Dear Gemini Families,
I wanted to take a moment to acknowledge the changes happening in Allegheny County pertaining to new Covid-19 cases and recommendations for group-based activities. I know many people may have concerns with sending their children and teens to programs such as ours at this time. We want to ensure that our policies and rules remain intact this summer, as they were created for our "Yellow Phase" opening.
We are only allowing a maximum group size of 12 students per summer workshop session. Apart from our age 4-6 camp group in August, which has morning, afternoon, or all-day options, all our remaining camp weeks are All-Day workshops (9:00-4:00) with only one show at the end of the week. This means the students and teachers will be consistent for the entire day with no changeover of staff or students at the noon break. With our theater space being about 6000 SF with seating retracted, (which it is remaining so for the entire summer), we have almost three times the amount of working/movement space compared to when we use the stage on it's own. This has made marking spots for theater games and performance easy, and students in all camps this summer have quickly adapted to this. (In fact, the camp shows have been really fabulous, and we think it may be because the kids are getting a bit of time to interact with friends, old and new.)
Masks must be worn in the Ryan Arts facility at all times. If a student is unable to keep their mask on, we have had much success in still doing our activities through the week in a safe manner. Students have been performing without masks, but given the current recommendations, we will be encouraging using them for performance. Again, any student where the mask poses issues (medical or otherwise), we will allow them to refrain from using them, as needed, to help them get through their camp day. Hand sanitizer is always available as are disposable masks, if needed. Hand-washing is being done every thirty minutes and as needed through-out the camp day.
Parents may walk their children in for drop-off and enter for pick-up, but they must remain in the outer lobby/library area (which is currently closed for curbside pick up only) until their child or children are brought out. On the first day, parents will be asked to sign their registration form, but a staff member will handle all sign-in/sign-out to reduce sharing of pens, etc. Temperatures will be taken of every student upon arrival. Temperatures will be taken of all audience members for show day before being permitted into the theater. Though it may change weekly, every student will be permitted ONE (1) audience member to see the show. We will continue recording shows and sharing them via Dropbox with a password to you. You may also request a DVD be mailed to your family. If the County makes changes to group gatherings, we can go back to allowing 2 - 3 family members in the performance audience.
We appreciate everyone's understanding and cooperation as we navigate through this summer. We have received nothing but positive feedback from families who have already attended, so we are proud and grateful to be able to provide this program to you. If you have further questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dear Gemini Summer Workshop Families,
I wanted to take a few moments to reach out to you and give an update for our plans this summer in regard to our Summer Theater Workshops. I know so many families are eagerly waiting for the day they can start to do some more activities with their kids and friends. After looking at all requirements and recommendations of the CDC in regard to businesses with youth programs or child care, and given that Allegheny County has currently been approved to begin opening certain businesses, I am happy to report Gemini Theater will hold workshops this summer, though with changes in place to ensure the health and safety of our students, teachers, and the families of both.
We normally allow a maximum of 18 students in a workshop group (with some weeks having up to 23 when allowed). For Summer 2020, we will be closing enrollments at 12 students so with our teaching staff and interns, the group size will never be above 16-18 people in the workshop space. If the state and county make updates to group size restrictions (higher or lower), we will address any changes as soon as possible. These changes may include moving students to another workshop week or cancelling a week altogether.
We will be requiring all students and staff to wear masks. Again, if this recommendation is lifted, we will allow it to be optional for families, though we would still encourage the use of them. We know that all of you have concerns regarding the current situation with this virus, and we want you to know we are here to address them and make Gemini a safe place to be this summer. We know how important our workshops have been to so many of our families, and we feel this year may be needed more than ever for all of the children and teens who attend.
We will always have supplies for hand sanitizing, hand-washing, as well as cleaning supplies to do consistent cleaning to the theater space during the day. We will also consolidate activities to remain only in theater and dressing room areas, rather than using multiple rooms throughout building, as in past. That being said, we will be cancelling the morning session for the week of July 20 (ages 4 – 6) since our Teen Workshop is running at the same time. Normally, we can hold both and use multiple spaces. In the interest of health and safety, we feel it best to not double our workshop weeks this summer in this fashion. Families enrolled in the Age 4-6 workshop for that week have been notified and will have the option to move workshop weeks or cancel with a full refund.
We will continue to provide snack during the day as we have in the past with all snacks being individually wrapped items and juices/water. Everything will be wiped down upon purchase and be passed out safely. We welcome students to provide their own snacks, if they like, especially if they have food allergies and sensitivities. Though we normally can offer items for almost all needs, packaging may make that more difficult for more specialized snack items.
