Parent Aid
This link is intended to help you as parents better understand and manage the activities of your child in WCSPA. The bottom of the page includes (FAQs). If you would like us to include additional information here or have ideas for new additions for this section please contact Mr. Hart.

Commonly asked Parent Questions:

1.)  What is a "Tech Week"?
Tech Week refers to the Monday-Saturday of any week in which we are opening a show.  During this week,  we combine all of the technical elements of the show (the scenery, lights, costumes, sound, front of house, etc.), along with the performers in the performance space for the very first time.  These four rehearsals are by far the most important, complex and stressful days involved with any production. The tech rehearsals are compressed into the shortest amount of time possible to get the show ready for a public performance. Tech weeks are  scheduled for Monday through Thursday from 3:00 pm until 9:00pm, with performances on Friday and Saturday. Call times on the day of a show vary, but are usually an hour and half before performance time.  Night shows start at 7:30PM. Ultimately, transportation to and from these rehearsals is the responsibility of the student and his/her parents.  When available, we will try to use buses to transport students from Cousino and Warren Mott to the Sterling Campus for after school rehearsals.  Students are always excused on-time at the end of the scheduled rehearsal. Attendance at tech rehearsals is mandatory for all cast and crew, and can only be excused in the most extreme circumstances and with plenty of advance notice.  These rehearsals are an integral part of the student’s training and are therefore a large academic factor in the course grade.  Tech Weeks are scheduled at the beginning of each year to help students plan accordingly. Dinner is provided for the students by our WCSPA Booster Club Monday-Thursday.  Meals are prepared and served by our parents.

2.) What is a "Shop Call"?
Shop calls refer to the time after school in which we build the sets, sew the costumes and work on other technical areas of the shows in preparation for the 'Tech Week'.  Shop calls are voluntary and usually run from
3-6 PM.  When we get closer to a tech week, hours extend until 7:00PM.  Shop calls offer students hands-on training, social engagement with the upper level students, one-on-one instruction with the faculty and volunteers, and perhaps most importantly, it gives students ownership in the productions they are actively building.

3.) What are "Team Days"?
 Students from all four levels are integrated together in one full day of Performing Arts activities.  Team Day is intended to build unity between Level One students and the students in the Upper Levels.  The day is filled with fun exercises and activities.  Level I students come to school just like they would on any other day.  They will be returned to their home school in time to take their busses home.

4.) What are "Thespians"?
The International Thespian Organization is a student organization that supports theater arts and activities at the high school level.  Many schools throughout the state have a 'Thespian Troupe'.  We are Thespian Troupe 1000.  The students involved call themselves Thespians, named after the first actor: Thespis. Students can become voluntary members any time after the conclusion of Level 1. There is $30 fee to join the society, which includes a subscription to a theater magazine. Five students are chosen each year to represent our troupe on the State Level and attend occasional Saturday meetings.  Annually, we attend the Michigan Thespian Festival, which takes place the first weekend of December.  The festival includes individual event competitions, workshops, performances, theater booths, college information for all students participating as well as scholarship opportunities for graduating seniors.

5.) What is the Ad Campaign?
The Ad Campaign is the name given to the month and a half in which we solicit advertisements for our Season Program.  The "Ad Book" is a program that is handed out at each of our performances and it contains photos, student biographies and advertisements.  In order to pay for the printing of our programs and to raise additional funds, students and parents alike are asked to solicit advertising from local businesses.  All the money earned from the Ad Campaign in spent in that school year and is used to purchase additional supplies necessary for production and theater related events. "Ad Slams" refer to days when students from WCSPA go out together as a small group to try and sell ads out-of-school for a couple of hours after school. Ad Slams are optional, but offer students from all levels a chance to mix and get to know one another.  For additional details check out the Advertisers Link.

6.) Shop cloths and Dance attire:
Shop cloths are necessary for the days we are painting and working on the stage sets in class. Essentially, shop cloths are just cloths that are either old or damaged. There is no need to buy shop cloths!  They just need to be something that you don't mind being damaged or getting paint on.

Dance cloths are required for the dance portion of class.  Students are required to where dance clothing which includes Jazz pants and Jazz shoes.  There are a variety of places to purchase this clothing.  We typically get a discounted rate of 20% from  R&D Dancewear. Most chains (Wal-Mart, Target, Meijer, JCPennys) now carry jazz pants as well at a good price. Another great source for dance clothing is the internet.  Probably the cheapest online supplier is Discount Dance Supply. Go to  If anything, get a dance shoe on the larger side, since most students are still growing, this will reduce the wear on the shoe.  Level One students are required to have jazz shoes;  Level two either oxfords (guys) or character shoes (girls);  Level 3-4 students should also have tap shoes.
Other places for Dance Cloths:
-R&D Dancewear (
Dodge Park and 15 Mile, across from Ram's Horn 586-264-7600)
-Lucy and Ethel's (42281 Garfield, Clinton Twp., 48047 586-263-4350)
-Fancy Dancers (
26600 Harper Ave., St. Clair Shores, MI  586-775-4167
-Creative Dance Supply (Ryan and 15 Mile)

7.) What are the out-of-school requirements for WCSPA?:
Although we do not require a lot of out of school time, there are some specific days that are required and are graded.  This depends on the your son/daughter's  Level.  Level One students are required to attend Shakespeare Night as well as the Tech Week for both of the musicals.  They should also come to see any show that they are not in or working on.  Level 2 must take part in at least two tech weeks as well, Level 3 (three tech weeks), Level 4 (all tech weeks).  In addition to the required shows, students may volunteer to work on an additional show. In this case, they must come to the entire tech week for that show as well. On rare occasion we may need to have additional rehearsals before the tech week of a show.  In this cases students will be notified well in advance, but again, this is very rare and on a show-to-show basis.

8.) How do classes work?:
Level One:  Typically, level one is divided into four smaller groups.  Each of the groups sees 2 of the 4 WCSPA teachers once a day for approximately 40 minutes.  When rehearsing for a show the class may be subdivided differently depending on the needs of the show.  The student grade from WCSPA is a combination of all the teachers.  This grade is weighted twice as much as a regular class, since the class is twice as long.
Levels 2-4:  Each class in divided by Level and rotates among each of the teachers.  Each Level has a unique curriculum for each of the teachers. When in production, the classes may be divided differently depending on the size and needs of the show.  Grading varies by quarter; students are given a grading breakdown in paper form each quarter.
*Occasionally, students in all levels will be taught by visiting guest artists.

9.) What is the banquet?:
The banquet is our annual celebration of all we've done throughout the year in WCSPA.  It is generally held either the last week in May or the first week in June.  At the banquet students receive a medal recognizing their advancement for each level of the program.  First year students are eligible to join Thespian Troupe 1000 and get involved with activities related to that organization, including the State Thespian Festival.  Some students also receive individual awards for accomplishments related to WCSPA productions.  Dinner is served in a semi-formal setting.  The night always concludes with an announcement of the next year's shows.  Families are welcome to come, but there is generally a charge to attend (to defray the food and rental costs).  Students are not required to attend, but that being said, it is very seldom that a student ever misses it.

10.) What is a "Studio" Show?
A studio show is simply a play or theatrical event we produce that is in a location other that the Big Theatre (PAC).  Usually studio shows take place in the Little Theatre at SHHS and are not advertised in our “Season Program”.  The only studio show Level One will participate in is their Shakespeare Night.  In addition to the "Mainstage" shows, some students will also perform in the Little Theatre from time to time.