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Frequently Asked Questions about Summer Camp

Our Frequently Asked Questions are a supplement to our Summer Camp Policies, which will probably answer most of the questions you have about camp. While policies are largely the same from location to location, some variations exist (for example, in regard to pick-up and drop-off). Click here:

General Camp Questions

Submitting Your Registration

Age Groups and Placement

Fees, Discounts, Exchanges, Refunds and Receipts

Other

General Camp Questions

What is this Turbo Camp you're offering? How is it different from regular camps?

In the past, we’ve gotten many calls inquiring whether we offer camp the week after school is out during Spring Break, Winter Break, and/or the week before school starts in August. Turbo Camps are our solution to those “gap weeks” when we are not able to offer a full camp. They are full-day (9am – 3:30pm) daily camps for 6- to 11-year-olds, held only at our Chelsea Market location. Because it is a daily camp, students will NOT be creating a final performance, but they will get to explore the world of theater in a fun, speedy format. Each day will be different, so students can sign up for as many or as few days as they like! To see how the daily schedule and procedures differ, please take a look at the Turbo Camp Policies.

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My child is shy. Will he/she like your camp? OR My child sings and dances and puts on plays all the time. Will he/she like your camp?

Yes! Our camp welcomes students of all skill levels and focuses on creativity and collaboration. Our teachers are great at reaching out to shy students and helping them recognize they are in a safe, supportive atmosphere. Advanced and outgoing students will be challenged to create a performance up to their skills, and to set an example for other students. All students will be featured in the final performance!

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How large are your classes?

The maximum size for a half-day class of four- and five-year-olds is 12 students. The maximum size for a full-day class is 14. In addition, each class has one teacher and one teaching assistant present at all times, keeping a “1 adult to 7 students” ratio.

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Is there any difference in the quality of classes offered at different locations?

No. All of the locations offer the same fun, fast-paced curriculum under the direction of experienced teachers. The same teachers often work at multiple locations during the summer. Students from all locations will perform in a final showcase, with the exception of Turbo students. We encourage you to sign up for the session that is at the most convenient location for you!

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Do kids need to bring a lunch, snacks or water?

Yes, full-day kids will need to bring their own lunch every day (except the last day, when they have the option of ordering pizza). They will also need a small morning and afternoon snack. Half-day students should bring one snack, but do not need a full lunch. Though water is available at all locations, students have the option of bringing bottled water. Please help us by not turning your kids into sugar monsters! Make sure that their meals are balanced, filling and healthy—if the kids are washing down their PB&J and M&Ms with Coke, they all turn into Tasmanian Devils after lunch! Although we have a strict “no sharing food” policy, please inform the staff if your child has ANY food allergies.

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Can I sign up my 4- or 5-year-old for an AM and a PM half-day class in the same session?

No. We are unable to offer supervision for children between the AM and PM sessions of our half-day camps. Please sign up for AM only or PM only in the session you choose.

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Do you offer Extended-Day Care?

Some options for Extended-Day Care are available to all full-day students at our Chelsea Market (Full Sessions & Turbos), Shlenker, and MATCH locations. Click here for times, prices and registration form.

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Do students watch videos at your camp?

Unless a teacher is making a specific demonstration (say, of choreography from a musical), we generally do not waste time watching videos at our summer camp. We have too much to do!

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I can already tell you that my child won’t want to participate in one of the daily classes (dance, for example). Can he/she sit out?

No. Our teachers work very hard to make all of our classes appeal to all students, and we think everyone should give each class a try! As creative collaborators, it is important to the group dynamic that everyone participates, and students can rest assured that teachers will find ways to appeal to the student’s personal expression.

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We are trying to plan a vacation and need to know about the final performance. When is it?

Please consult the policies for the complete schedule of performances. While half-day performances happen during the camp day, performances for full-day students happen outside of the camp day. Please try to not take out your child for any camp days if possible. Obviously emergencies come up, but every day missed impacts the collaborative dynamic.

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What are the different “Summer Studio Company” themes and why did you create them?

The Summer Studio Company classes are for our Group D students (ages 12 – 14). We got the feeling that our older students wanted to be a bit more specialized in their performing arts work, so we are exploring a variety of different themes for those students each session. If your student is not in Group D, his/her project will fall under the summer’s main theme and not under the Summer Studio Company themes.

Here are the themes and descriptions:

KOS Classic: This is the summer camp you’ve come to know and love. Collaborating with their classmates, students will create and stage a short play and dance piece—and be introduced to every phase of the artistic process along the way! (Chelsea Market Session 1 and Session 2)

Shakespeare Mashup: Students will explore the many worlds of Shakespeare in a fun and physical way, relating to the characters through their own experiences. For their final project, students will feature their favorite characters in a mashup of great Shakespeare scenes, in new settings and styles. Comedy, tragedy, treachery, and swordfights guaranteed! (Chelsea Market Session 3)

Greece is the Word: Ancient Greece, birthplace of theater, is full of treasure—from gods and monsters to fables and drama. For their final project, students will create pieces inspired by the richness of Greek myths, legends and literature. (Chelsea Market Session 4)

Project Broadway: Students will write a short musical based on a plot suggested by an existing song of their choice. (For example, Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” might inspire a musical about a scary Halloween night, and Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” might lead to an epic urban adventure.) Working with their instructors, they will write, stage and choreograph this mini-musical for performance on the last day of class. (No singing necessary!) (The Shlenker School Session 1)

Comedy Showdown: From standup to sitcom, from improv to comic timing, this class will introduce students to the “how” of funny! Students will use what they learn from comedy classics like Charlie Chaplin, Abbot and Costello, and Whose Line Is It Anyway? to create a variety show to perform on the last day of class. (Chelsea Market Session 5)

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Can I film the final performance?

