Why choose Stage School Australia?
Stage School Australia (formerly the Children’s Performing Company of Australia) has been the leading provider of performing arts to children and youth aged 4 -18 in Victoria for over 30 years. In this time we have crafted what we believe to be the highest quality programmes for young people interested in developing their skills in this field.
What are the benefits of Stage School Australia?
Our programmes offer a host of benefits to participants, which extend well beyond that of simply teaching them performing arts skills. We pride ourselves on our ability to provide an environment where students can have fun while achieving social and personal development among a host of other benefits.
Does my son/daughter need to audition?
For Australian Boys Dance Academy entry is by trial class, which can happen up until Term 3. Call to book on 8199 8344.
For Beginners OnStage, Victorian Youth Theatre (VYT) and Young Australian Broadway Chorus entry is by audition. And, it’s fun! Auditions enable us to place kids in the most appropriate class for their age and level of ability. We cater for students across all skill levels, from those who have never tried the performing arts, to those who have had many years of experience. These sessions are also a great opportunity for parents to see our classes. Auditions are held three times a year, in February/March, June/July and November/December. See our auditions page for more information.
At what age can a student start?
The Australian Boys Dance Academy are boys-only classes for ages 6-18 years.
Beginners OnStage caters for children aged 5-7 years of age. The Beginners OnStage ~ Foundation program caters for pre-school children 4-5 years of age.
The Victorian Youth Theatre (VYT) and the Young Australian Broadway Chorus (YABC) accepts students aged between 8-18 years of age.
Students may join Beginners if they are 4 turning 5 within six months, and children graduate from Beginners to Juniors if they are turning 8 during the year. Age brackets are indicative only and may change without notice.
Do students require previous experience?
Many of our students join our classes exclusively to increase their self-confidence and social skills. No experience is required to join any of our programmes.
Do you cater for students with previous experience?
Yes. We cater for students with all levels of experience in the performing arts. During the initial audition, we encourage students who have had previous experience to participate to the best of their ability, allowing us to place them in the most suitable group.
Why would my son/daughter not be accepted?
We ensure that every student who trials or auditions has the ability to thrive in our classes. Our audition activities have been chosen because they are simple enough for inexperienced students to participate fully, yet allow more experienced students to demonstrate their training and ability. Download the information sheets outlining the criteria students will be working towards in all of our classes: Drama (VYT), Musical Theatre (YABC), Beginners OnStage. Occasionally we find that our classes are not a good fit for a student who has auditioned. A good example of this would be a student whose behaviour disrupts the learning of others or fails to follow instructions when given. Our commitment is to ensure that all students are given a fair and equal opportunity to succeed, this includes removing or not accepting students who would be highly disruptive to the learning of others. Assessments are based on participation in these exercises and the student’s willingness and aptitude to develop these skills in our classes.
Can my child request to be in the same class as their friends?
Class divisions are made strictly by birthdate. Over time we have found that this is the most equitable way to divide classes. Providing your child’s birthdate falls within the same bracket as his/her friend, they are at the same level ability, and there is space in the chosen class, we may be able to place friends in the same class. However, we cannot promise to accommodate friendship groups.
What commitment is involved for parents?
The biggest commitment for our parents is ensuring that their son/daughter arrives at rehearsals and other scheduled activities on time and are collected when they conclude. We would also ask that parents are supportive of their child’s commitment to the course.
How often do your students perform?
Australian Boys Dance Academy present low-key demonstrations which may be held in the rehearsal location or at a small theatre such as the Phoenix Theatre in Elwood. Beginners OnStage, YABC and VYT students perform twice annually in a fully staged theatre production at the end of each semester. The Young Australian Broadway Chorus also complete drama demonstrations at your local rehearsal venue throughout the year which family can attend.
Are there other performance opportunities?
Yes. We are incredibly proud of the additional performing opportunities we offer our students. From public performances, local events, additional productions and tours, we try to extend as many performing opportunities as possible. For a full list of additional local, interstate and international performances please see our touring & events page.
Are the performances compulsory?
Yes, performances are compulsory. Rehearsals are geared towards preparing a piece for the end of semester performance and all students are required to take part. Should a student be unable to attend a performance, they will be required to submit an apology four weeks in advance.
Where are the performances held?
Performances for the Young Australian Broadway Chorus are held at the National Theatre in St Kilda. Performances for both the Victorian Youth Theatre and the Beginners OnStage are held at the Union Theatre in Parkville.
What sort of songs and plays will my child perform?
Our repertoire is exciting and varied across all our programmes. No two semesters are the same. The Young Australian Broadway Chorus regularly features songs from well-known touring musicals. The Victorian Youth Theatre repertoire ranges from the classics to works written especially for us by local artists. The Beginners OnStage repertoire features an assortment of familiar children’s songs from TV, movies and storybooks.
Can I take photos or videos of the performances?
Sorry, but no. Stage School Australia appreciates that part of the exciting experience of performing on stage is the memories these events create for young people. We understand how important it is for families to have a memento, and have worked hard to balance providing access to high-quality photos for all the shows with privacy, copyright and safety concerns. A&R Coates Event Photography provides photography of the YABC, VYT and Beginners OnStage shows and it is important that access to these photos of the children are then only accessible through the A&R Coates website which requires a login and password, so for safety only people who have a relationship with Stage School Australia will have received this. Photography of the shows is a huge undertaking covering up to 40 separate performances over 3 full weeks, which is also the reason why we are unable to offer DVDs of the performances, (in addition to copyright restrictions for some of the repertoire) as it would not be feasible to create a high-quality result at a price that families would be prepared to pay.
