Welcome to Acme Theatre Company! As your student begins his/her involvement with Acme, we would like to take this opportunity to orient you to this organization’s unique youth leadership structure and work style.
Acme’s guiding educational philosophy is that young people, when given responsibility, will rise to the challenges of operating a theatre company independent of adult assistance. Elected student leaders manage their peers to create rehearsal schedules, sets, costumes, props, lighting, sound, publicity, front-of-house, website, and fundraising and education programs. As they assume these responsibilities, Acme’s company members have a rare opportunity to risk, fail, and grow, while developing independence and leadership skills.
Adult Mentorship & Supervision
Acme’s company leaders and members are supervised and mentored by our Artistic Director, Emily Henderson. Rehearsals and most company events are supervised by adults. Drugs and alcohol are not tolerated at Acme events. Consequences will include immediate removal from the event and may include removal from the current production.
In addition to developing leadership and personal responsibility, Acme also offers in-depth theatre training in both performance and technical production. In the recent past this training has included vocal training, improvisation and character coaching, and fight choreography with Acme graduates who have continued their theatrical careers.
Scheduling & Communication
The frustrating and messy challenge of the Acme philosophy is that each student, or group of students, is learning (often for the first time) how to design a project, organize a group of people, and accomplish a goal. Because of this learning process, Acme continually struggles with advance planning and scheduling. Often technical work and company events are scheduled (or communicated to parents) at the last minute.
The Rehearsal Schedule
At the beginning of the audition process, each company member is given a rough outline of the rehearsal schedule and fills out a conflict sheet. Company members are encouraged to consult with their families when filling out the conflict sheet, reflect on their other responsibilities, and come to an agreement about their actual availability. After assembling all of the conflict sheets, our student Stage Manager crafts a rehearsal schedule and does his/her best to accommodate each scheduled conflict. Following the distribution of the rehearsal schedule, we expect company members to take personal responsibility for honoring their commitment and attending all rehearsals for which they are scheduled.
Balancing the rigorous Acme schedule with other activities is an on-going challenge for our company members. The process of learning to negotiate the tension between these commitments is an important part of the Acme experience.