mainstages Blog

Training Teachers for Remote Learning Facilitation

posted on Sep 16 2020, by Taylor Ann Spencer

Training staff to be good in-person facilitators is tricky enough, but training them to facilitate through a screen adds a new layer of challenges. There’s so much to discuss, from handling technology to choosing the right activities to keep kids engaged . . . where do you even start?

mainstages Comedy LIVE!

posted on Sep 08 2020, by Eva Casey

When we were brainstorming ideas for virtual programs to offer this summer, we knew we wanted to offer something that would be a fun escape for kids but also give them an outlet to express themselves creatively. I had always wanted to teach kids about sketch comedy, and it seemed that now was my opportunity! I threw out the idea of something like SNL, but for kids, and mainstages Comedy LIVE! came into being.

How We Pivoted Our Business Model During the Pandemic

posted on Aug 03 2020, by Taylor Ann Spencer

As a company that previously existed to provide in-person performances and programming, the current pandemic has required us to do some extreme pivoting in these last months. It hasn’t been easy, but we’ve learned a lot in the process!

How to Put on a Virtual Production Program

posted on Jul 27 2020, by Taylor Ann Spencer

When we decided to take our spring production programs online, we had no idea what we were getting into. How complicated could it be to record a few scenes and edit them together? A lot more complicated than we thought.

Top Tips for Virtual Family Fun Nights

posted on Jul 15 2020, by Taylor Ann Spencer

Congratulations! You successfully navigated 6 other family’s schedules and got your entire extended family on zoom together! Now you’re all on at the same time, staring at the screen together and . . . now what?

Top Tips for Summer Celebrations at Home!

posted on Jul 06 2020, by Taylor Ann Spencer

This summer, we can’t celebrate in quite the same way. We can’t have huge parties, and we probably won’t be able to travel as much. This summer will be different, but that doesn’t mean we should lose the spirit of summer! We can still celebrate, no matter where we are, and celebrate BIG! Check out these top tips for summer celebrations at home!

Having Fun at Home with mainstages

posted on Jun 30 2020

Check back later for more opportunities to have fun at home with mainstages characters Bubbe and Mitzvah Man!

Second Language Learning with Virtual Theater

posted on Jun 15 2020, by Robert "Bob" Tarushka

We began our new partnership with the U.S. State Department with the US Consulate in Krakow, Poland. This experience revealed the potential for international connection in our new virtual environment. If you just happen to represent an international agency that is interested in quality hybrid ESL/theater programming, keep reading!

Black Lives Matter

posted on Jun 10 2020, by Matt Dorter

Right now, people across the country are protesting not only police violence against Black people, but also the systemic racism that has plagued our country since its inception.

As an educational theater company, we have a responsibility to address head-on the relevant topics that kids are confronting today and help them process uncomfortable emotions in a way that provides a safe context for expression.

Top Tips for Hosting an Awesome Pre-K Virtual Birthday Party

posted on May 27 2020, by Taylor Ann Spencer

Hosting a virtual birthday party is very different from hosting an in-person party... especially when the birthday star is only four years old! Here's how you can create a special experience that will keep everyone from the youngest to the oldest entertained!

Take 5 to Flex: Fun Fresh Ways to Practice Mental Dexterity

posted on May 25 2020, by Taylor Ann Spencer

Now, more than ever, it's important to flex our minds! In a society where we are now forced to depend on screens for learning, work, and entertainment, it’s more important than ever to take breaks and stretch our minds so they don’t become mush.

New Values, New Future

posted on May 18 2020, by Matt Dorter

For 10 years, our 4 C’s-- community, character, confidence, and creativity-- have been embedded, like a gps chip, in the back of my head. They have served as my navigation, keeping me centered to the super objective of mainstages: using creativity in education to make kids into better humans. Those 4 C’s have informed the very soul of our business . . . and now they're not enough. As the world has shifted and our business has pivoted to stay relevant, we've been compelled to take a closer look at what truly defines us: what values exist at the core of mainstages.

Managing Security for Kids on Zoom

posted on Apr 23 2020, by Robert "Bob" Tarushka

With much discussion about Zoom security concerns, we did lots of research to ensure how to setup your Zoom settings for optimal safety with kids.

Top Tips to Maximize Zoom Sessions for Kids

posted on Apr 09 2020, by Taylor Ann Spencer

We have been testing lots of ideas and we would like to share some of our top tips for how to make your Zoom classes for kids meet their fullest potential.

Featured Game: Statues

posted on Feb 19 2020

You can move... just don't get caught by the night watch at the museum! Learn one of our most popular curriculum games!

The Creative Impact Zone

posted on Feb 04 2020, by Matt Dorter

As mainstages enters our 10th year, I am taking the time to consider all of our different offerings and where we’ve had the most success in the past. Channeling the spirit of Russell Crowe in ‘A Beautiful Mind,’ I summoned up a diagram that introduces our secret formula for creative impact.

Tips for Memorizing Lines

posted on Dec 15 2019

Need help memorizing lines? Here are a few suggestions for getting off-book (not needing the script) in no time!

5 Events to Boost Camp Spirit All Year Long

posted on Nov 04 2019, by Eva Casey

There are many ways to boost camp spirit all year long, but here are five of our favorite ideas for connecting with your campers before next summer!

10 Lessons From 10 Years

posted on Oct 19 2019, by Matt Dorter

Matt Dorter here! I want to share the 10 most important lessons that I’ve learned in the past 10 years, as we grew mainstages from an inspiration to a full-fledged business.

8 Crazy Games for 8 Crazy Nights

posted on Oct 16 2019

Chanukah is a wonderful time of year to come together with friends and family, but what happens when the kids need something fun to do, or when the conversation doesn’t last as long as the oil? Here are 8 fun games centered around Chanukah that are fun for the whole family!

Mainstages Summer 2019 By The Numbers

posted on Jun 04 2019, by Eva Casey

Though it may already be fall, we can't stop remembering what an amazing summer we had! In addition to birthday parties, Bar/Bat Mitzvah entertainment, and running theater programming at over 25 camps, we also performed nationwide 167 times. That factors to around 2.493 shows per day, at 62 different camps. Take a look at some more fun metrics from summer 2019:

Theater Vocabulary for Kids

posted on Nov 13 2018

Enjoy this list of our favorite theater vocabulary! Useful in all theater education settings and selected to serve the needs of student and educator.

What Makes an Awesome Camp Program?

posted on Nov 12 2018

While we weigh factors like the number of participants, venue logistics, ages, etc., there is only one true way to know what will make a program awesome at a camp- LISTEN TO CAMPS.

Featured Game: Name and Motion

posted on Sep 19 2018

Get to know people with this great icebreaker for kids!

Featured Game: Slideshow

posted on Aug 17 2018

Play one of our most popular improv games for all ages, Slideshow! In this game, participants make tableau imagery of improvised situations.

Making Teen Programming Cool

posted on May 21 2018

There is one question that is asked of us more than any other, "How do we engage our teens?" The language teenagers speak is ever evolving and what's cool one day may be lame another (do kids say "lame" anymore?) We can simply dismiss our teenagers as cynical and "plugged in" OR we can create programming that teenagers will like.

Managing Difficult Behavior

posted on Nov 16 2017

Any experienced educator will tell you that managing a group of kids is the key to facilitating an effective lesson or rehearsal. This resource will provide you with proven techniques to engage kids of all ages, keep them focused, and avoid disciplinary action.