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 4th of July week and 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 (9 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.) daily camps for 6 to 11-year-olds, held only at our MST – Rice Village location. Because it is a daily camp, students will NOT be creating a final performance for parents, but they will get to explore the world of theater and create short plays 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.
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!
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.
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 at certain locations). 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.
Do you offer Extended-Day Care?
Some options for Extended-Day Care are available to all full-day students at our MST – Rice Village (Full Sessions & Turbos) and MATCH locations.
Before-Care: 7:30 – 8:45 a.m. ($120 per session)
After-Care: 3:30 – 5:30 p.m. ($120 per session)
Before-Care: 7:30 – 8:45 a.m. ($60 per week or $20 per day)
After-Care: 3:30 – 5:00 p.m. ($60 per week or $20 per day)
Before-Care: 8:00 – 8:45 a.m. ($60 per week)
After-Care: 3:30 – 5:00 p.m. ($60 per week)
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.
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!
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 sessions that are at the most convenient location for you!
How large are your classes?
The maximum size for a half-day class of 4 and 5 year-olds is 14 students with a 7 to 1 student-teacher ratio. The maximum size for a full-day class is 17 with an 8 to 1 student-teacher ratio.
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.
What are the different “Summer Studio Company” themes and why did you create them?
The Summer Studio Company classes are for students ages 11 – 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 Summer Studio Company, 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:
Original Play Creation: 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! (MST – Rice Village Session 1 and Session 5)
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! (MST – Rice Village Session 2 and 4)
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. (MST – Rice Village Session 3)
Can I film the final performance?
Yes. We just ask no flash photography please. The one exception is Rice Village where a professional videographer films the performance. The completed performance, with many special features, will be made available to parents 8-10 weeks after the performance.
Due to COVID 19 and in order to ensure the safety and health of all our campers and teachers, final showcases may be closed to the public. We will decide as we get closer to the first day of the camp session. Either way, we will be filming the showcases for later download, and in the case of no live performance, we will livestream them as well.
SUBMITTING YOUR REGISTRATION
Is there space available in the camp I want to enroll in?
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. 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, fill out this online form. If a space becomes available, the Education Department will begin contacting people on the waitlist on a first come, first served basis.
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 the Before-Care and/or After-Care Extended-Day program.
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.
AGE GROUPS & 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 – 10
Summer Studio Company: Ages 11 – 14
Group B: Ages 8 – 11
Can my child be placed with a friend?
Yes: 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. Even then, if they fall outside the age groupings, we need to split them. (a seven year-old can’t be in a group with ten year-old’s for example.) 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! Spacing is limited so if friends fall outside similar ages (6-7) (8-10) (11-14) we cannot move them to a different age. Thank you for understanding.
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.
If one of my children is in full-day and one is in half-day, can they attend class at the same location?
We offer ONLY half-day classes at our Museum District location (the Italian Cultural Center) and ONLY full-day classes at MST – Rice Village, Bellaire, and MATCH. However, these locations are only a few minutes apart by car, and many parents enroll students at different locations simultaneously.
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.
My child is 5½ now and will be turning 6 by August 31, 2023. 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.
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.
FEES, DISCOUNTS, EXCHANGES, REFUNDS AND RECEIPTS
What discounts do you offer?
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 contact Jonathan Minchew-Gonzalez to arrange phone registration. That ensures you will be charged only the discounted tuition amount. Please note that the discount is not available for online registrations.
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 $4 only at certain locations. Optional Before- and After-Care Extended-Day programs are available for an additional fee. Cost of t-shirts ($13) are not included in the tuition, nor are DVD purchases for Full-Day students at certain locations, both of which are optional.
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. TTHE ONLY WAY to take advantage of the discount for siblings in the same session is to contact Jonathan Minchew-Gonzalez to arrange phone registration. That ensures you will be charged only the discounted tuition amount. Please note that the discount is not available for online registrations.
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. 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.
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 (30) calendar 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 within ten (10) business days 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.
Please contact the Education Office by sending an email to email@example.com to begin the refund process.
Why haven’t I gotten a receipt?
We provide receipts only if requested. Please direct your request to Jonathan Minchew-Gonzalez. Receipts are issued only once a session has been completed, and will not be issued in advance of a session. You will receive it within ten (10) business days from when your request is received, so please plan accordingly.
How do I contact my child or his/her teacher during the camp day?
Each site director will have a number where you may contact them. as an EMERGENCY backup, call Jonathan’s cell at 415-370-7430. Otherwise, please use the main Education line, 713-524-7998. Please do not call other camp locations or any other Main Street number. Students should have their cell phones turned off during class.
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 a discount, 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.
I still need to order my DVD from a previous Summer Camp. How can I do that?
Please contact the videographer, RicOrnel Productions, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 here.
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 Minchew-Gonzalez at email@example.com.
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 Minchew-Gonzalez (firstname.lastname@example.org) or give us a call at 713-524-7998.