Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Does my child need previous experience in the performing arts to take part in SPARC’s programming?
A: Not at all! SPARC’s classes, camps, workshops, and audition-based programs are ideally suited for students with all levels of theatrical experience. Students with prior involvement will be challenged to expand their skills, and new students will find that SPARC is a fun, easygoing first exposure to the performing arts.
Q: What’s the deadline to register for a class or camp?
A: SPARC’s programs don’t actually have a registration deadline! In some circumstances, we are even happy to accept new students shortly after a program has started. However, please keep in mind that many of SPARC’s offerings do sell out. Once spots in those programs are gone, students will be added to a wait list, so try not to wait too long!
Q: Are SPARC’s classes open to observation?
A: SPARC classes are closed to observation. We’ve found that students are better able to foster new friendships, focus, and freely explore without guests and family members in the classroom.
Q: What payment options are available?
A: SPARC accepts payment via credit card, check, or cash. Payment plans and financial aid are available. Please note that there is a deadline to apply for financial assistance. This deadline is usually about one month before the start of fall and winter classes and about two months from the start of summer camps. Click here to read more information about the current term’s financial aid timeline.
SPARC offers automated payment plans for any program that costs $100 or more. Payment plan details are outlined in each eligible program’s description.
We can also accept cash or checks. Cash should be brought in person, and checks should be mailed to SPARC at 2106 N. Hamilton Street, Richmond, VA 23230
Q: What performance opportunities are available to my student at SPARC?
A: All of SPARC’s classes and camps end in a final sharing performance, open to family and friends! Students in middle and high school are also eligible to audition for SPARC’s plays and musicals.
Audition-Based Programming Questions
Q: What kind of audition-based programming does SPARC offer?
A: SPARC produces seven plays or musicals each year! Two shows are staged in the fall and spring, and three shows take place over the summer. Students in 6th through 12th grades are eligible to audition for these programs. (And rising 5th graders are eligible to auditions for one of our summer shows, too!)
Our shows are offered as part of either SPARC’s Spotlight or Studio production series. Spotlight shows are open to students in 6th through 12th grades; Studio shows are for students in 8th through 12th grades. The Spotlight Series is presented within a more traditional approach to staging. These shows are comprised of a larger cast of students and are fully produced with a detailed set, lighting, costume, and sound design. The Studio Series strips away most of those production elements. Instead, it focuses on offering a smaller cast the opportunity to delve into a more intense process from an acting and character development perspective. Both the Spotlight and Studio Series shows are performed in SPARC’s Sara Belle November Theatre. Students enjoy the opportunity to share their work with family, friends, and the larger public!
SPARC also holds auditions in the spring for an elite Touring Ensemble, comprised of 8th through 12th graders. These students share lengthy musical theatre revue-style performances at many private and public events around Richmond throughout the course of the year!
Q: Does my student need to be enrolled in one of SPARC’s training classes in order to audition for a show?
A: No, SPARC does not require students to be enrolled in any additional SPARC class (or have taken one in the past!) in order to be eligible to audition for a show. Students with all backgrounds and levels of experience in the performing arts are welcome to audition. We always love to see new faces!
Q: What does SPARC require at auditions?
A: Though specific requirements may vary, students should plan to prepare 32 bars of a musical theatre song or a one-minute monologue. Exact details on how to prepare for auditions will be posted to this page with each new round of auditions.
Q: What does it cost to be involved in a production at SPARC?
A: SPARC does not have an audition fee. However, there is a cost associated with participating in a show after a student is cast, as the rehearsal process is an enriched educational experience. That fee varies by program, and it covers all costs. There is no additional cost or fee for costumes. Families are also welcome to apply for financial assistance or create a payment plan to help with the cost of participation in one of SPARC’s productions.
Q: How are families involved in the production process at SPARC?
A: SPARC doesn’t require families to contribute to the production process for any of our shows! We hire professional technical artists and designers to create the magic that brings our shows to life. If family members would like to volunteer somehow, they’re welcome to serve as ushers at a performance of their choice.