by thousands of people from the Xavier community, the greater Fox Valley area, and around the state. Parents and students who are interested in participating as a performer or crew member should become familiar with the information included here before deciding to audition or participate as a crew or staff member.
Theatre Service Hours
A specific number of service hours are required of any student who wishes to participate as a performer or technician for co-curricular Xavier Theatre productions. The number of hours required for a given production will be stated in the application/information sheet for each show. Different levels of service may be required of students in differing areas of participation (for instance, technicians usually have a service requirement that is different from the requirement for performers. This policy may not cover all situations. The director will have the final say regarding the service hour requirement.
The work session schedule is posted on the Xavier Theatre Website (www.xaviertheatre.com)
Once the work session schedule is published, students may sign up for specific work sessions via the SignUp Genius link included on the website.
Students may attend all or part of any given work session. When registering for a work session, students should indicate “full session” or specify their start/end time in the “Availability” column of the SignUp Genius form.
It is recommended that students create a SignUp Genius account. Although an account is not required to register for a work session, the account is required to allow changes or cancellations to the student’s original sign up.
As a rule, 90 minutes is the minimum amount of time a student may contribute in a single work session. However, in some situations (eg: when a student is completing a specific project) permission to work for a shorter time may be requested.
Certain activities, such as Poster Day and rehearsals are required of all cast members and do not apply toward the theatre service requirement.
A timesheet will be issued to each student participating in a given show. The timesheet is the only record of the student’s attendance at the work session. Students are responsible for correctly noting, calculating and totaling their hours for each work session. Credit may not be given for work hours not documented on the timesheet. Students are responsible for knowing and following all directions printed on the timesheet and in this document.
The hours worked to meet the Theatre Department requirement may also be applied to the student’s Christian Service Requirement for graduation. Separate documentation is required to apply hours to the graduation requirement. Please see the Campus Minister if you have questions regarding this documentation.
All service hours are credited for the school year in which they occur. Credit for service hours cannot be transferred from one year to another. The required number of service hours should be completed by the student one week before show opening. Students who foresee or experience a problem completing their hours should notify Mr. Romenesko and discuss the situation with him as early as possible. Alternatives to attending the work sessions may be available to qualifying students provided enough advance notice is given.
Students who are not deemed to be on track for timely completion of their service hours may be scheduled to attend a work session by Mr. Romenesko. Alternatively, a student in this situation may be scheduled to complete service hours during a rehearsal for which he/she is not called. Attendance in either of the cases described above will be considered at the equivalent of attendance at a rehearsal and all attendance policies for rehearsals will apply to these situations.
Students who do not act responsibly with regard to completion of the required number of hours by the deadline will be assigned at least two additional hours of service to be completed to remain in good standing in the department. Depending on the number of deficit hours, Mr. Romenesko may reduce the performer’s level of participation or dismiss the student from the production.
All deficient service hours must be completed before a student may participate in another show. Students who are not responsible with regard to completing their service hours may not be considered for future productions.
Mr. Romenesko will have the final say in all matters relating to the service hours requirement.
Students may list the Box Office Manager, Mrs. Lavalle, as the supervisor when requesting approval for service hours for ushering.
Students may list Mr. Romenesko as the supervisor when requesting approval for other service hours.
Productions offering standard service hours:
Students who participate in the following productions receive a standard amount of service hours as noted for participating:
Fall Musical: 12 standard hours
Christmas Stars: 30 standard hours
Passion Play: 20 standard hours
Although the standard amount of hours is available to each student, the hours must be requested via Transeo, the program used by the Campus Ministry Department to manage the service hours program. The student must note the amount of standard hours included in any request for approval, specifically stating the number of standard hours being requested.
For example: A student who participates in the fall musical and contributed 8 hours of service during the summer could combine his/her request as follows: 20 total hours (includes 12 standard hours for fall musical).
Hours contributed for different activities may be combined in one request provided the activity is noted in the request.
