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FAQ &

POLICES

If you are new to Lumina Studio Theatre, welcome! If you are one of our many continuing Lumina families, welcome back!

If you are new to Lumina Studio Theatre, welcome! If you are one of our many continuing Lumina families, welcome back!

Have a question you don’t see answered below?

Registration & policies

Refunds

Once Lumina receives the registration form and payment, the registration is considered final and there are NO REFUNDS! The refund policy is clear – NO EXCEPTIONS! This policy applies whether the actor drops out or is asked to leave. If an actor changes their mind or drops out, the production fee cannot be “credited” towards another session or be considered a donation. Please understand that we cannot make exceptions to this NO REFUNDS policy.

Financial Assistance

Financial aid is available for actors who need it. A family applying for financial aid should do so in writing at the time of registration. Lumina follows the MCPS FARMS guidelines for financial assistance (www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org/departments/foodserv/farms/guidelines.shtm). Please contact the Lumina office for additional information. We strongly believe that any young actor who wishes to participate in our programs should never be stopped by lack of funds!

Attendance

Rehearsal groups (Players, Classics, and Guild) each meet once a week on specific days and times depending on rehearsal group and season. There are occasional weekend rehearsals. Attendance at scheduled rehearsals is mandatory. All conflicts should be noted on the conflict sheet (distributed on the first day of rehearsal). Late arrival/Early departure: Promptness is a form of respect to the Directors and fellow actors. Late arrivals and early departures disrupt the discipline and effectiveness of the creative process. Late arrivals and early departures count as conflicts, and should be noted on the conflict sheet. If an actor misses too many rehearsals the Directors reserve the right to cut lines or characters from the production. Missed rehearsals cause many problems in scheduling scene work. Sickness & Illness: If an actor has a minor injury and is not contagious they should still attend rehearsal. Alert the Directors/Assistant Directors so that the actor’s condition can be accommodated. Email the office prior to rehearsal time if your actor must be absent due to illness. He or she should attend the earliest possible makeup rehearsal. Repeated absences due to illness may require an actor’s role to be adjusted.

Lumina Packet

Each actor will receive a packet at the first rehearsal. The packet includes: Conflict Sheet, Hold Harmless, Request for Information sheet, T-shirt order form and Volunteer information. Please review and complete the required forms and return them to Lumina at the second rehearsal. The Request for Information Sheet asks about the actor’s specific needs, medications, or medical conditions. This information is kept absolutely confidential, but is vital to ensure that your actor gets the most out of the production experience.

Production Week

A letter with information about dress rehearsals, call times, and answers to frequently asked questions is sent home prior to production week. Please carefully review this information. ALL PRODUCTION WEEK REHEARSALS ARE MANDATORY!!! There are NO exceptions!!! If your actor is ill and cannot perform, contact the Directors  as soon as possible before the actor’s call time.

Attire and Hair

Rehearsals involve a high degree of physical activity. Actors should come to class:
  • With hair secured off their faces
  • Wearing antiperspirant/deodorant
  • Wearing clothes that are comfortable to move in

Casting

All actors who register for the session will be assigned a role in that session’s production and given the opportunity to perform. The exception to this policy is the actor who misses too many rehearsals, or does not adequately memorize their lines. Because the actual rehearsal time with actors is limited, and the scope of the production is challenging, it is Lumina’s policy to focus on the quality of the performances, not the quantity of lines for each actor. Roles and line loads may be small – especially for the younger actors. The older and more experienced actors will play the more demanding roles. For all actors, Lumina strives to instill a sense of pride in attempting to perfect one’s role – whatever the size. Experience has shown that every young person can shine in the role they are given if they give it their best effort. Actors agree to learn, rehearse, and perform the show and script given to them by the Directors. Actors have the right to express an opinion with the director in a polite and respectful manner. Actors understand that the Directors have the final work on all matters pertaining to the production.

