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The Crystal Theatre Method

“We are often asked “How can you possibly accomplish so much in such a short time?” 12 –14 two hour sessions and a dress rehearsal, produce a full length musical with singing, dancing and acting. The answer is primarily because our students attend voluntarily, indeed, that’s our one cardinal rule –voluntary attendance. Second, the answer is the Crystal Theater method, a teaching code based on our practical experience and philosophy.

  1. Love and kindness. No power-tripping allowed. The children are our clients and we want them to come back. Indeed, that’s our definition of our success. We never utter a contrary word, nor scold. Our students are guided and nurtured with great care and consideration throughout the process.

  2. Keep them busy. We are always astonished by how much and how fast the children can learn. The hard part is keeping them engaged at a rate that fully occupies their attention. Often the musical director is teaching songs in one room, the choreographer teaching dance moves in another, and an intern coaching lines or scenes in still another.

  3. We make music files of all the songs in the show available to the students. This way the students can listen on their own time, often in the car, which makes learning the songs easy, especially since the kids like them.

  4. Auditions. On day one, the students read the script out loud and are taught a few songs. Then they are asked to audition openly to the group (the children are there because they want to perform). The best performers become obvious to the group. This eliminates the politics.

  5. Throughout the rehearsal process, students are asked to perform what they have learnedfor the rest of the group. This tends to cement the learning process and avoids the quality problems which arise from short term cramming.

  6. Let go. Once someone asked “Who’s doing refreshments”…our answer? “You are.” If someone wants to help, let them.This seems obvious but .....generally group standards develop where the best performers win the most admiration. The newer students are spurred to develop their talents to the best of their abilities as well. During the process, they all learn to conquer their fears, face an audience and present their roles and themselves. We often like to say, “We’re in the happiness business” and sometimes, our theater is the happiest place on earth.”

                            - Mariner Pezza, co-founder of Crystal Theatre, Inc.

Tony-award winning producer Ben Simpson and Tony-award nominated actor Robin DeJesus return to Crystal Theatre for a benefit concert

Tony-award winning producer Ben Simpson and Tony-award nominated actor Robin DeJesus return to Crystal Theatre for a benefit concert

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