Why should I get my child involved in The Main Stage, Inc.?

Participation in musical theater does so much more than just teach acting, singing, and dancing skills.  It builds confidence, self-esteem, and teaches teamwork, dedication, and responsibility.  It can be a vital area of acceptance for a child as they find a place in our “family.”

How are you different from other theater programs?

Our staff are not only experts in musical theater but also trained educators who have worked with students for years.  They know how to most effectively teach and train children, and use this knowledge to help students expand their potential.  We don’t just have classes in singing, acting, and dancing we give the students an end goal of putting together a whole show that they can be proud of.  As one of our students said, “You treat your children’s shows just like your adult shows, not like we are just kids.”  We don’t downgrade our sets and costumes or expectations, but instead show our pride in our students and all that they accomplish by helping them be a part of shows that they are proud to invite friends and family to.  We challenge them to rise above what they think they can do and to become more than they imagined.

How do I get my child involved in your program?

Click the registration on our main children’s programs page to register

How much is tuition?

Tuition is generally $200 for our class series which includes 8-10weeks of classes, over 30 instructional hours per student, and the final performances on stage.  It costs an average of $13,000 to put on a full show from rights, royalties, renting studio space, theater rental, sets, costumes, music, staff, and all the other items that go into putting on the best performance possible. 

Financial aide?

Financial aide is available through the generosity of some of our individual sponsors.  Please inquire for forms to be filled out in order to apply for financial assistance.

How old does my child have to be to participate in a children’s production?

Students in Kindergarten through 12th grade are eligible for our children’s productions.  We have occasionally opened up to younger students but that is considered on a case by case basis.  Please contact us if you have questions on if your child is ready for classes.  Summer Camp is open to students who have completed Kindergarten-11th grade.

What do auditions consist of?

For our student theater productions the first couple of days are used to get to know each other, teach everyone a song from the show, and practice some lines and dances from the show.  Once the instructors feel that everyone is prepared, usually the second week they will have auditions where everyone will get a chance to sing, read, dance for the instructors.  While everyone enrolled will receive a part in the show, this process teaches the students about the audition process, builds confidence on performing for others, and allows the directors to assign roles appropriately.  A complete cast list will then be posted within 24-48 ours from audition day.

How long do you rehearse leading up to a show?

Typically rehearsals/classes start 8 weeks before the performance date. Rehearsals are generally from 4:30-6:00pm on Mondays and Wednesday. However, the week of the show, tech and dress rehearsals can run longer than two hours and be additional days. Also, lead characters may be asked to attend additional rehearsals throughout the process.  Watch our homepage for upcoming auditions, or sign up for our electronic mailing list.

Where do you rehearse?

We rehearse at our studio located at, 122 North Main Street in Mishawaka.  It is located in the heart of downtown Mishawaka, next to Doc Pierce’s Restaurant. The week of the show, rehearsals are held at the stage in which the final performances are scheduled to take place.

Where do I drop off my child for rehearsal and where should I park?

Children should enter using the rear entrance. You can enter the parking lot off of church and 1st street. The Main Stage studio is located under the blue awning with The Main Stage, Inc. written on it.  Please use the municipal parking lot at the back of the studio, as we try to be considerate of the patrons of Doc Pierces and leave the front parking for their customers.  Our staff are all employed at area schools and come straight to the studio from their jobs, please do not arrive more than 10 minutes before rehearsal begins as the building will still be locked.  Please enter with your students to sign them in for rehearsals.

What should my child do upon arrival?

Your aspiring actor or actress should sign in at the sign in table, use the restroom if needed and proceed to the studio.

Can I watch rehearsals?

Unfortunately our studio does not have space to allow for parents to watch rehearsals.  Additionally we find that it is distracting to the students to have their parents in the room.  You are welcome to come in and see the studio space and speak with the instructors before and after class.  Our front windows on Main Street do allow for some viewing of rehearsals, but you can’t really hear from there.

What should I do when picking up my child after rehearsal?

When you pick up your child from rehearsals there will be a sign out sheet where you will need to write the name of the student you are picking up.  We will send the students out to the lobby once they have been signed out.  This helps alleviate some congestion, and makes sure that students are not released that do not have an adult waiting for them.

How will I know if rehearsal is canceled due to bad weather?

The email address you give at registration will be used to notify you of any cancellations or changes to schedule.  Please make sure that we have a correct email address for you and that you check it frequently.  We will also post on our facebook page if practice is cancelled.

How can I help?

Pick a donation circle from our board in the lobby.

Sign up for studio cleaning.
Sign up for set-build
Sign up to work backstage
Participate in our fundraisers
Recruit businesses and/or individuals to support our non-for-profit organization through program advertisements or production sponsorships.
Purchase a space in our program for as little as $5 to encourage and support your shining star!
Contact our volunteer or parent coordinator by email to learn more

How will I know what is going on during a production that my child is involved in?

Our main source of communication is email. An initial email will be sent out, watch for this email to confirm your preferred address and add us to your contacts so that you receive important information throughout rehearsals leading up to the show. Weekly emails are typically sent with timely information for cast members.

Will my child receive any show memorabilia?

During most productions several items are offered to cast members for purchase.  Items could include but are not limited to: Cast T-shirt (usually $15-$20) and  Cast Photo (usually $5). It is important for you to watch for email about such products so that you don’t miss the ordering deadline.  It is helpful if you send in your order form and accompanying payment in a envelope labeled with your child’s name.

How can I learn more?

Contact us at:
Attend the initial parent meeting. This takes place in the first week of classes/rehearsals.
Sign up for our mailing list