ORGANIZATION AND PROGRAM
Metropolitan Educational Theatre Network (MET2) is a non-profit educational organization committed to providing young people with the unique opportunity to be active participants in the dramatic process as actors, singers, and dancers.
The program is distinct from adult theatre in motivation, presentation, and interpretation. It grows out of a desire to delight and instruct in beneficial ways that strive to enhance a child’s view of self and his or her ability to relate effectively to others. The instruction is based on a thorough understanding of the child’s mind, emotions, and the mastery of techniques which seek to give each student positive and unforgettable experiences.
Mr. Alex H. Urban, the organization’s founder, has designed a program which provides children with high quality creative learning experiences in the theatre arts. These experiences contribute to personal growth and self-confidence, stimulate interest in others, encourage meaningful group relationships, and strengthen skills in listening, speaking, observation, and body coordination. The program builds on children’s vast natural abilities by asking them to use their creative energies and imaginations.
Weekly workshops and rehearsals build a spirit of confidence and cooperation within the theatrical setting. Children learn their own strengths and those of their fellow actors through self-expression, creative dramatics, theatre games, musicality, and choreographed movement. They find they have “nothing to fear but fear itself” in the supportive group environment. Instruction is based on the commitment to building each participant’s self-confidence while working together in a group environment. It includes improvisation, pantomime, voice projection, stage movement, acting, singing, and dancing. By production time, all these elements come together in a Broadway-style musical at a standard which consistently receives enthusiastic reviews.
Everyone who registers and completes the workshops and rehearsals is assured a role on stage in production performances. Production casts have varied from 100 to 300 young people ranging in grades from kindergarten to the college level, including many parents and older relatives of the young people in the cast. The company has performed in high school, college, community, and dinner theatres, large outdoor tents, and various professional theatrical venues throughout California, New York, Moscow, London, Paris, Australia, and New Zealand for over thirty years.
- To provide students of all ages with exceptional experiences in educational theatre by providing instruction in improvisation, pantomime, voice projection, stage movement, acting, singing, dancing, and audition techniques.
- To encourage and promote self-respect, self-confidence, discipline, awareness, imagination, creativity, determination, social skills, memorization techniques, motor skills, and coordination through creative dramatics and, in doing so, enhance each student’s self-esteem, grace, and poise, both on stage and off.
- To offer live theatrical performances to local educational institutions and community groups in order to provide them with a unique experience in the arts which they may not otherwise receive and to relate these performances to education by providing all teachers with a curriculum based teaching packet.
- To provide public performances intended to promote Metropolitan Educational Theatre Network and provide the local community with the opportunity to support young people in the arts.
- To create successful experiences for each child in order to support their unique talents and contributions.
- To build on the child’s natural ability to create by consistently requiring them to utilize their dreams and imagination.
- To encourage the development of each child’s artistic potential and stimulate their creative expression.
- To develop every child’s level of self-confidence in order for them to have the ability to interact effectively with others and promote the exchange of ideas and concepts.
- To increase each child’s ability to communicate effectively, both verbally and as a listener, sensitive to what others have to express.
- To strengthen social values and increase group interaction skills.
- To set standards of good speech and diction.
- To enhance body coordination and motor skills and further develop the brain to body connection.
- To develop an interest in and understanding of theatre as an art form, both as an active participant and as an engaged observer.
- To encourage new interests, hobbies, and productive use of leisure time.
- To draw together children with various abilities from many cultural and ethnic backgrounds in order to achieve a rich mixture of participation and encourage acceptance.
- To celebrate the uniqueness and individuality of every student, and create a tolerant and accepting environment.
- To honor the creative abilities of young people in the community.
- To encourage children to not accept mediocrity, but instead to strive to be the best they can possibly be and work to their fullest potential. To convince them to always give their all in everything they do, both onstage and off, because they are worthy of the very best.
- To bring beauty and laughter into lives, particularly to those who might otherwise have little of it.
GENERAL PHILOSOPHIES AND RULES
- Be proud of who you are and what you have done. Carry yourself with dignity and pride. You deserve it!
- Treat your fellow actors with respect and care. You are part of an ensemble, which is like being on a team. Gossip, sniping, jealous behavior, and attitude make the director unhappy.
- School is important. Keep up your grade average and be nice to your teacher.
- Never talk back to the director, choreographer, pianist, your mother, your father, your grandparents, or your pets.
- The director will make role assignments. Their casting decisions are final.
- Your parents pay for costumes. We try very hard to keep costs low. Please treat your costumes and belongings with great care.
- Attendance is important. We understand various schedules and things planned in your calendars, but please try your best to attend as many rehearsals as possible.
- Please be on time and come into rehearsal quietly and ready to work. Of course we understand extenuating circumstances, but our general philosophy is you should strive to be punctual and on time. You will often here us say: Early is on time, on time is late, and late is unacceptable. Someday your future employer will appreciate this.
- Be polite and respectful to the staff, volunteers, and your peers.
- No gum, food, or drinks are allowed in rehearsals.
- Don’t talk when the director, choreographer, or musical director is speaking. If you have something to say, please raise your hand quietly and patiently.
- Give your very best at all times during workshops and rehearsals. Relax, enjoy, and take a chance. Share your wonderful self!
- Check that you have not left anything in the rehearsal hall. The director once found a pair of jeans and a pair of tennis shoes. We hope the owner got home without catching cold!
- FOCUS, listen, don’t talk out of turn, and follow directions.
GENERAL PHILOSOPHIES AND RULES
FOR FAMILIES OF PARTICIPANTS
- We do our very best to keep our program fees affordable. Therefore, our program relies on the support of parents, relatives, and friends who fundraise and purchase tickets to see performances. Unlike many other extracurricular activities, we do not make fundraising or ticket sales mandatory. However, we encourage you to please participate in some of our efforts to maintain the quality of work we produce for our students and your children.
- Rehearsal may sometimes run up to 15 minutes overtime. If your child was playing in a sports game, we doubt you would pull your child out of a game that had run into overtime. If possible, please allow us to finish working with your children. And hey, we won’t even charge you extra for the additional training time!
- Please remember to read weekly announcements, handouts, and emails carefully. You will find important updates and helpful information in these. We are sometimes required to change rehearsal times or facilities. We try very hard to keep you posted on changes and activities. If you have any questions, please call the local voicemail number or speak to a parent volunteer at any rehearsal. If you miss a rehearsal date where new information was distributed, it is your responsibility to get that information. You’ll always be told in advance when the new schedule dates will occur.
- It is our policy to allow parents to observe during registration so they may understand the program better. After that, rehearsals are closed to everyone but cast and staff. We understand you would like the opportunity to watch your child rehearse. However, after many years of doing this, we have found in our experience their focus and participation with us during rehearsal is much better without an eager audience.
- Older family members may enroll, train, sing, dance, and act with their children. The registration fee for parents is the same as for children. Several hundred parents have enjoyed this unique opportunity in our program.
- It is very important you bring your child, on time, to as many rehearsals as possible. It is difficult for the cast and staff when attendance is inconsistent or numerous people are absent. In many instances students rely on each other for their production numbers, whether they are learning a partner dance, have become accustomed to standing next to a particular person in line, or have to sing a vocal line together. Additionally, since we only rehearse once a week, each week we learn new material. It is a challenge to proceed with our lesson plans when many are absent. So unless absolutely necessary, we encourage you to attend all rehearsals. However, if your child is going to be absent, please email us or leave a message on our voicemail. We worry about you if you don’t show up!