Actor Behavior Policy

The following procedures govern actor misbehavior. Usually the infraction will be about something clearly laid out in this policy section (horsing around, chatting during rehearsal, insubordination, disruptive, uncooperative or disrespectful behavior):
  • First infraction – Actor will be warned verbally and parents notified.
  • Second infraction – Actor will be warned again and parents notified. A parent and actor conference or email conversation will be arranged as soon as feasible to discuss the situation. A specialized plan will be made by family and directors as a way to address the behavior and keep the actor in the show.
  • Third infraction – Actor will be dismissed from the rehearsals and the program.
  • There will be no refund given for an actor who is dismissed. While Lumina treasures each actor’s unique personality, it is expected that all actors bring basic courtesy and respect. Lumina does not excuse or overlook inappropriate behavior for any reason.It is imperative that parents notify the office about any actor’s learning or behavioral needs before the actor is registered, and provide the appropriate information in the Request for Information Sheet in the actor’s packet. At the first rehearsal actors are informed about the professional behavior and the theatre rules listed below. These expectations form a contract between Lumina and its actors which parents are expected to support.General Behavior for Actors: The following short list of dos and don’ts can be summed up in one word: “respect”– for the art of theatre, for the Directors, Assistant Directors, Production Crew, and for fellow actors, as well as the actor’s self-respect.Violence or abusive language of any kind will not be tolerated.Derogatory language, teasing of other actors, or negative behavior will not be tolerated.Lumina is not a place for after-school chatting and “horsing around”- this is a distraction for all and will not be tolerated.The actor is here to rehearse and be directed. If the Directors desire an actor’s opinion it will be requested. Otherwise the actor should refrain from offering opinions or instructing other actors. New actors typically make this mistake and they will be corrected.
  • When actors enter the studio or theatre they should be attentive to the Director and Assistant Directors. Converse quietly and run lines quietly with fellow actors and listen for instruction. When a Director calls for quiet (by saying “Actors”) the actors will immediately be focused and attentive.
  • Actors are responsible for the care of their costumes and props. They will leave the dressing room and stage exactly as they found it – neat and tidy, with costumes hung up carefully.
During performances and rehearsals when a Director announces that “Theatre Rules are now in effect,” the actor is expected to remember and observe the following:
  • Absolutely no offstage talking or noise whatsoever.
  • Actors should follow along in their scripts offstage to silently review lines and be ready to make their entrances on cue.
  • Actors will not watch the play from the audience, through the set, or entrances.
  • Actors may wear or touch only their own costumes and props and may not touch or interfere with any other equipment in the theatre or studio.

Memorizing Lines & Scripts

An actor’s most important job upon receiving the script is to memorize their lines by the announced deadline. Lumina has learned through experience that the following is a successful way for actors to learn their lines:
  • Actors should make a spare copy of their script. If actors are unable to do this at home, please contact the office.
  • Use a yellow highlighter for THEIR lines and blocking (stage movements).
  • Use a different colored highlighter to highlight their CUE lines (the lines immediately before their lines).
  • The actor should then memorize their lines, cue lines, and blocking.
  • Once they are comfortable with the lines, a family member must run their lines and blocking with them (family member saying the cue lines). This is very important as it is a way for families to check if their actor is on target. Particularly with Shakespeare, every word must be accurate – no paraphrasing.
It is no surprise that the better an actor knows their lines the better their performance will be, and the more the actor will enjoy a feeling of mastery. It is that simple. If an actor’s lines are not memorized by the due date, the Directors reserve the right to reallocate lines to other actors or delete them. Actors are responsible for their scripts at all times. This means:
  • Making a copy of the script and keeping it in a safe place.
  • Bringing the script to every rehearsal and performance
  • Taking the script home after every rehearsal and performance

Costumes

Lumina provides costumes that remain the property of Lumina. Actors may be asked to provide appropriate footwear/accessories including shoes, socks, stockings, and tights, and hair supplies. These items remain the property of the actor and should be labeled. ALL actors are required to wear antiperspirant/deodorant whenever they are in costume.

Cancellations and Closings

Lumina does not always follow Montgomery County Public School decisions regarding the cancellation of rehearsals. Check the website or your email before assuming that rehearsals are cancelled. Lumina does not close for any holidays other than Thanksgiving (Wednesday through Sunday) and MCPS spring break. See the calendar page for specific dates.

Photography

Lumina takes photos for promotional opportunities. If you do not wish your child to be included in photos or videos, please notify the office. No photography, video or audio recording of any kind is allowed during rehearsals, production week, and performances without the explicit consent of the Directors. Use of these devices may result in ejection without refund.

Frequently Asked Questions

What will my child get out of acting with Lumina?

What better way to learn about the benefits of Lumina than from the Lumina actors themselves! Here is what some of our alumni have to say about what they have gotten out of their experience with Lumina:

“Lumina has taught me what any theatre program can teach a young actor: patience, punctuality, working in a group, how to express myself and how to act. But there are lessons unique to Lumina that I don’t think I would have gained anywhere else: Lumina taught me to love language. It has shown me how beautiful things and feelings are only made more beautiful by the sounds of their names.” 

