The Old Brick Playhouse Apprentice Program 2016/2017 Refrigerator Notes

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The Old Brick Playhouse Apprentice Program 2016/2017

Refrigerator Notes

(or everything you need to know but were afraid to ask)

What is the Apprentice Program? Now entering our 26th season, the Apprentice program has over 3,000 alumni and has been recognized twice at the White House for excellence in educational arts programming. The Apprentice Program is a dynamic afterschool activity providing training and hands-on experience in theatre, encouraging both mentoring and a family-like atmosphere. The OBP Apprentice program has grown in enrollment from 20 in 1992 to recently nearly 100 students. Offering a unique combination of performance, leadership, and mentor opportunities that allow participants to grow and mature within the organization over time, the Apprentice program aims to provide a safe, accepting, and exciting environment in which youth can study the art of theatre while making friends and developing leadership skills. The OBP Apprentice program helps students to understand three main truths: 1), everyone is important; 2), everyone is different; and 3), everyone has something valuable to contribute. The OBP educational curriculum is designed to provide a positive place for youth to spend out of school hours, to enable students learn about the arts, and to strengthen student skills in the arenas of leadership, public presentation, positive thinking, cause and effect, problem solving, and self-esteem.


  • The first organizational meeting is on Monday October 10th, 2016, from 4:00 TO 5:30 pm. This is a meeting for Apprentices only. If you or your son or daughter will miss this meeting and are interested in participating in the OBP Apprentice program, please phone 304-637-9090 prior to October 12th,2016.

  • Admission Policy: In order to be admitted into the OBP Apprentice program, students are expected to either perform a monologue or to write a one page essay on why he or she would like to participate in the OBP Apprentice program. Completion of the audition and or the essay signifies that a student is eligible to participate in the OBP Apprentice program. Luckily, this is Theatre and not life, and neither exercise is intended to be stressful or unpleasant. Every student who makes an attempt will be admitted.

  • Auditions and or Essay Completion: Auditions for OBP Apprentices will be held on Monday, October 17th, 2016, from 4:00 to 5:30 pm for high school students and Tuesday, October 18th, 2016, from 4:00 to 5:30 pm for middle school students. If your student cannot attend please contact the OBP staff to make other arrangements prior to October 12th,2016.

  • Regular Meetings: Regular mandatory OBP Apprentice meetings will be held on Mondays from 4:00 to 5:30 pm. In February – meetings go until 6:00pm so we can sneak in more rehearsal time. The first official regular Apprentice meeting is on October 24th for all students.

  • Dates for the 2016/2017 Monday scheduled meetings are as follows:

October: 24th, 31st February: 6th, 13th, 20th, 27th

November: 7th, 14th, 28th March: 6th, 13th, 20th, 27th

December: 5th, 12th, 19th April: 3rd, 10th, 24th

January: 9th, 23rd, 30th

Production Dates: The dates for the Apprentice play are May 4th through May 12th, 2017. All shows are at 7:00 pm except for the Sunday performance which is at 2:00 pm. There is no show on Monday, May 8th , 2016 . There will also be mandatory technical and dress rehearsals on April 30th, May 1st and 2nd which will begin at 3:30pm. On May 3rd we will begin at 6:00pm with a preview audience for final dress rehearsal. All technical and dress rehearsals and performances are mandatory. If your son or daughter is not available for the final performance run, he or she should not participate in the program. If your son or daughter is involved in Spring sports, we have negotiated participation in both in the past and can make it work. The OBP Apprentice program aims to teach students project completion through hard work, dedication, collaboration, and motivation. If a student participates for only a portion of the program, he or she does not experience the impact of the designed curriculum.

  • Auxiliary Calls: These are additional rehearsals scheduled to work with small groups of students on choreography, costuming, stage combat, or technical elements associated with the production. Auxiliary calls begin in January and meet on Thursdays. Please note that not all students will be called for each of these rehearsals, but this is a great time for the staff to give students direction and coaching in a small group environment. Auxiliary calls are characteristically jolly and extremely productive. Auxiliary calls are not mandatory as we know these kids are busy with many extracurricular activities, however, they are strongly encouraged. Please just let us know if you can’t attend one and we will organize activities accordingly.