For example: A student who has contributed 3 hours to set-building for the fall musical and has been a performer in Christmas Stars could make his/her request as follows:
33 total hours would be made with notation should be as follows:
3 hours – Set-building for fall musical
30 hours – standard Christmas Stars hours
Students should list Mr. Romenesko as the supervisor for all service hours except those for ushering.
Audition information and application for students who are interested in performing onstage.
Audition information is posted at the Xavier Theatre Website (www.xaviertheatre.com) prior to auditions.
An online audition application is made available prior to auditions. Parents must verify the accuracy of all information provided on the form and are required to provide digital signatures to give permission for the student to audition. Detailed information regarding the student’s availability is required and must be verified by a parent.
The audition form must be completed and submitted online before the student’s audition.
Crew Application for students who are interested in working on the stage crew.
Information regarding participation on the stage crew will be posted at the Xavier Theatre Website (www.xaviertheatre.com) when available.
An online stage crew application is also made available through the website. Parents must verify the accuracy of all information provided on the form and are required to provide digital signatures to give permission for the student to audition. Detailed information regarding the student’s availability is required and must be verified by a parent.
The stage crew application form must be completed and submitted online by the deadline noted on the form.
A student’s continued involvement on the stage crew is contingent upon his/her ability to treat all members of the company with respect and to perform all required tasks such as safe/consistent operation of equipment. Students who fail to meet these expectations may be re-assigned to a more appropriate position or dismissed from the production.
Participation in sports & other co-curricular activities
Students are encouraged to participate in a variety of activities while at Xavier. However, the schedules for some activities may conflict to a point where a student cannot make an adequate commitment to both the theatre production and the other activity. It is the student’s responsibility to discuss scheduling with other advisors/coaches before committing to a Xavier theatre production.
Mr. Romenesko will be happy to work out a compromise regarding scheduling in instances where the other advisor is willing to do so and a reasonable amount of time is spent at rehearsal. This type of arrangement is usually available only to crew members but may be available to performers for some productions.
Some activities require a time commitment that will not allow for participation in a specific theatrical production.
Audition workshops and/or information sessions are typically held at least a week prior to auditions for a given production. They are not mandatory but are highly recommended as they the actual audition scenes, songs & dances are taught, giving students who attend a distinct advantage in preparing for the general auditions.
In cases where multiple workshops are held, students may attend all or part of one or all workshops. Typically, no sign-up is required.
There are usually two general audition sessions. These are the preliminary auditions and students should attend only one general session.
A registration and starting time for each general audition session is set. However, the ending time for general audition sessions depends on the number of students auditioning during that session. Students are seen in the order of arrival/sign in.
The procedure for general auditions is as follows:
- Upon arrival during the registration period, students sign in, have their photo taken and are assigned an audition number. A card with the audition number must be worn by the student until their audition is completed. This card is taped to the front of the student’s shirt.
- Meet in Choir Room for instructions. Run through vocal audition piece(s).
- The singing audition is held in the Choir Room with each student auditioning individually for the panel.
- The dance auditions are held onstage in group of two or three. The dance is usually performed two or three times by each group of students.
- Students who are interested in reading for a speaking role will remain after the dance & vocal auditions to read for the audition panel.
- Students who are not interested in reading for a speaking role may leave after they have completed their dance and vocal auditions.
After the general auditions, callback auditions are held to determine the casting of Lead and supporting roles. Callbacks are by invitation, based on the student's initial audition. There are typically two callback sessions on the same day. One is for students being considered for lead roles and the other is for students being considered for supporting roles. Some students may be invited to attend BOTH session. Please plan accordingly.
Students will be called back for specific roles. Scenes and music for each character are made available prior to the callback session.
The procedure for callback auditions is as follows:
- Callback candidates meet onstage at the published start time.
- Unlike the general auditions, callback auditions are held with all participants in the room.
