Happening at SteppingStone

Welcome to SteppingStone Creative Learning

Fall Class registration for our 2022 season is open!

Scroll to learn all about our classes.


WE BELIEVE

Young people are artists, makers, and doers. They need to belong and to contribute to their world. When young people make art together, they change themselves and the world around them for the better.

WE DO

SteppingStone ignites belonging, generosity, mastery, self-advocacy, and inspiration by creating art with young people to share with the world.

 


Our Core Values

Theatre Learning by Age

THEATRE EXPLORERS
This model is specifically designed with our youngest Theatre Artists in mind. Our Teaching Artists encourage discovery and real-world connections through storytelling and creative play while fostering social, physical, emotional, and cognitive development. With minds, bodies, and voices engaged, Young Artists express themselves through music, creative movement, dramatic play, art-making, and interactive storytelling to enhance skills in language, collaboration, active listening, and community building. 

Theatre Learning Looks Like:

  • Developing self-expression through play, creative movement, and drama exploration
  • Engaging in parallel and/or cooperative play with peers
  • Exploring a mixture of structured and open-ended art-based activities

PAGE-TO-STAGE
This class model is specifically designed for preschool & kindergarten Theatre Artists. Our Teaching Artists encourage learning through storytelling and creative play while fostering social, physical, emotional, and cognitive development. With minds, bodies, and voices engaged, Young Artists express themselves through story creation, music, creative movement, dramatic play, and art-making to enhance skills in theatre fundamentals, early literacy, communication, creative thinking, cooperation, active listening, and community building. On the last day of class, family & friends are invited to a sharing of creative drama exercises, original scenes, favorite songs, and artwork.

Theatre Learning Looks Like:

  • Developing self-expression through play, creative movement, and drama exploration
  • Engaging in guided group drama experiences
  • Exploring stories with creative drama strategies like pantomime, narration, and frozen image

CREATE-A-PLAY
Designed for young artists in Grades 1-3 to build socio-emotional skills in collaboration, teamwork, empathy, creative problem solving, and so much more. Young artists work together to create an original short play based on their class theme. Throughout the creative class process, young artists work collaboratively to develop the story, setting, characters, dialogue, staging, and basic artwork, props, backdrops, or costumes for their show while also engaging in theatre games and explorations to hone their skills.

Theatre Learning Looks Like:

  • Expressing individual ideas that contribute to a larger group concept
  • Learning theatre foundations like vocabulary, actor tools, and how to structure a story
  • Making physical & vocal choices to develop & practice performance technique
  • Building upon concepts to achieve mastery

EXPLORE PERFORMANCE
Designed for young artists in Grades 4-6 to build socio-emotional skills in collaboration, teamwork, empathy, creative problem solving, and so much more. Young artists work together to create an original short play or musical based on their class theme. Throughout the creative class process, young artists work collaboratively to develop the story, setting, characters, dialogue, staging, and basic artwork, props, backdrops, or costumes for their show while also engaging in rehearsal processes, theatre games, and explorations to hone their skills.

Theatre Learning Looks Like:

  • Integrating multiple performance styles & theatre concepts
  • Rich collaboration – discussing & contributing ideas to enhance performance
  • Director’s notes – observation, suggestion, support, and feedback to introduce and refine performance concepts
  • Providing opportunity for intentional group reflection on artistic work
  • Building upon concepts to achieve mastery

WORKSHOPS & LEAP EXPERIENCES
SteppingStone’s Teen Workshops & LEAP extended learning experiences are designed for young artists in grades 7-12 and feature process-driven learning, in a specific theatrical skill-set, with classes structured to create strong ensembles. Join your peers in an inclusive and creative learning environment where you will feel comfortable expressing yourself and growing as an Artist. Our Teaching Artists structure classes to minimize competition or comparison. Instead, we challenge everyone to put in the work, stretch outside their comfort zones, and be open-minded in learning new techniques. With this approach, we create strong theatre foundations, a hunger & drive for artistic development, and a network of peers & mentors to help support you in your theatre journey.

Theatre Learning Looks Like:

  • Immersing yourself in a variety of theatre explorations intended to target and refine theatrical skill-sets
  • Rich collaboration – contributing, discussing, and integrating ideas into an ensemble-driven showcase of work
  • Using research, critical analysis, and cultural context to develop and enhance your work
  • Director’s notes – observation, suggestion, support, and feedback to introduce and refine performance concepts
  • Sharing in leadership responsibilities throughout the class
  • Intentional time dedicated to group-reflection and self-reflection on artistic work

Camp Policies

At SteppingStone, we are committed to access and inclusion for all people. We stand firmly in opposition to racism, and our programs challenge our young artists, staff, and Board of Directors to foster inclusion and seek equity for all, including Black people, Indigenous peoples, people of color, LGBTQIA+ people, people of all economic backgrounds, people of all religions, and people with disabilities. SteppingStone collaborates with families to meet students’ needs, whether they are social, academic, developmental, or physical.