  • Tuition: The tuition fee for the Apprentice program is $250.00 if paid on or before the first meeting on October 24th, 2017. Tuition is $35.00 per month, if paid monthly. Monthly tuition payments are due on the first meeting of each month. If you prefer to mail your payment, please make checks payable to the OLD BRICK PLAYHOUSE, P.O. BOX 2716, ELKINS, WV 26241 Attn: Phil Smith. Never give paperwork to Missy, she will unquestionably lose or launder it.

  • Scholarships: The OBP will continue to offer Apprentice scholarships due to the kindness of local businesses, civic organizations, and individuals who have been generous enough to sponsor our students. Due to overwhelming demand, and a changing economy, we have been forced to revamp the process. If you wish to receive information to apply for a scholarship, please read the form labeled Scholarship Information and return it on or before October 24th ,2016. It is the goal of the OBP to be inclusive, enabling all interested students to participate. Generally everyone who seeks scholarship support receives it, however if your son or daughter is granted a scholarship, the OBP Board requires parent notification should the student not complete the program.

  • Cancellation: In case of snow, flood, the plague, or any other act of God, call the Apprentice hotline for late breaking information concerning cancellations ... 304-637-9090 ext. # 3. In the past, we have followed the guideline that if school is cancelled by 8:00 AM, the Apprentice meeting will be cancelled as well; however, recent unpredictable weather has caused the OBP to reevaluate this rule. We will make cancellation decisions by 10:00 am on Mondays and

or Thursdays. The OBP encourages students not to attend if you or your parents feel the weather and or roads are too dangerous or treacherous to travel. Student safety is a main priority. Due to technology, if your son or daughter provides a working e-mail address and cell number for texting, the staff can then notify Apprentices of cancellations as soon as they are determined. Last season, we instituted a new communication system called REMIND by using student cell phones. We will give the students this information on the first meeting, October 24th. Additionally, follow the OBP Facebook feed for up to date information.

  • Attendance Policy: If an Apprentice is forced to miss a meeting or rehearsal, he or she must notify the staff prior to that meeting or as much in advance as possible. If a student misses two meetings unexcused, the staff will im­mediately notify a parent or guardian. More than three unexcused absences will result in the Apprentice's termination from the program. This attendance policy is in accordance with our theory that it’s difficult to teach theatre if a student is frequently absent. We want to make certain our Apprentices are safe and accounted for, and because OBP Apprentices are minors, we think it is important for parents to be aware that their son or daughter missed a meeting. Of course, we understand that everyone has the occasional emergency, unexpected situation and or illness in which case we will be as supportive and helpful as possible.

  • Drop off and Pick Up: Please make it clear to your son or daughter what his or her method of entrance and exit will be for each meeting. We hate it when students and their parents can’t find each other. Due to insurance and liability concerns, guests may not attend rehearsals and/or Apprentice meetings. We prefer that students wait inside the foyer until parents arrive unless they are driving and or walking. If your son or daughter will be walking, please advise them to notify the staff attending the exit.

  • Conflicts: On the Audition sheet we ask that Apprentices list afternoon conflicts. Please take this seriously as it is difficult to rehearse without actors present.

  • Communication: If you have questions and or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact the OBP staff either by calling the office (304) 637-9090 or by sending us an e-mail at or Also, you can find out the schedule of events by calling the OBP hotline at 304-637-9090 ext. # 3. All communications from the Old Brick Playhouse will either be announced on the OBP Hotline or be sent from official OBP e-mail addresses. We encourage you to reach out with any concerns or issues however, please don’t do so on Facebook as we may not receive your correspondence in a timely manner– give us a call so that we can chat in person.

  • Acting Up Literally: Each year, beginning in January, the OBP offers elementary school students Acting Up Literally, an after school program focused on play production and literacy training. The Acting Up Literally curriculum is mentor based and involves Apprentices who wish to participate. If your son or daughter would like to be a mentor, he or she can sign the volunteer sheet and attend each Wednesday after school from 4-5. This is a great opportunity for students to learn mentoring, volunteerism, and to work with younger children. Many Apprentices have used Acting Up Literally for their academic community service hours or the subject matter for their senior projects. Others have used it to solidify that they did not want to become teachers or babysitters. Ha!

