Upstage Theatre Schools, a children’s theatre staple of South Pasadena for the past 22 years, is now offering small in-person backyard classes of 4 to 6 students. They started the classes in response to parents and kids wanting an in-person experience during this time of social distancing.
Upstage came to this decision after an eight month journey through developing an online curriculum complete with video performance. In March, Upstage Schools had to decide what to do when they were unable to do what they do best, perform in-person. They made the decision to move their classes and performances online. It required a lot of changes.
“We knew we had to do something new,” remembers Adrian Cohen, “But fortunately, we had already moved a lot of our administrative operations online via Zoom, so we weren’t starting from scratch.”
After developing an online curriculum and serving close to 350 students in online summer camps and fall musical theatre programs, Upstage has decided to add an in-person opportunity for kids to work with some of their favorite Upstage teachers in small group outdoor settings.
“We’re not replacing our online classes with our in-person classes,” says Gary Rolin, Production Manager for the South Pasadena area, “These are small pods of 4-6 kids, usually set up by parents so they can have a class safely in their own backyard or nearby park.
“Safety is a major consideration when it comes to creating a safe environment for students,” adds Gary, “Everyone wears a mask and stays socially distant, following all current community health guidelines. We work with parents to provide a teacher and additional kids from the area, if necessary. Teachers arrive not only with a mask and hand sanitizer, but with a willingness to have fun with their students.”
Upstage is operating multiple pods around the greater Los Angeles area, including SouthPasadena. – kids, parents and teachers love the in-person element, and as the community eventually transitions slowly to normal life, small in-person pods is a great way for kids to experience group activity again.
Parents interested in starting a pod should contact Julie Bank at firstname.lastname@example.org
In addition to the online classes and in-person pods, Upstage is collaborating with the South Pasadena Educational Foundation (SPEF) 5th Grade Online Musical production of Matilda, set to be ready by January 8th.
About Upstage Theatre Schools
Upstage Theatre Schools provide an opportunity for kids in the greater Los Angeles area to express themselves in a giving, supportive, and incredibly fun environment by teaching theatre skills that are used not only for the stage, but for life.
Information about Upstage can be found at upstageschools.com