We will be marking the stage to help with movement and social distancing guidelines. Luckily, the stage area is large enough that we can easily create a show and have fun without overcrowding our actors. Our activities will be adjusted so theater games and warm-ups are just as creative, fun, and educational for the students.
We know that the toughest challenge will be the final performance day. We always welcome an audience of family and friends with no limits on who comes to support our young actors. With restrictions still in place regarding group gatherings, it will be impossible to have a large audience for workshop shows. We are hopeful, by June 15, we will be able to allow each student two family members to attend their show. We will be recording performances and will edit into a video format that we can then send to families to share with those who were unable to attend. We do have the capabilities to live stream the show, but it would have to be in a public format, which we do not desire since privacy of the youth who attend is so important to us. We are talking with some people who are well-versed in this kind of technology, so it may be we can set up a private live stream that you can then invite friends and family to watch on the show day. Again, we are hopeful that Allegheny County will have more openings by mid-June.
We normally provide most costumes for the kids during our workshop week. We still plan on doing that, but we will be doing extra laundering of items to ensure the safety of their use. Though students are welcome to provide a costume from home, we will ALWAYS remind them that buying a costume is NOT expected. Our goal is how to create something from our imaginations, so making a costume during the workshop is what we encourage.
Though we hope every one of our current students stay enrolled, we understand that it may not be possible for your family to participate in a Gemini Workshop this year. We will honor full refunds of cancelled workshops up to 14 days before your start date. After that, a $25 cancellation fee will be deducted from refunds. This fee is to help support our teachers since we do want to ensure our teachers are paid as contracted for their amazing efforts and time.
If a student, or a member of your family, is not feeling well, we will request that they change to a different week or cancel altogether. On our end, teachers will be under the same policy. We know that it is so frustrating to miss class for any reason, but health comes first.
With any cancellation, we are grateful to anyone who would like to credit their tuition to Fall/Spring Acting Classes, Tickets, or even Summer 2021 workshops. We are also thankful to those who may chose to donate a portion or all of their tuition to Gemini during this time.
I know this is all still so strange and new for all of us. It is worrisome not knowing what the future holds over the next year, and that worry affects us in our business and personal lives. I am so proud of my staff, artists, and volunteers for helping to keep "Gemini On the Go" in social media as well as offering ideas for programs that will be educational and fun for kids during this time. I feel we are very lucky at Gemini that our workshop program is one that can have flexibility to adjust it to keep it open for our families. I am happy to answer any questions you may have as you look toward your summer, and I will do my best to accommodate your needs!
(Early Bird Discounts End August 31st. Registrations for Cash, Check, Payment Plans must be made in full by August 31st to retain Early Bird Discounts. Discounts do not apply to Tuition Assistance registrations and scholarships are based on full workshop pricing. Cash, Check, Payment Plans and Tuition Assistance registrations must pay a non-refundable $50 deposit to secure workshop registration.)
What will the think of next? Enroll now and find out!
Creative Fun! Our 5-day workshops provide hands-on experience in a real theater. Under the guidance of theater professionals, each group creates, writes, produces, and performs their show on the last day.
This is by far the BEST theater program for children in the Pittsburgh area! My daughter enjoyed every minute of summer camp and gained so much confidence along the way while learning about the various elements of the theater. Kudos!
Early Bird Discounts end August 31st. Registrations for Cash, Check, Payment Plans must be made in full by August 31st to retain Early Bird Discounts. Discounts do not apply to Tuition Assistance registrations and scholarships are based on full workshop pricing. Cash, Check, Payment Plans and Tuition Assistance registrations must pay a non-refundable $50 deposit to secure workshop registration.
Sto-Rox Community Discount always available! Contact Jill Jeffrey for details.
Looking for the perfect way to channel your little one’s creative energy? In this action-packed workshop, our youngest actors rehearse and perform a short play that they help to create from their own imaginations! This highly structured workshop, geared for young attention spans, includes a variety of exciting, fun-filled activities: puppet, costume, scenery and prop-making, theater games, music, and movement. While having a great time, your child will learn to listen, follow directions, remember, focus, accomplish objectives, take turns, work with others in a group situation, compromise, perform in front of an audience, and use the imagination.