For all Full Day Camps at Chelsea and Shlenker, a professionally filmed DVD will be available for an additional purchase. RicOrnel Productions films our Summer Camp shows and includes fun extras and a clean copy of the entire showcase! Please allow 8-10 weeks for delivery. Forms to order copies will be emailed to families before the start of each session, and can also be found at the top of the summer camp web page. Please Note: This does NOT apply to Half Day Camps at Rice Village and The Shlenker School, or to Turbo Camps, or to One Week Camps at Briarmeadow, the MATCH, or Bellaire Parks and Recreation.

Submitting Your Registration

Is there space available in the camp I want to enroll in?

Check on your location at www.mainstreettheater.com/ed/summer.html. We try to keep the info current. If you are uncertain, please email Lauren Evans (lauren@mainstreettheater.com) to check on your session.

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If a session is marked FULL: First of all, is it really full? And second, how do I get on the waiting list?

If a session is marked full, yes, it really is full. Except in cases where we have made a mistake, students cannot be added to a full session. This helps maintain the quality of the experience for the other students enrolled. We would love to accept everyone, but our space is limited. We advise enrolling early to guarantee your space.

To be added to the waiting list, send in a registration form, completed except for the payment section. In the payment section, write “WAITLIST”. If a space becomes available, the Education Department will contact people on the waitlist in the order in which their registrations are received. Waitlist Forms may be mailed (3400 Main St., Houston, TX 77002) or may be scanned and emailed to Lauren Evans (lauren@mainstreettheater.com).

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Is there space in Extended-Day Care for the session I’m enrolled in?

Yes. If you are already enrolled in a session, there is automatically room for you in Before-Care and/or After-Care.

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Can my child attend a partial session?

We do not allow students to attend partial sessions. We want every student to have the best time possible at our camps and to have as successful (and stress free!) a time as possible; attending partial sessions does not make this possible. We often find that students who miss the first week of the session feel stressed and pressured to “catch up” with their peers, and are often very sad to have missed out on the collaboration process of writing the play and creating the dance. We also find that students who are not going to attend the second week of the session are often unhappy and unwilling to participate in the first week knowing that they will not be celebrating with their teammates at the final performance.

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Why can’t I hand-deliver my registration?

Please DON’T hand-deliver or email your registration. Here’s why: For hand-deliveries, we are a small department and may be out of the office when you want to drop off your form. We would hate to inconvenience you by being closed when you come by. Please register online, or mail it with a check to Main Street Theater, 3400 Main St., Houston, TX 77002, or scan and email it to lauren@mainstreettheater.com. Always retain a copy for your records.

Please note that while we process mailed in and scanned registration forms as soon as we receive them, the most secure and sure-fire way to guarantee a spot is through online PayPal registration.

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Age Groups and Placement

How are the students grouped by age?

Half-Day Classes: Group AA: Ages 4 – 5
Full-Day Classes: Group A: Ages 6 – 7
Group B: Ages 8 – 9
Group C: Ages 10 – 11
Group D/Summer Studio Company: Ages 12 – 14

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Can my child be placed with a friend?

Yes! Please write us a note on your registration form. If the friend is in the same age group, we will be able to place them together. Please note that we place siblings in separate classes where possible, unless the family specifically requests that we place them together. We also encourage children to reach out and meet new kids in their group. One of the great things about putting on a play together is that strangers become friends by the end of the session!

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My children would fall into different age groups. Can they still be in the same class?

Because each child needs to draw on his or her own strengths, we separate siblings when possible. Siblings may still be able to see each other at lunch and during class breaks.

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If one of my children is in full-day and one is in half-day, can they attend class at the same location?

At our Shlenker location, we offer both half-day and full-day classes. We offer ONLY half-day classes at MST – Rice Village and ONLY full-day classes at Chelsea Market, Bellaire, MATCH, and Briarmeadow. However, these locations are only a few minutes apart by car, and many parents enroll students at different locations simultaneously.

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If my children are in different age groups, or full-day and half-day, will I have to miss one of their performances?

No. None of the performances overlap.

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My child is 5½ now and will be turning 6 by August 31, 2017. Can I enroll him/her in the full-day class?

Yes, if your student’s birthday falls during the summer, he or she can be placed with the older group. The only exception to this rule is for our Half-Day students. Half-Day students MUST have turned 4 years old prior to the beginning of their session starting.

