At SteppingStone Theatre for Youth, we believe that
So, we create art-making experiences with young people (and sometimes, their adults).
Art-making experiences with SteppingStone are rich, sometimes messy, collaborative processes from the first “name game” through the final sharing for family and friends. Young people who experience high-quality Arts Learning opportunities strengthen their ability to hone crucial life-skills in critical thinking, social/emotional development, physical awareness, and a sense of belonging.
Our classes, staffed by professional Teaching Artists, create space for youth to explore theatrical skill-sets while experiencing a strong sense of community. We welcome students of all skill and ability levels from Ages 3-18.
Join us for some real art-making, real play, and real connection!
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. During the last 10 minutes of each class, caregivers are invited to join us for a sharing of the activities we investigated that day.
Theatre Learning Looks Like:
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:
Create and perform an original play based on the class theme! Work collaboratively with your peers to develop the story, setting, characters, dialogue, and staging. Throughout the creative class process, engage in games and activities to hone your fundamental theatre skills. Perform your play for family & friends on the final day of class.
Theatre Learning Looks Like:
Immerse yourself in a Devised Theatre rehearsal process as you create, stage, and perform an original short play or musical! Inspired by the class theme, and under the guidance of your Director, work with your class to develop the show’s setting, characters, dialogue, and staging. While you’re creating the show, study theatrical skill-sets and apply the skills you’ve learned to the final performance. Throughout this process-driven class, engage in rehearsal practices, and theatre games/activities to sharpen your foundational performance skills. On the final day of class, perform your original work for family & friends!
Theatre Learning Looks Like:
Skill-Based Learning Looks Like:
Do you crave connection with creative and artistic people, like yourself? Are you interested in the Performing Arts and eager to learn all you can about the craft? Whether you’ve got experience or not – we’ve got a class for you! SteppingStone’s Teen Workshops feature process-driven learning, in a specific theatrical skill-set, with classes structured to create strong ensembles and promote a supportive and fun classroom community. Join your peers in an inclusive, safe, 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:
Students should dress for movement and wear sneakers. Layers are recommended. Students must wear a face mask. For classes under 4 hours, students should pack a water bottle and snack. For full-day classes, students should pack a lunch, 2 snacks, and a water bottle (no fridge or microwave available for student use). We find a backpack works best for keeping track of all personal belongings.
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. Students will be participating in rigorous physical activity, and working on messy art projects. Clothing may get dirty, stained, or torn. All art products we use are washable. SteppingStone is not responsible for damaged attire.
All students and staff, regardless of vaccination or recovery status, are required to wear masks with the exception of eating, drinking, and designated “mask break” times. Face shields can be worn in addition to a mask, but cannot replace a mask. Disposable masks will be provided to any student for any reason. We require masks that follow CDC guidelines. The CDC’s guide to mask-wearing can be found here.
Yes, before entering class each day all staff & students will have their temperature taken and be quickly assessed for common COVID symptoms such as cough and lethargy. Anyone with a temp. of 100+ or who is exhibiting common symptoms of COVID will not be allowed to enter the classroom. Students must be fever-free for 72 hours without medication before returning to camp. Providing a negative COVID test is highly encouraged, but not required. Staff who have a fever must provide one negative COVID test before returning to camp.
Students will use hand sanitizer and wash their hands frequently. Handwashing will be conducted before & after all breaks. Hand sanitizing will be conducted at drop-off, pick-up, and after each class activity. SteppingStone will provide hand sanitizer in the classroom and at entrances/exits.
During COVID class maximums have been reduced and take into consideration the group’s ability to distance by 6ft in all directions for high-intensity activities. Depending on the size of the classroom, maximums can range from 9-14 students per classroom.
No more than 4 class sections will run concurrently in the building, to limit the number of students & staff on-site.
Students will distance for high-intensity activities like dancing or singing. Students may work more closely together during collaborative portions of class like brainstorming, prop-making, or story time.
Each class will operate as its own pod and will not interact with other classes throughout the day, with the exception of student drop-off & pick-up times. Each class will have a designated schedule to ensure bathrooms, snacks, lunch, recess, and transition times will not overlap with other classes.
Students will eat snack & lunch with their classmates & teacher, sitting distanced from each other in a large circle, so the group can safely socialize while eating.
Our top priority is keeping our students and their families safe, while also being responsible members of the St. Paul community. If COVID transmission rates are low, final sharings will be conducted in-person, masked, with limited audience capacity. If COVID transmission rates are high, final sharings will be recorded, and a video link will be provided which can be shared with all family & friends. We will keep an eye on COVID trends and make a final determination about class sharings 2 weeks before the final day of class.
