News

Reminder – Mandatory Ticket Meetings this Friday

*FRIDAY – January 18th is the Mandatory Parent Meeting for Tickets.*
*10am to 11;30am – New Parents * (This meeting will cover logistics and survival tips for Showcase week). *1pm to 2:30pm – Returning Parents* (This meeting include a short “state of the union” overview of HST’s finances and needs.)
Our policy is that parents who miss 2 parent meetings will be fined $50. * If you missed the September meeting, please be sure to attend this Friday so you are not assessed a fine. *
There will be childcare available at both meetings (donations accepted – Honor Society fundraiser).
REMINDERS:
– Bring your calendars and your checkbook & pen. You will be able to write one check for all your ticket orders this Friday. – Bring your Volunteer Hour Form (attached) – if you need the weekend to figure out what to sign up for to complete your hours – forms can be postmarked Tuesday, Jan. 22. – *The only time you can order student section tickets for $10/ticket is during Friday’s meeting.* Please ask your students which shows they want to see and if they want to sit in the special student section (center front). – The only time you can order season tickets (which are $10/ticket) is during Friday’s meeting. – The only time you can select your preference for your Prepaid tickets is during Friday’s meeting. Those not in attendance will be processed with the default (which is usually 5 tickets for Friday night and 5 tickets for Saturday night).
*SHOWDATES:*
DEN OF LAUGHS (Coffeehouse) – Sat. March 23 – 3pm, 5pm, and 7pm seatings
THAT’S ENTERTAINMENT! (Showcase) – April 5 – 7pm, April 6 – 2:30pm & 7pm
THAT’S PRINCESS…WITH A PEA! (GB Troupe) – April 12 – 6:30pm, April 13 – 5pm
TWELFTH NIGHT (SH Troupe) – April 12 – 8pm, April 13 – 7:30pm
ADVENTURES OF A COMIC BOOK ARTIST (JR Troupe) – April 26 – 6;30pm, April 27 – 5pm
DON’T SAY NO TO THE U.S.O.! (SR Troupe) – April 26 – 8pm, April 27 – 7:30pm
Blessings, Marilyn

March for Life and HST Absences

Dear Understanding HST Parents,
This Friday is the annual March for Life. I get quite a few questions concerning this event so I am going to consolidate my answers in an FYI email to everyone.
First – HST is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. As such, we cannot endorse anything political and *the March for Life has become a political event, although many attend simply because of spiritual convictions*. It is true that our mission clearly states that we are a Christian principled organization and HST’s founders and board have always given God the glory for all that we do, but we are open to families of all faiths and backgrounds. Thus, we do not give special exemptions for this event.
If students have not used their one excused absence, they can use it to attend this event. All families have the option of taking one excused absence between September and January. (February through April are all mandatory rehearsals.)
*The “grey” area of confusion is when students have been absent for sickness*. Technically, we do not count sickness as the excused absence, so by the letter-of-the-law the student could take another absence as their “excused” absence. However, I will state that once upon a time sickness *was* considered an excused absence because people who wanted to miss more than once would simply “call in sick.” The number of absences was getting excessive, so we resorted to sickness counting as the excused absence. While this reduced absences, it also caused a great deal of stress for families who needed to use their absence for holiday trips or other special events. Thus, we switched back to sickness not counting. I will say, however, that the number of “sick” absences has been increasing over the last few years. I trust that this is due to increasingly bad flu seasons, but if it came to my attention that is was also due to the “call in sick” mind-set, I would consider switching this policy back.
Let me take this opportunity to again explain, why HST’s has a strict attendance policy.
– *HST’s production schedule is incredibly stressful for our directors.* Producing 6 shows simultaneously means that directors do not have undivided support from myself or any of the production and tech support people. * No other program operates the way HST does.* If other programs puts up 6 shows in a year (and there are very few that do), they spread them out throughout the year so they can focus on one at a time. HST strives to compensate for the high production stress, * by handling all admin issues, all parent communication,* and striving for minimal absences. – When there are missing performers, a rehearsal loses much of it’s value. Once a show is “running,” directors feel that a rehearsal without every cast member is useless because you can’t get the rhythm of the show when someone has to fill in and “read” lines for a missing person or “hold” the space in a choreographed dance. That is why it is standard practice in theater to make all rehearsals mandatory (or to have actors declare their absence needs when auditioning).
Having explained all that, *HST’s first preference is that students attend the youth events that are held in the morning for the March for Life, and still attend afternoon rehearsals.* High absenteeism will not help our directors have productive rehearsals. However, under HST’s current policy, students will not be penalized if they take their excused absence for this event.
To reduce the directors’ stress as much as possible, we ask that families let us know in advance if your student(s) will be missing this Friday. *This will give directors the opportunity to figure out what they can work on with the students they will have in attendance. *
I hope this email helps parents understand HST’s strict attendance policy, so that you can explain it to your students (or just let them read this email). Blessings, Marilyn