“Throughout my twelve years with Lumina, I have learned a tremendous amount about acting, but also about community, friendship, trust, and even myself. The wealth of knowledge and experience that I have gained is invaluable and I am certain that I would not be who I am today had it not been for this crucial part of my education and development”

“At Lumina I got to act onstage in a production with actors ranging in age from 8-18. This is a communal experience like no other, for us all to be working together to put on a show that was so high quality! As a young actor, I was so inspired by the older actors I shared the stage with, and as an older actor, I knew that the young eyes were on me and it inspired me to have composure, kindness, and discipline.”

What does a full Lumina season look like?

Each season, Lumina puts on at least 7 productions – A Fall Mainstage show, a Spring Mainstage show, an Ensemble show, a Lumina Theatre (Adult) Group show, and several summerstock productions. Our Mainstage shows are adaptations of Classics, usually from Shakespeare or Dickens, while our Ensemble and Theatre Group shows are usually contemporary plays. In the summer, we typically put on original plays by our Director Emeritus, David Minton, our Co-Executive Directors, Sophie Cameron and Meg Lebow, or our Assistant Directors. The Mainstage shows rehearse over a 13-week period, beginning in January/September with the actors meeting in rehearsal groups once a week after school and all together for occasional weekend rehearsals (typically 3 per session). During “Production Week” (the week leading up to the show), actors rehearse every day after school. Mainstage performances are usually in early December and early-mid May. The Theatre (Adult) Group performs their show in January, and the Ensemble performs their show in April. In addition, Lumina families gather as a community a few times a year for production potlucks, cast parties, or other celebrations (such as our legendary Lumina Halloween parties!).

Why Shakespeare?

With so many fabulous contemporary playwrights producing new work and scholars uncovering overlooked playwrights of the past, we frequently get asked… why Shakespeare? We believe that the imaginative power, technical sophistication, and grace of Shakespearean language and characters gives the practitioner the best that dramatic literature has to offer and is transformative for the young actor. In addition to the beautiful verse, nuanced characters, and resonant themes of Shakespeare’s work, it is also endlessly fertile ground for exploring many of the social and cultural systems that shape our world today. Lumina’s contemporary performances of Shakespeare provide a means of interrogating and speaking back to these systems, empowering our young actors as artists and critical thinkers.

Do the different rehearsal groups perform together or separately?

During the school year, rehearsal groups are determined by age and experience and practice separately each week, coming together for a few weekend rehearsals throughout the season. All rehearsal groups (except for Ensemble) are working towards one unified production in which every actor participates. During Summerstock Camp, each camp will rehearse and perform a show together.

Where are rehearsals?

During the school year, our rehearsals take place at the Silver Spring Black Box (next to the AFI), in the downstairs rehearsal room. Actors should be dropped off in the alley next to the building, where an Assistant Director will supervise them, take their temperature and get them checked into rehearsal. Likewise at pick-up time Assistant Directors will supervise the actors getting picked up from the alley safely. Our 2022 Summer Camp location is TBD as we find the perfect spot with more outdoor space!

Does every actor get a speaking role?

Yes! Every actor that registers for our programs gets a speaking role and is expected to memorize their lines. The number of lines that an actor is expected to learn is based on age and experience.

Are there auditions?

No! Lumina does not hold auditions. Every actor receives a part that will challenge them and is in accordance with their age and experience.

Are the actors expected to practice outside of rehearsal time?

Yes! Actors are expected to memorize and practice their lines as well as other aspects of the performance assigned by the Directors such as dances, songs, accents, movements, etc. Actors must practice outside of rehearsal, at least a little bit, each day. This skill of self regulation benefits them for life and ensures that our shows are of the highest caliber.

How can parents get involved?

We are so glad you asked! In the parent packet that is sent home with the actor on the first day of rehearsal, there is a volunteer sheet, which parents are encouraged to fill out and return. There are always lots of ways for parents to volunteer and get involved! Email the office for more information about volunteering!

Do you have internship opportunities?

Our Guild and Ensemble actors are invited to apply for positions as Assistant Directors. We currently do not have any internship opportunities; however, email the office if you would like to inquire about interning, as the demands of our season constantly shift.

What kind of guest artists work with Lumina?

Throughout our history, Lumina has partnered with many different visual artists to make masks, puppets, backdrops, and other artwork for our shows, as well as a wide variety of musicians. Please reach out to the office if you are interested in being a guest artist for one of our productions!

Does Lumina partner with other organizations?

Lumina has partnered with many different cultural and social organizations throughout our history. We are always looking to partner with organizations, so don’t hesitate to reach out!

Typically, how long are performances?

Our performances are between 1.5 to 2.5 hours long. There is often an intermission.