Dear HST Parents,
First, I want to remind everyone that my philosophy about HST has always been, “*This program belongs to God. Therefore, if He wants it to survive, He will find a way. If He decides it’s time for it to end (for reasons I may not get to understand) there is nothing I can do to change that*.” Having said that, I need to share that without more people signing up for troupes by the June 30th deadline, we will not attempt to hold these classes next year. As of right now we have only a 1/3 to 1/2 of the expected students for each of the 4 troupes and Theatricals. I recognize that it is hard to commit to anything for next year because of Covid19, but there is no point in putting in the effort to find shows and do pre-production work if we don’t have enough students to cover paying the people we hire to run these programs (tuition needs to cover teachers – ticket sales covers rent – donations cover admin & production costs).
Obviously, if you have prayerfully discerned that you are not meant to return to HST next year, we completely respect that discernment. For others who may have financial, well-being or safety concerns – let me offer the following:
– JR & GB Troupes will be selecting shows that have a dramatic version as well as a musical version – allowing us to forego singing & dancing if it does not seem we could include those components safely. (This decision will be made in September after prayerfully considering parent input/advise shared during a parent Zoom meeting). – Note: It is possible that we would move forward with troupes and Theatricals but cancel Dance/Acting/Choirs. – SR Troupe will select a show that has flexibility for smaller group dances. – SH Troupe will forego singing & group dances if needed for safety. – We will ask parents to take students temperature before attending classes. – Attendance will be done in each troupe (no bottle-neck in check-in room). – Hand-washing will be encouraged, and sanitizer will be available. – We will hold rehearsals at outside locations (on Redland grounds or Lake Needwood) if there is a 2nd wave of Covid that would make this prudent.
– To prevent the roller-coaster emotions that students experienced this past year, HST will cancel shows over Christmas break and refund the 2nd semester tuition if there is not enough confidence that we could perform our shows either at FSF Theater or at an outside location. (Directors will select shows with limited set needs so that an outdoor performance is a realistic option.) – While canceling mid-year does not avoid all disappointment, the students will know in advance when the decision will be made so they can view the 1st semester as “training” and not count on performing until we are confident that we could perform (even if just outside). It also saves the time/work that goes into costume, tech, props, sets, and program – which all starts up 2nd semester.
– If HST cancels all classes in September – you will get a full refund for everything but the $30 registration fee (which I’ll use to pay the directors for their summer work). If you pay by credit card, you will not get the 3% charged to the payments made up to that point. – If HST cancels Showcase in September, you will get a full refund for all acting, dance, and choir classes, as well as Showcase tickets. – If HST cancels the shows over Christmas break, you will get all of your ticket money refunded and half of your tuition money refunded.
I will end with my personal hope that this outlined plan for minimizing the safety, well-being, and financial risks, will enable most of our families to feel comfortable signing up for another year with HST. It seems premature to shut down HST before we really know what the impact of Covid19 will be in the fall. However, as I stated at the beginning of this email, there is no point in putting in the work to plan next year if there really is only 1/3 to 1/2 of our families willing to return.
Again, God doesn’t owe us this program, so if it is His will that Covid 19 puts an end to HST (at least for next year), then I will accept that. I simply ask that you discern with your wise mind, not your fearful mind. Blessings, Marilyn PS – The early bird discount prices for HST’s classes are good through June 30th. (Prices go up on July 1).