Reminder – Wear undergarments to dance this week

Dear Understanding Dance Families,
All dancers should wear their proper undergarments *EXCEPT HipHop A&B and Irish Softshoe. *
*UNDERGARMENTS*
– *For girls* the proper undergarments are black tank leo (no spaghetti straps & no low backs) and dance tights (neutral). – *For boys* the proper undergarments are black biker-style shorts. You can get baseball “slider shorts” or Speedo long shorts style swim suits but *we do NOT want loose basketball-style short*s. The undershirt needs to be a TANK style (no crew necks)..
*When buying dancewear, remember that the old adage “you get what you pay for” REALLY applies. * Most girls will feel much more comfortable in a leotard with good support. Support costs a little more but is well worth it.
Be sure to buy tights specifically made for dance. Tights bought at the local big box store or grocery will not work in a dance situation…especially if your dancer has any kind of costume change.
*Boys Undergarments* can be purchased at any Sporting Goods store.
*Girls Undergarments * can be ordered from:
*Discount Dance Supply * *http://www.discountdance.com/ <www.discountdance.com/>*
*Dancewear solutions* *http://www.dancewearsolutions.com/shoes/default.aspx <www.dancewearsolutions.com/shoes/default.aspx>*
*LOOKING AHEAD – *please remember: Parents will receive an email in early March with the items that your dancer(s) will need for the show. The items that you are responsible to provide will be things that were listed as “stock” items in the policies contract. If you student is asked to provide black jazz pants or dress black pants for their costume, you will need to make sure they are “black.” If the jazz pants the student has been using for class are faded – you will be asked to buy new ones so the dancers can look sharp on stage. Your student will be asked to bring in the items they are providing to one class in March (you will receive an email).
– Please set aside shopping time in March to get the items your student will need. Allowing you to wait to see exactly what is needed means you save money (most dance studios require you purchase all stock items in advance). In return, we ask that you promptly purchase these items for the sake of our costume team & bring them in when asked.
*We also want to send a few reminders: *
FIRST – Be on time. This means arriving early enough so your student can get their dance shoes on & be in class when the teacher starts warm-ups. We understand that life happens but it isn’t fair to the teacher or the other students when the full class isn’t present until 10, 15 or 20 minutes into the class. Technically the student can be asked to sit and watch if they are more than 10 min. late because they will have missed warm-ups. We don’t want to resort to this, so we simply ask you to leave more time to get to class.
SECOND – Wear proper dance attire *including proper shoes*.
*CLASSES – *HST shirt, black jazz or sweat pants, and proper shoes are REQUIRED for every class. Full lenth (not capri-length) yoga pants (not skin-tight yoga “tights” – pants will have a flare at the bottom) and black sweat pants will work for classes and can be purchased at Target and many other local stores. Dancers’ feet should be easily visible. If not – you will need to hem them (this is a GREAT skill to teach your student – you can do the measuring, pinning, demo a few stitches & then let them finish). If you don’t have time to hem, we recommend going to a discount drycleaning store. They will have the cheapest alteration rates.
Many thanks & blessings, Marilyn

Tech Today – 1pm

Dear Understanding Tech Team,
You start meeting today. For today all techs come at 1pm. Check in and then go to room at end of hall (room we process tickets in). I’ll meet you there around 1pm to go over troupe assignments, van unloading/loading schedule and show needs before having you go to your assigned troupes.
Blessings, Mrs. Mullan