  • Register for the grade level your student will be entering in the fall
  • Register online or email us at education@steppingstonetheatre.org to schedule a time to register by phone
  • SteppingStone cannot make exceptions to admit students into a class if they do not meet the age requirements
  • All of our programs are Pay As You’re Able. Please pay what your family can afford. That may mean covering your fees and someone else’s. It also may mean paying most or some of the fee.
  • We want every young artist to be able to attend and we will work with you to make attendance possible.
  • Payment Plans are available at the time of registration. Follow the registration prompts to select your payment plan.
  • SteppingStone Theatre is able to provide programming and continue supporting families, teaching artists, and other theatre artists through class registration fees and the generosity of donors. Please give to support access for all young people.
  • Direct questions to education@steppingstonetheatre.org

In order to keep our students safe & healthy, SteppingStone implements a No Food Sharing Policy. This means students are only allowed to consume food/beverages that were provided to them by their caregiver. SteppingStone does not allow students to swap or share food items. Teaching Artists & SteppingStone Staff will not provide students with treats or snacks. Students who wish to bring treats or snacks for their class on special occasion are asked to, instead, provide their class with a small trinket or toy.

Education Office Staff and many of our Teaching Artists are trained to administer Epi Pens and call 911 in the event of medical emergency. For students with allergies that require Epi-pens (or other injectors) we request to be made aware of the severity of the allergy & location of the life-saving medication up-front. Epi-pens should be stored in the student’s backpack or (ideally) with the Teaching Artist at all times.

We see many students with severe allergies in our programs and work with the caregiver to ensure the student is able to participate fully while staying safe & healthy.

SteppingStone does not have a nurse or medical professional on staff. All Office Staff & many of SteppingStone’s Teaching Artists are trained in CPR, First Aid & the administering of Epi-Pens. All staff receive annual training on protocol for responding to medical emergencies. In the event of a medical emergency, SteppingStone will call 911 and notify caregivers.

Education staff cannot administer medication without an authorized note. If a student is feeling unwell, a caregiver will be notified and the student will be sent home. SteppingStone will not administer over-the-counter pain relievers or other medications if a student begins to feel unwell, even at the request of the caregiver. Caregivers are welcome to stop-by our theatre and administer any medications to their student in-person.

SteppingStone values each young person’s unique skills and ideas. We strive to meet young people where they are and empower them to problem solve and find solutions to their problems. Young people are at the center of our behavior policies and we believe they are individually and collectively responsible for their actions, words, and treatment of others. To learn more, please download & review our behavior policy.

Behavior Policy

Please download and review our comprehensive Illness Policy

Illness Policy

At SteppingStone, we respect gender identity and refer to people by the name & pronouns they specify. Pronouns are displayed on all staff name tags. We encourage students and staff to share their name & pronouns on the first day of class. If we know in advance that a student is transgender, non-binary, transitioning, or questioning, we will partner with the student, family, teacher, and staff to use the correct name, pronouns, and restrooms from day one.

Our learning sites have gendered, non-gendered, and accessible restrooms. Classes take group restroom breaks throughout the day. During group restroom breaks, teachers monitor for hand washing and disruptive or inappropriate behavior. Students are allowed to use the restroom whenever needed. Teaching Artists and Staff are strictly prohibited from assisting students with toileting & clothing functions – this includes buttoning, zipping, or fastening belts. All students must be toilet-trained and able to manage their own toileting & clothing needs. Please send students to class in attire they are able to easily navigate. For bathroom or illness accidents, students must be able to clean themselves up without assistance, or their primary caregiver will be notified and asked to assist.

Students under Grade 7 are not allowed to use their electronic devices or toys during class time, snack, lunch, or recess unless prescribed by a medical professional. Students in Grades 7-12 are permitted to use electronic devices only during class breaks (snack, lunch, recess) provided the use is appropriate. SteppingStone is not liable for the exchange of contact information or for lost, stolen, damaged, or destroyed devices and toys. SteppingStone reserves the right to confiscate devices or toys that have become distracting or inappropriate and return them at the end of the day. If devices or toys are confiscated, we request the item(s) not return to class. If you would like to reach your student during class hours, please call or email the main office. Students wishing to speak with their caregiver during class hours will be instructed to call from our office phone.