- Students may be asked to read scenes or perform songs with a variety of partners. During the audition, Mr. Romenesko may give some staging, interpretation notes or other direction for a specific scene or song. All students subsequently auditioning for that same scene or song should follow that direction. Students are dismissed at different times during the callback audition session.
- Once dismissed, students are welcomed and encouraged to stay as long as they wish to observe the remaining auditions).
- In some cases, a student may be asked to perform an audition piece for which he/she was not originally called back.
- Parents and other visitors are not allowed in the room during any audition.
Audition procedures may vary from show to show depending on the needs of the production.
As with any activity, students and parents should be familiar with the policies and requirements for participation before planning to audition.
Please see Mr. Romenesko before the audition if you have any questions or if there are any special circumstances that should be considered.
Our goal is to involve as many students as possible in some aspect of the production.
It is our policy to cast each show as fairly as possible. Roles are cast based on the student’s audition performance, the requirements of the role (vocal range, acting style, etc), availability as noted on the audition application, reliability, attendance, attitude and adherence to policy while participating in past shows. There is no provision for automatically awarding roles to upperclassmen.
Understandably, there may be a time when a student wishes to participate only if cast in a certain type of role. This could be a student with a heavy academic load who wishes to be considered only for a chorus role or a student who wishes only to be considered for a lead role. Students should be honest about their feelings on this subject. We will honor and support the request but it will not change how the show is cast.
Students and parents should be aware that Xavier shows are not cast on a “no cut.” basis.
A student’s continued participation in a given role is contingent upon his/her ability to treat all members of the company with respect and to perform all required tasks such as line memorization, competent performance of the material, and fulfillment of all role requirements (such as maintaining or modifying hair style, color, etc). Students who fail to meet these expectations may be dismissed from the production.
School policy states that students must maintain acceptable grades while involved in co-curricular activities. Students involved in theatre may not attend rehearsals or performances if they have been absent from school during the day due to illness. Students who have medical appointments during the school day may still attend rehearsal as long as they’ve been in class except for the time they were at the medical appointment.
Students who miss part of a school day due to illness should check with Mr. Romenesko regarding attendance at rehearsal. This decision is made only by the moderator for any given activity. Please do not contact the office staff with questions regarding this situation.
The student’s ability to keep up with his/her studies while involved in a co-curricular activity should be a strong consideration when deciding on his/her level of participation.
At times, some flexibility in scheduling is possible with advance notice and students should check with Mr. Romenesko when concerns arise. However, students who are absent from rehearsals due to grade concerns are considered unexcused.
Students who are absent from rehearsals for any reason including Illness may see a reduction in participation in the production based on the material that was rehearsed while absent. This is a matter of practicality and fairness to other performers and staff members and should not be viewed as a punishment.
Students with a number of unexcused absences will face consequences up to and including reduced participation or dismissal from the production.
Students who are not allowed to participate in rehearsals or performances due to disciplinary action taken by school administration may be dismissed from the production at the discretion of the director.
Moderator/Staff Communication With Company Members
By allowing your student to participate in in the Xavier Theatre program, it is understood that parents/guardians give permission for adult staff members to communicate directly with the student via phone, text and email regarding production business (ie: questions concerning biographies, schedules, etc.)
Costume / Makeup Policy
The Theatre Department supplies most costumes. However, at times the student may be required to purchase a costume item. This is usually a low to moderately-priced, standard item such as tights, shoes, pants, or a simple shirt or blouse.
PLEASE NOTE: If this is a hardship, please contact Mr. Romenesko directly and he will find a way to cover the cost in confidentiality. There is no participation fee for students involved in Xavier’s co-curricular theatre productions.
Students supply their own basic makeup including:
- Foundation or bronze
- Eye makeup
- Lipstick in approved shades
- Rouge or blush
- Students must maintain their own make up supply due to the risks involved in sharing these supplies.
- Specialty make up will be provided by the school.
