Family Involvement & Mainstage Policies

e.T.c. is a non-profit theater company that has been serving the community since 1996. Like all organizations that serve youth, we are heavily dependent on the involvement of the parents whose youth we serve. As a participant or prospective participant, it is important to familiarize yourself with e.T.c.'s family involvement expectations and mainstage policies. If you have have a question that is not answered below, please email 


For the benefit of all participants and staff of our program and to maximize the enjoyment and learning experience, certain guidelines must be adhered to. Please review the following rules of conduct.

At Workshops/Rehearsals

  • Arrive on time, come prepared (lines, music, assignments) and be ready to learn.
  • Be respectful of staff and other participants.
  • e.T.c. does not tolerate negative behaviors either in person or in electronic format such as bullying, gossiping, mocking and other forms of hurtful conduct. 
  • Do not use the name e.T.c. or represent e.T.c. on any social media outlet unless approved by the board of directors. This includes group chats and texts. 
  • Each week, practice what has been taught during the rehearsals.
  • Written assignments should be completed and returned to rehearsals when due. 
  • Do not give direction to other participants or in any way critique others’ performances.
  • Respect rehearsal facility property and rules. 
  • Do not go into off-limit areas.
  • No gum, food or open drinks are allowed inside the rehearsal rooms or theater. Water bottles and healthy snacks are encouraged for break times during rehearsal, to be eaten in designated areas.
  • No electronic games will be allowed during rehearsals.
  • Wear loose clothes and appropriate shoes for dance.

At Theater

  • Arrive on time and ready for calls, warm ups and director’s notes.
  • No eating, drinking or chewing gum is allowed in the theater or dressing rooms (except bottled water).
  • No participants are allowed in the little theater or other off-limit (unauthorized) areas.
  • Listen to and follow the directions of the chaperones and stage crew members.
  • Be respectful of staff and other participants.
  • DO NOT touch props unless you are using them in a scene.
  • Participants agree to wear costumes as directed by the costume designer and director. Failure to do so will result in the participant’s removal from the role.


  • Initial Consequence for failure to abide by these guidelines will result in initial verbal warning, noted in files.
  • Continued failure to abide by the guidelines will result in a meeting with participant, parent, board liaison and director and a specific contract will be created to remedy the problem behaviors.
  • Failure to abide by the contract will result in a meeting with participant, parent, director and board of director representative to discuss removal of participant from a performance or the entire program.

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  • Help your actor arrive 5 minutes early to rehearsals so they have time to get settled and ready to learn.
  • Habitual lateness will be counted as conflicts which may result in the actor’s role being reduced or modified.
  • Ensure your actor has appropriate snacks and water.
  • Check your schedules to minimize rehearsal conflicts. Actors missing rehearsals slows down the progress of the entire production. Each actor may have only 3 conflicts, and none during Mandatory Rehearsal dates. Conflicts should be reported at audition time; if no conflict sheet is submitted, it will be assumed that the actor has no conflicts.
  • Do not try to peek at rehearsals. It is distracting for the participants, and they want to surprise you on opening night!
  • Check emails and posted schedules for exact rehearsal times. They will be adjusted as needed, and different ensemble groups may have different schedules.
  • If your actor is called for extended Saturday rehearsals (specialty and some dance roles – up to 6:00pm), these are mandatory in addition to regular Saturday and Sunday rehearsal hours.

At the theater

  • Tech Week is tough on the kids. Plan ahead; kids may be able to do homework ahead of time if they let their teachers know.
  • Remind your actor there is absolutely no eating, drinking, or gum chewing in the theater. This goes for parents as well!
  • Help your actor arrive 5 minutes before call time. Allow time for the walk from the parking lot!
    Ensure that your actor arrives ready to begin rehearsal, with makeup and costume on if required.
  • Provide your actor with a bin for their costumes; they will be transporting their costumes to and from the theater each day.
  • Note: All performances (including both preview shows) are mandatory for all participants.


  • Each family is asked to procure a raffle prize. This may be donated by the family themselves, or they may solicit donations from local businesses.
  • Help your actor provide a bio when requested. Please do not make the bio committee hound you.
  • Actor must stay at Strike until the actors are dismissed. Actors will help with house & backstage cleanup.

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A parent/guardian of each participant must attend the parent meeting offered during the first rehearsal. This is a one to two hour meeting for new and returning parents where we will welcome you to e.T.c., review what you and your student can expect, and go over your responsibilities. 

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e.T.c. relies on its volunteers to ensure a quality production. We need your skills, time, talents, enthusiasm, patience, knowledge, willingness to learn, and sense of humor! Each show our volunteers donate over a thousand hours on productions. We pride ourselves on being a family organization where mom, dad, siblings, grandparents, and friends build skills, make friends, and have fun while "doing theater."

If your youth is cast as an actor in a mainstage show, you will be required to assist through the run of the production on Pre-Show and In-Theater committees.

If you are an adult actor who is cast in a MAINSTAGE production, you are required to provide volunteer support or enlist volunteer support on your own behalf. We value the involvement of adult actors and find ways to help them fulfill the commitment.