Does your son or daughter like to pretend? This moderately structured workshop will unlock your child’s creativity and take him/her on a week-long adventure into the imagination! Young actors choose their own characters and put them all together into an original story, which they write, rehearse and perform as a mini play on the last day of the workshop. While having fun and making new friends, your child will improve his/her ability to listen, follow directions, compose a story, understand conflict & resolution, develop a character, accomplish an objective, collaborate with peers, perform in front of an audience, and use the imagination.
Does your teen have a creative mind that enjoys bringing ideas to life? This exciting workshop will let his/her imagination soar to new heights! Moderately structured, this workshop allows the aspiring writer/actor/director creative freedom to develop an original production emphasizing script writing, character development, advanced theater games and improvisation.
Is your teen ready to not just help write a show, but learn the art of creative collaboration in the arts? During this special two-week workshop, students will participate in advanced creative writing activities to develop and strengthen their playwrighting skills. With the guidance of our teachers, they will spend their first week participating in various creative writing activities, as well as engaging in improvisation games and formats. In addition, we will bring in guest artists to talk about their experiences working as theater professionals. Their focus will be creating a cohesive script and learning how to make realistic characters and situations, even when a plot may be absurd or abstract.
The second week of this workshop will encompass rehearsing the final script, learning how to make edits and fixes when the script does not always come to life on stage. Students will work on costumes, props, and technical needs, ensuring that their performance meets the goals set during the writing process. While we encourage that all students play in active role in the show, we are always open to allowing someone who may be more interested in the creative process but not acting to become the student stage manager or technical assistant for the final show.
All-Day Workshop from 9am - 4pm, Monday through Friday. Performance will be Friday at 7:00pm
Students should provide their own lunch. Gemini Theater will provide dinner for students on the final day of workshop before the performance. This workshop has limited spaces, and we filled up last year, so we recommend enrolling early!
The Scholarship and Tuition Assistance Fund is made possible by generous support from
We do our best to give every child an opportunity to participate in our assistance program.
Applications for Tuition Assistance for Acting Classes and Summer Workshops are processed online during the registration process. To apply, register your child for the class you are interested in attending and select “Applying for Tuition Assistance” and complete the form. Please note that incomplete applications will delay your request.
Payment plans are available upon registration. A deposit of $50 is required during registration and payment plan option.
This service allows a parent the convenience of a staff member being at the theater to help accommodate your normal work schedule. Normal morning drop-off is 8:45 – 9:00 a.m. and normal afternoon pick-up is 4:00 p.m.
For this special service we offer: earliest drop-off time of 7:30 am and latest pick-up time of 6:00 pm. Please note: morning ONLY students do not have a late pick-up option and afternoon ONLY students do not have early drop-off option as our staff and teachers are in workshops during those times.
Fees are charged per family (up to two children) – no discounts are permitted for this service. You must notify the Gemini Theater two (2) weeks before your workshop week if you need this service to ensure staff availability. Regular staff hours are 8:30 – 4:30, so we schedule this service as needed.
Please note that scheduling an early drop off prior to 8:15 a.m. and failing to arrive (without notice) will result in possible cancellation of service.
Payment is due when service is requested and confirmed. Please notify the Gemini Theater as soon as possible of changes to your service so staff schedule can be adjusted accordingly.
Students are encouraged to bring books, games, or other activities they enjoy to help make their extra time with us fun. Because the theater has projection capabilities, we may show a movie once or twice during week, after workshop. We only use Netflix Family for videos.
In the event you choose to cancel and withdraw your child from a Gemini Summer Workshop, the following fees apply:
A student withdrawn after attending one or more days of workshop will not be issued a refund. Gemini Theater reserves the right to change these policies based on individual circumstance. Gemini Theater may cancel a workshop week at any time. In the event Gemini Theater cancels a workshop week, students will be offered a new date to attend or a refund/credit for their workshop week. Special circumstances where a refund may not be issued include loss of workshop day due to severe weather conditions causing Gemini Theater to shut down and close temporarily.
COVID-19 UPDATE: We understand the health and safety of your family is important to you. We recognize that your summer plans may need to change due to the risk of exposure to your child or another family member, who have compromised immune systems or other health issues. If you need to cancel you summer workshop, we will not issue cancellation fees for sessions cancelled up to two weeks in advance. All other cancellations (13 days or less) will incur a $25 fee to help offset costs for contracted teachers and materials purchased for workshop week. We appreciate the opportunity to credit your tuition for another class or workshop session in the summer of 2021, but we will offer refunds if requested. If you would like a portion of your tuition donated to Gemini Theater, we welcome the gift and thank you for your generosity.