  • Arts Incubator : Established in 2007, the Arts Incubator is a system by which the OBP staff offers junior and or senior Apprentices assistance in seeking out and applying for college admittance, employment opportunities, and educational grants and scholarships. OBP staff members assist students in preparing audition portfolios, resumes, cover letters, and making contacts crucial to furthering their educational and or artistic careers. If your son or daughter needs assistance in any of the above mentioned endeavors, simply phone our office and make an appointment with a member of the OBP staff. This portion of the Apprentice program is free of charge and available to anyone who needs help. Time slots are limited during pre production weeks and when the OBP touring company is on tour. AIA meetings will always be held in the OBP facility with more than one staff member present.

  • Behavior Policy: Though we take theatre seriously, our main focus has always been to maintain an environment rich in joy, kindness, teamwork, collaboration…and much laughter. Every Apprentice is vital to the program and we will do our best to teach them all we know about theatre. Our first and most important rule is “Be nice to everyone”. Bullying or ill treatment of others is not tolerated at the OBP. Though our staff is vigilant, please, if you know of instances where a student or students are being bullied, alert our staff immediately. Our goal is to provide an environment in which students feel safe and appreciated

  • Parent Attendance: The OBP asks that parents not attend rehearsals, auditions, and or weekly workshops. We realize that, initially, this may seem odd – but this policy exists for two reasons.

  1. If we allowed parents to attend and all chose to do so, we would have over 300 adults in the audience and there would be no remaining seating for the students thus presenting an enormous liability, focus, and capacity issue.

  2. In many cases, students are less willing to participate when their parents are present. As some members of the staff are parents, we have witnessed this phenomena first hand. For example, some students are more likely to vacuum, pick up garbage, pay attention, and or participate in acting exercises if their parents are not present. If you arrive early to pick up your son or daughter, we are delighted for you to wait in our newly renovated lobby and enjoy a few moments of peace and quiet before the stampede begins.

  • Supplies: The OBP provides everything your son or daughter will need for our program and final production in terms of costumes, props, and make-up. Sometimes, however – if we are having difficulty finding shoes, we may ask a student if he or she already has a specific kind of shoe (i.e. boots or flats, or black shoes). We never require our students to buy something new for the production.

  • Work Calls: Periodically, we will have work calls where students are invited but not required to attend in order to assist with costumes, set painting, cleaning, building, organizing, etc. The OBP staff assures you that this never will take place at 10:00pm on Friday night, despite what you son or daughter may tell you. All work calls will be pre-announced and available by dialing the OBP hotline.

  • Special Needs and or Considerations: If your son or daughter has a specific need, health issue, or an area in which they could use particular assistance– please let us know and we will do our best to support and or facilitate those needs. You can advise us through a note accompanying the permission slip, send us an e-mail, or call the office.

  • Cell phones and Security Measures: Initially, we ask that students turn off and put away all cell phones during the OBP Apprentice meeting. We call this step the Isolation Chamber. This practice was initiated to sidestep fifty ringing phones per minute, the blue light face reflection of secret texters, and to insure that everyone knows how to communicate face to face. We realize that often an emergency will warrant a parent to contact his or her student during an Apprentice meeting so we have a cordless phone (304-637-9090) in order to quickly respond to such calls. We do assure students that several staff members heroically survived both high school and college without cell phones. Additionally, when Apprentices are rehearsing strictly in the Theatre portion of the building, front and side doors will be locked for security reasons. If your son or daughter will be late for a meeting, let us know so we won’t lock them out.

  • Thanks: Last but not least, we want to thank you for your interest in the OBP Apprentice program, and most importantly, for giving us the opportunity to work with your amazing children. Undoubtedly Apprentice season is our favorite time of year at the Brick and we are so thankful for your support and for the thousands of talented and interesting students in our community.

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