Dance Undergarments next week

Dear Understanding Dance Students,
The costumers will start trying on costumes next week. All dancers should wear their proper undergarments *EXCEPT HipHop A&B and Irish Softshoe. *
*UNDERGARMENTS* – Everyone should have proper undergarments by January.
– *For girls* the proper undergarments are black tank leo (no spaghetti straps & no low backs) and dance tights (neutral). – *For boys* the proper undergarments are black biker-style shorts. You can get baseball “slider shorts” or Speedo long shorts style swim suits but *we do NOT want loose basketball-style short*s. The undershirt needs to be a TANK style (no crew necks)..
*When buying dancewear, remember that the old adage “you get what you pay for” REALLY applies. * Most girls will feel much more comfortable in a leotard with good support. Support costs a little more but is well worth it.
Be sure to buy tights specifically made for dance. Tights bought at the local big box store or grocery will not work in a dance situation…especially if your dancer has any kind of costume change.
*Boys Undergarments* can be purchased at any Sporting Goods store.
*Girls Undergarments * can be ordered from:
*Discount Dance Supply * *http://www.discountdance.com/ <www.discountdance.com/>*
*Dancewear solutions* *http://www.dancewearsolutions.com/shoes/default.aspx <www.dancewearsolutions.com/shoes/default.aspx>*
*LOOKING AHEAD – *please remember: Parents will receive an email in early March with the items that your dancer(s) will need for the show. The items that you are responsible to provide will be things that were listed as “stock” items in the policies contract. If you student is asked to provide black jazz pants or dress black pants for their costume, you will need to make sure they are “black.” If the jazz pants the student has been using for class are faded – you will be asked to buy new ones so the dancers can look sharp on stage. Your student will be asked to bring in the items they are providing to one class in March (you will receive an email).
– Please set aside shopping time in March to get the items your student will need. Allowing you to wait to see exactly what is needed means you save money (most dance studios require you purchase all stock items in advance). In return, we ask that you promptly purchase these items for the sake of our costume team & bring them in when asked.
*We also want to send a few reminders: *
FIRST – Be on time. This means arriving early enough so your student can get their dance shoes on & be in class when the teacher starts warm-ups. We understand that life happens but it isn’t fair to the teacher or the other students when the full class isn’t present until 10, 15 or 20 minutes into the class. Technically the student can be asked to sit and watch if they are more than 10 min. late because they will have missed warm-ups. We don’t want to resort to this, so we simply ask you to leave more time to get to class.
SECOND – Wear proper dance attire *including proper shoes*.
*CLASSES – *HST shirt, black jazz or sweat pants, and proper shoes are REQUIRED for every class. Full lenth (not capri-length) yoga pants (not skin-tight yoga “tights” – pants will have a flare at the bottom) and black sweat pants will work for classes and can be purchased at Target and many other local stores. Dancers’ feet should be easily visible. If not – you will need to hem them (this is a GREAT skill to teach your student – you can do the measuring, pinning, demo a few stitches & then let them finish). If you don’t have time to hem, we recommend going to a discount drycleaning store. They will have the cheapest alteration rates.
Many thanks & blessings, Marilyn

HST Improv Competition TOMORROW Fri. Jan. 11 – 4pm to 5:30pm

Come enjoy HST’s annual IMPROV Competition between HST alumni & HST’s highschool students.
Our high school upperclassman will compete against HST Alumni THIS Friday – Jan. 11 – pizza available starting at 4pm – competition starts around 4:45pm. We are usually done around 5:30pm so you still have time for your regular Friday evening routine.
*Shady Grove Presbyterian Church*,16911 Redland Road, Derwood, MD 20855 – *It is a joy to hold this event where HST got our start. We are grateful to Shady Grove PCA for hosting this event and trust that God will bless them for their generosity.*
*Cost $3/person $10 Max per family * $2 for 2 slices cheese pizza & lemonaide
This is the Honor Society’s only fundraiser so *please support THS and enjoy the fun*! *All HST students, parents and siblings welcome and encouraged!* *Since Acting classes do not meet on this date (Jan. 5), we hope you will schedule an afternoon HST outing to enjoy this event instead of your morning class. *
*Troupe parents who are coming are asked to come to Redland Baptist at 4PM to help transport students to Shady Grove Presbyterian* (right around corner).
This event is a great way to see that HST is about more than the shows. * God helps build a beautiful community spirit in HST that endures long after students graduate out of the program*. It is so encouraging to see the wonderful adults our former students have become. In fact,* chatting with an HST alumni is the best way I know to get over those mid-year homeschooling blues *- “We’re so behind.” “We’re never going to finish.” “Why did we think this was a good idea?” The answer: you are growing up the next generation of awesome adults! So, *come be inspired and have some laughs! *
Blessings, Marilyn

JR/GB Game & Pizza Lunch – Noon to 1pm

Honor Society is hoping to see as many JR/GB students as possible tomorrow for the Game Show.
Arrive a little before Noon and check in. We’ll walk everyone over to the Barn for the Game Show. Game will end between 12:30 and 12:40, when pizza arrives.
Since we also have the Improv competition tomorrow after troupe – we are keeping lunch simple. It will be a couple slices of cheese pizza and water. If that isn’t enough to fill you up – feel free to bring your own snacks/drink.
Blessings, Mrs. Mullan