General FAQs

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What is Children’s Performing Arts (CPA)?

Children’s Performing Arts (CPA) is a structured theater arts education program for children.

Our mission is to provide a platform to explore the world of artistic expression for children and their community. We do this by providing quality educational, theatrical experiences, which enhance children’s self confidence, personal growth, group collaboration and leadership skills, while building community partnerships.

​In order for our programs to feel successful, every child should experience personal growth within the range of skills we teach. We work as a team to layer skills and work collaboratively to enrich each child’s artistic development. Our goal is that every child feels a part of the whole production and that each child learns that every role within a production is important. In addition, we want our students to take the communication skills, task commitment, discipline, and self confidence gained from our program and apply it to their daily life at home, at school, and within their community. These skills enrich the lives of the child, their families, and their communities.

Want to learn more? Click HERE!

Does my child have to have any prior experience to join Children’s Performing Arts?

No. Children’s Performing Arts strongly believes that every child should have the opportunity to grow within the arts, and works with children at any skill level. Every child who registers is accepted.

Where do you hold programs?

Our offices are based in White Bear Lake at the Hanifl Performing Arts Center. We hold programs in various locations – many at the Hanifl Performing Arts Center, but we also offer camps and productions at Forest Lake High School and Lakes International Language Academy. For more information on a program check out the program guide or registration page for that program.

Isn’t the Hanifl Performing Arts Center also the location for Lakeshore Players Theatre?

Yes! We share space with Lakeshore Players Theatre at the Hanifl Performing Arts Center. We, however, are two separate businesses.

Why do you require background checks?

Every year, CPA relies on its volunteers to assist with our programs. Our volunteers fulfill roles as chaperones, costume and stage assistants and so much more. We are so fortunate to have parent volunteers and their vital contribution to CPA’s success. We could not do what we do without you. CPA takes seriously its commitment to promoting a safe, secure and welcoming environment for our young participants. All volunteers (with the exception of our Junior Directors) are required to complete a CONFIDENTIAL background check. The ultimate goal is to verify identity and prevent unidentified individuals from entering rehearsal practices or jeopardizing a child’s safety. The safety of the children enrolled in our program is of the highest priority to us!

Cost for background checks is $17.00 each and can be completed using the steps below:

  • Visit us at: Sterling Volunteers
  • Create an Account and log in through the volunteers portal.
  • Select “Get Verified”
  • Enter the “Good Deed Code,” contact Maddie Ripperger at maddier@childrensperformingartsmn.org if you are in need of the code.
  • Fill out the 4 steps, enter any necessary credit card information and click COMPLETE

If you are going to be working with the children in ANY capacity, on or off stage, you will need this background check. If you have concerns or questions about this policy, please do not hesitate to contact us! Background checks are valid for three years.

Why do I need to sign in and out as a volunteer?

By knowing who is present and where they are volunteering we can reach parents easily in case of emergencies.  Signing in and out also ensures that you are receiving credit for your volunteer hours.  

Do I need to volunteer?

For certain programs, we do have volunteer requirements. You can learn more about those here: Volunteer Requirements.

Why do I need to sign my child in and out of practice/rehearsals?

CPA values the safety and security of our participants. We want to make sure that we know exactly who is in our care, and whom to contact in case of emergencies. We also want to make sure that everyone goes home safely! We thank you for your cooperation with this process.

Do you offer scholarships?

We do, and you find out more on our Scholarships page.

If we decide to quit, do we get a refund?

Refunds are determined on a case-by-case basis, based on what point in the process you decide to withdraw. To read our full refund policy please visit our Registration Information page.

What is the Opening Act Campaign?

Our Opening Act Campaign is a fundraising effort that will allow us to fund the expansion of our programming. Right now, we have a wonderful community that volunteers over 10,000 hours! We have received feedback from our communities that you want more, but we can’t support more programming without more funding to make it happen. We are honored and grateful for all of the families and donors that continue to support our efforts to bring theater to all kids.

What is the Legacy Program?

You can learn more about our longest-running and largest program here: CLICK HERE – Legacy Program.

Audition FAQs

My child wanted a specific role and didn’t get to try out for it?

Auditions for every role have been in effect since day 1. Our production team has been assessing the kids for vocal, acting, and dancing skills each week, each session. The production team confers after each rehearsal to select children for callbacks and assigned roles.

If my child doesn’t have a named part, what is my child going to do?

The production team spends many hours creating additional performing opportunities for each child in each production.

Why didn’t my child get the role they wanted?

Casting decisions are made in the best interest of the production. The directing team really looks at multiple characteristics to achieve a cast that is believable. It is our job to tell a story with the production and so everything from the character’s size to their vocal ability is considered when casting roles. For example, in Alice in Wonderland, the flowers have to be taller than the small Alice. It isn’t believable to have flowers that are smaller than small Alice.

Why did kids get to audition for a part if they couldn’t get it – based on size or other ability?

It is CPA’s goal to teach the theatrical process to kids. Auditioning is part of theater. If kids never audition for anything, they will never know what that experience is like. Many directors use one audition to cast multiple roles.

Why isn’t my child in a lead role?

It is our goal to create a musical theater experience for all children. We also have the task to put on an amazing production. Every child is going to get the experience of theater. However, certain children exemplify characteristics and abilities to be able to perform specific roles at this level. If you cast a child in a role that is beyond their ability, it can turn them off to theater or stunt their growth and development in the theater arts.

Parents, please help your child understand that every role is important to the production.

​Our goal at Children’s Performing Arts is to not only help your child develop confidence in their creative abilities but to also help them grow and develop life skills needed outside the theater.  

If you have any additional questions please email info@childrensperformingartsmn.org.