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My child is 6 or older, but I only want him/her to attend half-day. Is this possible? OR My child is very advanced. Can he/she be placed in an older group?

No. Absent special circumstances, we believe it is very important to place a child with other students in his/her age group.

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Fees, Discounts, Exchanges, Refunds and Receipts

What discounts do you offer?

We offer an early registration discount that ends February 17 (it is strictly enforced).

We also offer a discount of $25 per sibling when three or more siblings enroll in the same session. THE ONLY WAY to take advantage of the discount for siblings in the same session is to download our registration form and mail it in or scan/email it (lauren@mainstreettheater.com) with a credit card number. That ensures you will be charged only the discounted tuition amount. Please note that the discount is not available for online registrations.

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Are there any extra fees besides the tuition fee?

There are no required fees besides the tuition fee. Students interested in ordering pizza for lunch on the last day of camp (the showcase day) will be asked to bring $3.00. Optional Before- and After-Care are available for an additional fee. Cost of t-shirts ($10) are not included in the tuition, nor are DVD purchases for Full-Day students, both of which are optional.

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Is there a discount for signing siblings up for the same session?

Yes, for every three or more siblings who are signed up for the same session, $25 will be deducted from the price of EACH child’s tuition. THE ONLY WAY to take advantage of the discount for siblings in the same session is to download our registration form and mail it in or scan/email it (lauren@mainstreettheater.com) with a credit card number. That ensures you will be charged only the discounted tuition amount. Please note that the discount is not available for online registrations.

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I signed up for a session, but our plans have changed and I want to reschedule. How can I do this?

Please contact the Education Office at 713-524-7998. There is no charge to move from one session to another unless it is a more expensive session (in which case you will be charged the difference in tuition, including the difference in tuition for early and/or late registration). However, if the new session you are moving to is FULL, you will be placed on the waiting list. No priority can be given on the waiting list to students relocating from another session.

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I need to cancel my registration. How do I get a refund?

You may receive a partial refund (less a $50 processing fee) up until thirty days before the beginning of the session in which you are enrolled. If you must cancel with thirty days or less remaining until the beginning of the session for which you are registered, no refund is available. All refunds will be issued by check approximately two weeks from the time of the request. Main Street Theater may cancel a class if enrollment is insufficient. If a class is cancelled, any payment will be refunded in full. No full or partial refunds or compensation will be made if class must be canceled due to natural disasters such as weather events or epidemics. Contact the Education Office by emailing either lauren@mainstreettheater.com or jonathan@mainstreettheater.com to begin the refund process.

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Why haven’t I gotten a receipt?

We provide receipts only if requested. Please direct your request to Lauren Evans at lauren@mainstreettheater.com. Receipts are issued only once a session has been completed, and will not be issued in advance of a session.

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Other

Do your summer camp courses include religious instruction?

No. Although we are summer tenants at some religious-based institutions, our camps focus solely on the performing arts. Religious instruction is not part of our curriculum.

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How do I contact my child or his/her teacher during the camp day?

Please use the main Education line, 713-524-7998. Please do not call other camp locations, or any other Main Street number. The only staff members equipped to answer your camp questions and get a message to your child are at 713-524-7998. Students will have their cell phones turned off during class.

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Our family keeps kosher. How can we make sure our kids don’t feel left out of all-camp activities like the pizza lunch on performance day?

Because of various allergies and dietary restrictions, we very rarely give food to students, and encourage them not to share food with others at lunch time. For the pizzas ordered on performance day, we are happy to offer a kosher pizza option if enough students are interested. Please let us know during the first week of camp if you would like to be included in the kosher pizza order. (Because Houston’s kosher pizza restaurants are small businesses that are not able to offer us the bulk discount Domino’s can, there may be an additional charge.) For other rare group treats, such as Friday afternoon popsicles and the candy prizes students can win on Crazy Day, we make sure the packaging carries the kosher label.

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I still need to order my DVD from a previous Summer Camp. How can I do that?

Please contact the videographer, RicOrnel Productions, at ricornelproductions@msn.com.

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Does Main Street Theater offer classes during the school year?

Yes, we do! In addition to our summer curriculum, Main Street Theater offers year-round skills and performance classes for students of all ages. Check our website around mid-July for details: www.mainstreettheater.com/ed.

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Does Main Street Theater offer acting classes for adults?

We do not offer classes for adults, but we do offer private coaching. Check our website for details: www.mainstreettheater.com/ed or call 713-7998 for information.

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How do I get Main Street Theater classes at my child’s school?

Our satellite programs—MST classes that come to your child’s school—can take the form of after-school enrichment classes or in-school residencies. For information on how your school can set up a Main Street Theater satellite class, please contact the Education Office at 713-524-7998 or email Jonathan Gonzalez at jonathan@mainstreettheater.com.

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Have a question about Summer Camp that isn’t answered here?

We are happy to answer any other questions that you have! Please contact Jonathan Gonzalez or Lauren Evans (713-524-7998, jonathan@mainstreettheater.com, lauren@mainstreettheater.com).

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