- Specific make up requirements for a given show will be made known during final rehearsals
Pre & Post Performance Procedures
Call times for various company members will vary with each production and will be posted prior to the first performance.
All members of the company gather in the choir room prior to the performance for final notes and prayer. Once dismissed from the pre-show gathering, all members of the company should move directly to “places” for the top of the show.
All members of the company meet in the choir room after the performance.
All costumes must be returned to the dressing rooms and hung or stored properly, all close-down procedures must be completed by the crew and the green room must be reset before the cast is released. No one may visit guests in the side corridor or lobby until the cast is dismissed.
With the exception of Preview Night/Final Dress and Grandparent’s day, performers are never allowed in the side corridor, lobby, or anywhere outside the backstage area in costume or makeup.
Strike & Closing Ceremony
Cast members are required to strike the set after the last performance. (For a mainstage production, this is traditionally a very late night, usually ending at about 1:30 AM or later.) A short closing ceremony is held after strike to allow the seniors in the cast to share some thoughts and for the rest of the cast to say goodbye.
Parents are encouraged to help with strike and join the cast for the closing ceremony. Often, members of the cast visit a local restaurant after the closing ceremony. However, this is not an official theatre department activity.
All parents of participating students are expected to support the production. Please fill out the parent volunteer form included with the online audition form. We have a dynamic, active group of parent leaders who bring a great deal of professionalism and fun to our productions. Help is needed in many areas; from sewing to helping with props to simply running errands. A volunteer form is included as part of the audition and crew applications.
Priority Ticket Sales
Families and friends of company members may typically purchase tickets before public sales begin. Priority sales are facilitated via our box office provider at www.showtix4u.com and require a password which changes with each new show. The priority sales period typically lasts five to ten days. There is no limit to the number of tickets that may be purchased during the priority sales period. Watch your email for details.
Poster day, held a few weeks before opening night of some shows is an event during which we blanket the Fox Valley with posters for our production. Students meet after school on Poster Day to pick up their assigned posters, then travel to pre-assigned areas to distribute them. Students who are absent from Poster day for any reason are given an alternate poster distribution assignment.
Ushers/Lobby Hosts/Concession Workers
On performance nights, students and parents assist with ushering, hosting our guests, and selling concessions at intermission and before/after the show. Our ushers and lobby hosts are important because they ensure that our guests feel valued, comfortable and safe. Concession sales raise thousands of dollars that directly support our programs. Ushers, Lobby Hosts, and concession workers register to work specific performances via SignUp Genius.
Students who arrive on time and satisfactorily complete all duties will receive service hours for their contribution. These hours may also be applied to the student’s Christian Service Requirement for graduation. Please see the "Theatre Service Hours" information in this document for further details.
The appearance of our volunteers presents a professional image and helps identify ushers to our guests. Student ushers are required to wear black pants (pants or skirts for women) and a white shirt/blouse (no t-shirts).
Concession workers should wear business casual (no torn jeans, yoga pants or t shirts).
Students who are not in compliance with the clothing requirement will not be allowed to work and will not receive service hours. It is recommended that students create a SignUp Genius account. Although an account is not required to register for a work session, the account is required to allow changes or cancellations to the student’s original sign up.
For most shows, we celebrate together by gathering at Good Company (a restaurant located at the corner of College Avenue and Richmond Street in downtown Appleton) after certain performances. This is in lieu of a cast party at a cast member’s home. The cost of food and beverages not covered by the school. However, the restaurant reserves space for us, parents and siblings are invited to attend, and no one has to clean up.
Please note that all of the policies outlined here apply to co-curricular theatre activities.
Other policies apply to other productions such as Children’s Theatre (a curricular entity).
This document has been created to help students and parents to become more familiar with the operation of the co-curricular theatre program at Xavier High School. If you have any questions or suggestions for additional subjects to be covered, please email Jim Romenesko at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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