SteppingStone will never share your information with outside parties. Our website & database are securely encrypted and credit card information is not kept on file.

SteppingStone Theatre regularly photographs and records its programs and participants to document its programs for its funders and to promote programs in the community. When such photographs or videos are used in brochures, advertisements, or other promotions, children are not identified by name. When completing registration for class, you have the ability to opt-out of this policy.

Teaching Artists are allowed to take photos of group activities for portfolio documentation & business purposes. As freelancers, Teaching Artists use portfolio documentation, including videos & photos, to secure work and grants. When such photographs or videos are used, students are not identified by name. Staff are never allowed to post images/content to their personal social media accounts or websites.

Camp FAQs

Please register your student according to the grade level they will enter in fall 2022.

Students should dress for movement and wear sneakers. Students must wear a face mask. Full day students should pack a lunch, 2 snacks, and a water bottle (no fridge or microwave available for student use). Half day students should pack 1 snack and a water bottle. We find a backpack works best for keeping track of all personal belongings.

Students must wear a face mask. Please send your student in comfortable clothing that allows for movement (nothing too restrictive or too baggy) and closed toe shoes. Flip-flops, dress shoes, or shoes without backs are discouraged for safety reasons. Dressing in layers is recommended. Students will be participating in rigorous physical activity and working on messy art projects. Clothing may get dirty, stained, or torn. All art products used are washable. SteppingStone is not responsible for damaged attire. 

We have 1 adult Teaching Artist and 1 adult Classroom Assistant assigned to each class section. Classroom capacities vary by age and are listed below:

Ages 3 – 4: 10 max
Pre-K & K: 10 max
Grades 1 – 3: 12 max
Grades 4 – 6: 12 max
Grades 7 – 12: 16 max
Grades 7 – 12 LEAP Musical: 25 max
Grades 7-12 LEAP Studio: 20 max

SteppingStone runs a maximum of 5 camps per site per week. The number of people on a campus can range from 30-75 students and staff, depending on the week and the location.

Drop-off & pick-up will be conducted outdoors. During drop-off, caregivers will pull-up to the curb at their camp location and let their students out of the vehicle. A staff member will greet each student and direct them to class. At pick-up, classes will gather outside as caregivers pull-up along the curb. Caregivers are welcome to step out of their vehicle and wait on the boulevard, or wait in their vehicle. When a student recognizes their caregiver/vehicle, their teacher will sign them out and staff will be nearby to ensure all students make it to their cars safely. 

Full-day students receive one hour of supervised lunch & recess each day. Students eat for 20 minutes and free play for 30 minutes with 10 minutes of bathroom & transition time. Recess is held outdoors, weather permitting.

On the final day of class, students will present their showcase of work for family & friends. SteppingStone hopes to hold in-person performances at staggered times throughout the day. Depending on health & safety guidelines, audience capacities may be limited. If guidelines suggest it is not safe to gather, class performances will be recorded and shared as a video link.

This year, to mitigate the spread of COVID, we will not offer before or aftercare services for camps.

To limit the number of people on campus, caregivers, family members (including siblings), and friends are not able to observe/sit-in on classes.

We understand that some students thrive in an environment including students either younger or older than their peer group. However our age ranges are firm and we cannot make exceptions.

SteppingStone typically casts students ages 14-18 in our Mainstage productions. Occasionally, we will cast students as young as 12. Casting is conducted through an audition process where not all students will be cast. We typically see between 50-100 auditionees and have space to cast approximately 20 students. We highly encourage students to continue auditioning if they are not immediately cast. Our auditions are designed to be non-intimidating and beginner-friendly. We welcome all skill & ability levels to try-out. To learn more about our auditions please see our Auditions page or check Minnesota Playlist.

Too young to audition? Register for our classes and build the skills you need to be successful when your time comes!

Are you audition-aged but not quite ready for the audition competition? Check-out our LEAP program!

COVID-19 Policies

All students over the age of 5 1/2 are required to be fully vaccinated OR test up to 48 hours before attending their first day of camp. Students under the age of 5 1/2 are required to test up to 48 hours before attending their first day of camp. Unvaccinated students who are attending multiple camp sessions are required to test prior to each session of camp for which they’re registered. Attendees are required to verify vaccination or negative test status prior to the start of their camp.

Find a vaccination site
Find a testing site

All Teaching Artists and Staff are required to be fully vaccinated, including recommended boosters.

For the health and safety of all on campus, we cannot provide exceptions to these requirements.

Students and staff are strongly encouraged to wear masks while indoors. Masks are required for close contacts and those 5-10 days into covid recovery.