What are the age ranges and how many students are in each class?
Where possible, there is no more than a two-year age range between the oldest and youngest in a class. It varies depending on the class type and performing level. On average the Young Australian Broadway Chorus class size is between 18-20 but can increase slightly at an advanced level. The Victorian Youth Theatre and Beginners OnStage class sizes will generally have no more than 18 students.
What happens in rehearsals?
The Young Australian Broadway Chorus and Beginners OnStage have their rehearsals split into three segments including singing, dancing and drama. Specialist rehearsal directors take students for each discipline. More information can be found in YABC course information and Beginners OnStage course information.
The Victorian Youth Theatre start rehearsal with a fun-warm up that has been selected to relate to the skills work to follow. The majority of the rehearsal is then based around developing students’ core skills. More information can be found in VYT course information.
Who are your teachers?
Our teachers are all industry professionals from a wide variety of backgrounds. From experienced and working actors to singers, leading choreographers and directors, our staff brings the best of the performing arts industry direct to our rehearsals. Given our 30-year history, some are even past students who have gone on to be successful in their chosen field!
Additionally, all staff have a current Working with Children Check.
What is the duration of weekly classes?
Class length varies depending on the programme and level at which a student is at. Beginners and training level group classes are between one and a half to two and a half hours in duration, while advanced performing levels may extend up to three hours.
Can we change venues or programmes halfway through a semester?
Yes, as long as there are a suitable class and space available at the venue.
Where are your venues located?
We have venues located across Melbourne, including Berwick, Brighton, Brunswick, Bundoora, Camberwell, Cheltenham, Croydon, Epping, Essendon, Frankston, Hawthorn, Hoppers Crossing, Mornington, Mount Waverley, Ringwood, Taylors Lakes, Templestowe, Thornbury, Wantirna and Williamstown. See locations for more information.
What are Stage School Australia’s levels?
Within the Victorian Youth Theatre and the Young Australian Broadway Chorus, we offer a developmental pathway for students to follow. See YABC course information and VYT course information for more details.
Can a student progress into more challenging classes?
In the Young Australian Broadway Chorus and the Victorian Youth Theatre, there is a clear developmental pathway for students to progress as their skills develop and they are promoted to more advanced classes. See YABC course information and VYT course information for more details. Beginners OnStage students can progress into either the Young Australian Broadway Chorus or the Victorian Youth Theatre once they are old enough.
How do YABC and VYT students get a promotion?
Students are assessed on their progress in the course and eligibility to reach the next level in the hierarchy. This assessment occurs internally by our teaching staff over a semester. Key areas we look at include, performance confidence, energy, skills, rehearsal technique and attendance. Students will always be placed in an appropriate class for their age and level of ability. See YABC course information and VYT course information for more details.
Are there any additional commitments?
Yes, depending on your programme. Students in the Young Australian Broadway Chorus are required to attend up to two workshops per semester depending on their level in the hierarchy. All students are required to attend and perform in both the mid and end of year performances.
Can parents attend rehearsals?
Parents are welcome to attend the initial audition session, which is designed to give an insight into how classes are run, however, they are not able to attend trial classes or weekly rehearsals. Why? A lot of our students come to us for personal development and to build confidence when parents are present it can impede this by distracting students, shifting their focus and changing their behaviour. It is also used to maintain a strict security policy as all our teachers have a Working with Children Check, something we cannot verify for each parent.
Costumes & Uniform
Is there a uniform?
Yes. All students will require performance and rehearsal t-shirt. Additionally, each programme requires a slight variation in rehearsal and performance shoes/trousers. Please see YABC course information, VYT course information, Beginners OnStage course information or Boys Dance Academy course information for more details.
Does Stage School Australia supply costumes?
Yes, we supply all the performance costumes. This is included as part of our annual fee at no extra cost. Parents are not required to contribute to this department!
Can we hire your costumes?
We offer costume hire for concerts, theatre productions, and school shows – minimum of 20 costumes. We do not do individual fancy dress. Please see our costume hire page for more information.
Fees & Payment
What are the fees involved?
Australian Boys Dance Academy fees are pro-rated based on the date of joining. 20% discount available for students enrolled in other Stage School programs.
Beginners OnStage, YABC and VYT fees are calculated on an annual basis and vary depending on the programme chosen and the length of rehearsals. Annual fees begin at $750 (Foundation level) and then range from $1,460 to $1,590 (Beginners OnStage to Senior Training Level). Performing and Advance Performing Levels cost more and are by invitation only. If you join at the mid year point fees are pro-rated to 55% (there are more weeks in Semester Two). All fees include weekly rehearsals, workshops and performance costumes. 10% sibling discount available for multiple children enrolled (student at the highest level/fees pay full price and subsequent students receive the discount).
Fees quoted are for 2020 which are subject to change.
Do you offer payment plans?
We have a range of payment options: you can pay fees on a monthly basis, or everything up front. There is a one-off admin fee for members paying monthly.
Are there any additional costs?
The only additional cost for is a $27.50 rehearsal and performance T-shirt. Young Australian Broadway Chorus and Beginners OnStage require dance shoes and dance pants which can be obtained at department stores or specialist dance stores. The mid and end of year performances are ticketed.
What if my child does not want to continue?
If for any reason a child doesn’t want to continue they may withdraw from their programme at any time. In accordance with our terms and conditions, an appropriate refund will be given based on how far through the semester a withdrawal is made. For more information please don’t hesitate to contact head office on (03) 8199 8344.