NCCT Teens FAQ
What is NCCT Teens?
NCCT Teens is a branch of North Country Community Theatre (NCCT), a non-profit organization that has been producing community theater since 1973. In 1994, NCCT launched its first teen production, Tom Sawyer, with 30 area youth. Since then, NCCT has produced a teen musical show each winter with an average of 60 teens from up to 13 area schools participating in all aspects of the production.
The Teen Governance Group (Teen Board) consists of 12 teens, elected by their peers, who work with a group of adult Teen Advisors during the spring to select the show for the following winter. In addition, they organize fundraising events, they serve as mentors for the cast and crew, and they work with the Production Staff to keep things running smoothly. Every cast member has been assigned to a Board Group headed by 2 Teen Board members.
NCCT does so much more than just provide an entertaining theater experience for the entire community. Through NCCT Teens we seek to foster growth, development, and responsibility within our teen membership while having lots of fun at the same time!
How much does it cost to be in the show?
A $25 materials fee is all we charge for the opportunity to be in our teen production. You get 8 weeks of dance lessons, voice lessons, acting lessons, and theater experience for that small fee. It is possible that there may be other expenses incurred for dance shoes, make-up, costume pieces (tights/socks) but we try to limit individual expenses and can help if those additional costs are prohibitive.
We do ask for various donations – either monetary (Teen Angel) or in kind (candy for candy grams, food for back stage) to help underwrite some of the costs of the program but those donations are completely voluntary.
What can I expect at auditions?
Auditions for our teen show are usually the first Saturday in January. They usually take place on the stage at the Lebanon Opera House (LOH). In 2024, while LOH is under construction, they will take place at the Greater Hartford United Church of Christ. Prior to the start of the actual auditions there is an optional audition workshop led by our Teen Board and Production Staff where you will do some singing, dancing, and get to know some of your fellow auditioners. We encourage teens new to the program to attend.
Auditioners are asked to sing a song and take part in a dance audition. Specific details (what type of song, how long it should be, what to wear, order of events, etc…) vary from year to year based on what our production staff want to see. Details will be posted on the show page as they become available. Generally, dance auditions are done in smaller groups and the other auditioners are not allowed to watch. Vocal auditions are done on stage and everyone auditioning is allowed to sit in the audience and watch. Everyone knows how nerve wracking this can be and is very supportive. Parents are discouraged from attending but may with permission from the Production Staff and the teen involved.
Auditions last most of the day with registration and the audition workshop starting mid-morning and auditions running through the afternoon. Directly following the dance and vocal auditions the Production Staff will determine who they want to see for Call Backs. Those people will be asked to stay to do additional activities (singing, reading from the script, dancing). Everyone else will be dismissed.
Casting occurs that evening and the cast list will be posted on the NCCT website and Facebook page as soon as possible (but likely late in the evening.)
What is the rehearsal schedule?
Specific details will be posted on the show web page but in general the following times are a good guideline:
- Tuesday and Thursday evenings 6pm – 8pm
- Saturdays – may vary but generally – 12:30pm – 6:30pm
- February vacation week – 12pm – 9pm daily
- Final week before show – 4 or 5pm until 10pm
Who and how are the adults involved?
- Production Staff – Our Director, Music Director, and Choreographer will be working together and separately to teach the music, choreography, and acting portion of the show. They will lead the rehearsals.
- Production Manager – The Production Manager will be the main point of contact between the teens, parents, production staff and Teen Advisors. They will be updating everyone on the rehearsal schedule, volunteer needs, weather updates, and pretty much everything involved with putting on the show.
- Teen Advisors – We have 5 Teen Advisors, two of whom must be at every rehearsal, fundraiser or meeting of the Teen Governance Group (TGG – See below). They are adults who are hired by the TGG and have volunteered their time to spend the entire year with our program. Some are parents, some are NCCT Board members and some are adults who enjoy working with teens putting on a show. On one level, their role is to help chaperone rehearsals and fundraisers so that the Production Staff can focus on the work and not worry about discipline. On another level, they provide a consistent set of adults the teens can go to with questions, concerns or problems that may or may not fall within the role of the Production Staff.
What should I expect to do as a parent?
- Volunteering and Donations: Parents are asked to volunteer for various responsibilities – providing candy for our candy grams, pancake mix for our pancake breakfast, food for our full day rehearsals, helping set up our cabaret fundraiser, loading in our sets, sewing costumes, Teen Sitting in the Green Room, and many more. We hope everyone will participate in some way that works for their schedule, budget and interest. We literally could not do what we do without parent involvement.
- Teen Sitting: Once we move in to the Lebanon Opera House for rehearsals we need additional adults to help chaperone the back stage spaces (Green Room, Dressing Rooms). Teen sitters sign up for 2 – 3 hour time slots and help tame the chaos that happens with the excitement (and sometimes boredom) of 50 plus kids putting on a full scale musical. The Teen Sitters will be assisted by our Teen Advisors on what to do and where to be.
What is the Teen Governance Group (TGG)?
Our TGG (also known as our Teen Board) is a group of 12 teens elected by their peers to run the program. With supervision from the Production Manager, Teen Advisors, and NCCT Board, these teens choose the show, interview and hire the staff, organize and run fundraisers, and lead activities for the cast. Freshmen and Sophomores may run for the TGG and those elected stay on for as long as they are involved in the program.
What are some of our traditions?
- Board groups: After auditions, our Teen Governance Group (TGG) divides the cast up evenly between 6 Board Groups. Two of our TGG members run each group. The goal is to create diverse groups from different schools, grades, gender identities, and experiences with NCCT. The TGG leaders will share production related information with their Board Groups – everything from reminders to bring a water bottle to scheduling social events like group breakfasts before rehearsal. It’s an easy way for the cast to get to know each other in a smaller community.
- Phreds: Phreds are small notes written by the cast members each day during “Hell Week” (the week in February where we have rehearsal from 12-9pm each day.) Each cast member gets to write one “Phred” per day and they are read by TGG members at the end of each night in front of the whole cast. These notes can be anything from loving compliments to your [Secret Santa] to shout outs to people who are working hard and shining in rehearsal. TGG members always skim the notes right before they read them to make sure they are appropriate and not mean-spirited. Phreds are a great bonding experience and something nearly every cast member looks forward to at the end of every Hell Week night.
- Show Specific [Secret Santas]: Over the course of the two weeks we spend in the Opera House, the cast participates in a Secret Santa activity. The name used changes from year to year based on that year’s show. For example, during Footloose, the name for secret santa was “Bomont Buddies” as the show was set in Bomont. Whoever would like to participate draws a name and gives little gifts or shout outs to their person throughout the time in the Opera House. The cast gets to know one another through this. It is a great way to get to know someone that they might not have known as well before.