  • The participation requirement is 30 volunteer hours per household. Each family should volunteer both pre-show and during the performance run. Family, friends, and other interested volunteers are welcome to work on the show alongside the parents while under the guidance of the costume and set designers. Younger volunteers must be supervised and able to follow instructions.
  • Families can purchase a volunteer requirement buy-out option for $500 during the online registration process if unable to volunteer 30 hours over the three month period. 
  • Families must sign up for volunteer shifts online (either via direct signupgenius link or Backstage Volunteer Hub). 
  • Note that hours worked on Mandatory Work Days (see below) do not count towards the 30 hour requirement.
  • Volunteers work at the e.T.c. Warehouse in San Carlos while the actors are in rehearsal. Tasks are broken down into steps from simple to complex skills for kids, teens, and adults. Volunteers are needed and encouraged to expand their skills into non-traditional areas. On occasion take-home projects may be available.
  • If a family does not fulfill the commitment, steps are taken in the following order: 1) a friendly mid-production phone call or email inquiring why the commitment is not being kept, 2) A buyout fee for hours not fulfilled  of $20 per hour will be added to your account.


In addition to your 30 volunteer hour commitment, each family is required to participate on NITTY GRITTY DAYS as well as LOAD-IN and STRIKE. These work days do not count toward the 30 volunteer hours.

  • Nitty Gritty Days are "all hands on deck work days" when we complete outstanding building, painting, and costume projects as well as publicity tasks. Each family will participate in 2 Nitty Gritty days, at least 4 hours. These days do not count toward the 30 volunteer hours. 
  • Each family will participate in Load-In and Strike. Load-In and Strike do not count toward the 30 volunteer hours. At least 30 adult volunteers are needed to help with Load-In and Strike.
  • During Load-In, jobs include packing, transporting, unloading, and assembling. 
  • During Strike, jobs include cleaning, clearing, sorting, packing, loading, dismantling, hauling, unpacking, etc. Cast and crew are needed to work the entire time until backstage, stage, and lobby are cleared, costumes are turned in and collected, and all equipment and supplies have been loaded, hauled, and unpacked at the e.T.c. Warehouse.
  • Families that purchase the volunteer buy-out option are not required to work on Mandatory Work Days.

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Participation in e.T.c. requires a high level of commitment on the part of the actor and their family. It is imperative that actors attend all scheduled rehearsals. Missing rehearsals negatively impacts the actors who are present and significantly slows the progress of the show. It is the actor’s responsibility to keep up with all rehearsal activities (blocking, lines, choreography, music, etc) regardless of conflicts and absences.

e.T.c.’s attendance policy has two components:  Conflicts and Other Absences


  1. e.T.c. must be informed of all conflicts for the entire season by the participant’s audition date. All conflicts (sports, camps, vacations, dance, band, social, church, and school related activities, etc.) should be detailed on the Conflicts Form. This information enables the Directors to develop a detailed rehearsal schedule based on the cast members who are and are not available on any given date.
  2. Conflicts that are submitted prior to the deadline will be approved and permitted as excused absences, provided that:
  1. They do not fall on the Mandatory rehearsal days, during Tech Week, or during any performance; and
  2. The actor acknowledges that the number of missed rehearsals due to conflicts may impact the level of his/her participation in the show (i.e. they may not be given a featured role, or participation in scenes may be limited).
  1. As you become aware of other conflicts, please submit the dates immediately to the Production Coordinator or Stage Manager for the show. Any conflicts submitted after the audition date must be submitted in writing or by email and approved by the Director at least two (2) weeks in advance, or it will be considered an unexcused absence. Approval is not guaranteed, but is subject to the Director’s discretion with respect to the established rehearsal schedule and could affect your your featured role and participation in scenes

Other Absences

  1. Other absences will be considered excused only for the following reasons:  actor’s illness, death in the family/funeral, or religious holiday. If your actor cannot attend rehearsal due to illness, the Production Coordinator or Stage Manager for the show must be notified at least two (2) hours prior to the scheduled rehearsal time via email.
  2. Punctuality is essential to the success of the show. Excessive tardies will be subject to consequences. Three tardies count as an unexcused absence.

Family Vacations

  1. Vacations are considered excused if:
  1. e.T.c. was informed of the vacation conflict not later than the participant’s audition date;
  2. The vacation doesn’t extend past mandatory rehearsal days; and
  3. The actor will miss no more than two (2) rehearsals
  1. Vacation time under any other circumstances will be considered unexcused. We strongly encourage families to schedule vacations after the end of the production.


  1. Actors will not be dismissed from the production due to attendance issues; however their participation in a show may be limited as a result of policy violations.
  2. Two (2) unexcused absences may result in:
  1. A meeting between parent, actor and Director to discuss the actor’s commitment and
  2. Forfeiture of the actor’s role, forfeiture of lines, and/or limitations on participation in scenes, depending on the established rehearsal schedule and subject to the Director’s discretion

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  • The costume fee is separate from the registration fee.
  • Costumes are provided by e.T.c., but are the financial responsibility of the cast member.
  • The costume charge is based on the complexity of the costume(s), but will never exceed $125 per cast member. Bay Area e.T.c. will cover any additional costume cost above that amount. 
  • The costume fee does not include shoes or make-up; cast members are responsible for providing their own shoes and makeup.
  • Costume bills will be distributed prior to the closing of the show, and must be paid by the closing performance.
  • If specifically asked to purchase, rent, or create a special costume, each cast member is only responsible for the first $125.00.
  • Students must agree to wear the full costume as directed by the costume designer and director; failure to do so will result in the student’s removal from the role. Costuming requirements will be forthcoming early in the production process. Guidelines and deadlines for costumes will be provided by the Costume Committee Chair as directed by the Costume Designer.
  • Make-up, costumes and shoes are the financial responsibility of each cast member based on the artistic team’s concept.

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Any registrant who drops from the program is entitled to a refund as follows:

  • 100% refund prior to Workshop
  • 75% refund prior to first Audition Day
  • NO REFUNDS will be given following auditions

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