Masking requirements will be assessed weekly. If covid transmission and hospital rates increase, masks may become required for all staff & students while indoors. Disposable masks will be provided at any time for any reason. 

Yes, all indoor classrooms are equipped with air filtration systems, fresh air exchange systems, and/or windows that open for fresh air circulation. All learning spaces are also air conditioned and provide enough space for students to spread out. 

Students will use hand sanitizer and wash their hands frequently. Handwashing will be conducted before & after all snack, lunch, recess, and bathroom breaks. Hand sanitizing will be conducted at drop-off, pick-up, and after each class activity. Additional hand washing & sanitizing will be implemented as needed. SteppingStone will provide hand sanitizer in the classroom and at entrances/exits. Students are encouraged to bring their own hand sanitizer.

Classrooms, restrooms, and hallways will be thoroughly cleaned and sanitized daily by a professional custodian. High-touch surfaces will be cleaned and sanitized throughout the day by staff and custodial professionals. Shared class supplies will be cleaned after use and students will wash their hands or use sanitizer after touching shared items.

Yes, before entering camp each day students will be briefly assess for common symptoms of COVID including lethargy, cough, sneezing, and loss of taste or smell. Anyone who is exhibiting symptoms of COVID will be sent home. Students must return a negative COVID test and be symptom-free for 48 hours without medication before returning to camp. Staff with symptoms must provide one negative COVID test before returning to camp.

SteppingStone will not offer virtual class options this summer.

What happens if a student experiences symptoms or tests positive for COVID-19?

If a student experiences COVID-19 symptoms while at camp, they will be sent home to isolate and test. If they test positive, impacted classrooms will continue with in-person learning, be required to wear a mask while indoors, and monitor for symptoms, regardless of vaccination status. 

What happens if a staff member or teaching artist experiences symptoms or tests positive for COVID-19?

If a staff member or teaching artist experiences COVID-19 symptoms while at camp, they will be sent home to isolate and test. If they test positive, impacted classrooms will continue with in-person learning, be required to wear a mask while indoors, and monitor for symptoms, regardless of vaccination status. Substitute staffing support will be brought-in to continue class instruction. 

What happens if a student or staff member is identified as a close contact of someone with COVID-19?

If a student or staff member is living with someone who is showing symptoms of or tests positive for COVID-19, they must isolate for the recommended 5 days and test 3-5 days after initial exposure. If they return a negative test, they may join class. They will be required to wear a mask for the recommended 10 days and monitor for symptoms. 

If a student or staff member is identified as a close contact, but does not live with the ill person, they are welcome to join class but must wear a mask for the recommended 10 days after last known exposure and monitor for symptoms.

NOTE: As we continue to navigate the COVID pandemic, we will evaluate our health and safety guidelines to align with CDC, local, and state recommendations.

Cancelation and Transfer Policies

There is a $50 non-refundable and non-transferable class deposit.

  • Cancelation more than 2 weeks before a class begins will result in a full refund, less the $50 deposit.
  • Cancelation within 1-2 weeks of a class beginning will result in a class credit, less the $50 deposit.
  • Cancelation 1 week or less before a class begins will result in no refund or credit.

Exceptions will be considered for students with COVID-19 symptoms.

Students may transfer camp sessions (based on availability) without a processing fee, 2+ weeks before a class begins. Class transfers requested less than two weeks before a class begins may not be accommodated. If camp registration fees are not equal, any cost difference must be paid at the time of transfer.

If SteppingStone cancels a class, for any reason, you will be issued

  • a full refund including the $50 deposit for classes that have not yet started.
  • a prorated refund (including the $50 deposit) for classes that have started.

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Contact

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are available via email M-F, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the following:

EDUCATION
education@steppingstonetheatre.org

TICKETS & REGISTRATION
boxoffice@steppingstonetheatre.org

DEVELOPMENT
development@steppingstonetheatre.org

MARKETING
marketing@steppingstonetheatre.org

GENERAL INQUIRIES
info@steppingstonetheatre.org

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Statement

At SteppingStone, we are committed to access and inclusion for all people. We stand firmly in opposition to racism, and our programs challenge our young artists, staff, and Board of Directors to foster inclusion and seek equity for all, including Black people, Indigenous peoples, people of color, LGBTQIA+ people, people of all economic backgrounds, people of all religions, and people with disabilities. SteppingStone collaborates with families to meet students’ needs, whether they are social, academic, developmental, or physical.

We Believe

Young people are artists, makers, and doers. They need to belong and to contribute to their world. When young people make art together, they change themselves and the world around them for the better.

We Do

SteppingStone ignites belonging, generosity, mastery, self-advocacy, and inspiration by creating art with young people to share with the world.