For student & staff wellbeing, caregivers, family members (including siblings), and friends are not able to observe/sit-in on class.
As of right now, we are not offering virtual classes for the school year 2021-’22. However, our in-person classes may transfer to a virtual format if there are updated safety circumstances where we must do so.
To limit the amount of crossover between classes, we are unable to offer Before/Aftercare this school year.
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!
Register for the grade in which your student is currently enrolled. Exceptions cannot be made for older or younger students to join a class outside of their age-group.
SteppingStone Theatre retains a $50 non-refundable/non-transferable deposit with all class registrations. If SteppingStone cancels a class, you may join a different class, or receive a full refund including your deposit amount. If you cancel a registration, for any reason including illness or emergency, SteppingStone will retain the $50 deposit and other fees as outlined:
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. Please download our behavior policy.
Please download our comprehensive Illness Policy
At SteppingStone, we respect each student’s gender identity and refer to each student by their specified pronouns and name.
SteppingStone has gendered, non-gendered, accessible, and single-stall restrooms. Students are allowed to use the restroom that best suits their gender identity or use the single-stall restroom for additional privacy or comfort. Classes take several group restroom breaks during the day. During group restroom breaks, teachers monitor for hand washing and disruptive/inappropriate behavior. Students are allowed to use the restroom, as needed, throughout the day.
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 via devices 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.
For all enrolled, if you would like to reach your student during class hours, please call our main line (provided in your class email). 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 paperwork for class, you have the ability to opt-out of this policy.
During the 2021-’22 school year, SteppingStone intends to offer in-person classes during Fall, Winter, and Spring. Programs are offered for all skill & ability levels from ages 18 months to 18 years.
In-person summer camps are in the works for 2022. Details and registration will be available in early 2022.
SteppingStone school year 2021-’22 classes and programs require young artists ages 5-12 to wear masks at all times and practice social distancing in the class spaces. Young artists 13-18 may be asked their vaccine status before the start of class and may be asked to comply with Park Square Theatre’s Safety Policies.
If a student experiences COVID-19 symptoms while in class, the student will be immediately quarantined and caregivers will be notified to pick up the student. If a student tests positive during the course of a class, the class will transition to a virtual format until all students are COVID-negative. Jump to Refund Policy
If a staff member or teaching artist experiences COVID symptoms while in class, they will be immediately sent home. If a staff/teacher tests positive, any classes the individual had contact with will transition to a virtual format until all class members are COVID-negative. Jump to Refund Policy
If a student or staff member is identified as a close contact of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, that individual must isolate and will not be able to rejoin the class until they return a COVID-negative test. The class will only transition to a virtual format if the individual tests positive for COVID or starts showing symptoms. Jump to Refund Policy
Yes, SteppingStone Theatre staff will alert all families of any positive COVID-19 cases on campus.
COVID-19 vaccination or negative test results are required to attend performances.
In light of the highly transmissible Delta variant and increasing case numbers in Minnesota, Park Square and SteppingStone theatre require that everyone 13 or older present proof of either full COVID-19 vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test result taken within 72 hours prior to attending an indoor performance or event. Proof of vaccination or a negative test result must be shown when entering the theater. Children under age 13 will only be required to wear a mask.
In addition to audiences, the theatres are requiring COVID-19 vaccinations for artists, theater staff, and volunteers.
All patrons, staff and volunteers will be required to wear masks inside the venue except while eating or drinking. This follows the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recent recommendation that everyone should wear a mask indoors regardless of vaccination status. Masks must cover the nose and mouth. Masks with a valve, gaiters, scarves, etc. are not permitted.
Young people attending daytime matinees (school groups, homeschoolers, day camp groups, etc.) are not required to show vaccination status or test results. All teachers and chaperones who are age 18 and over will be required to present either proof of full COVID-19 vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test result taken within 72 hours prior to attending a field trip performance. All staff and patrons ages 2 and older will be required to wear masks inside the building.
If your school or classroom has an outbreak we ask that you notify us before your field trip so we can reschedule your trip. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to notify us and reschedule your trip.
Park Square’s air system brings in fresh air from the outside to help limit the spread of airborne viruses like COVID-19. In addition, several updates have been made to further improve air safety inside the theatre:
At this time, no changes have been made to our audience capacity except at the request of partnering organizations. The Proscenium Stage seats 350 people and the Boss Stage seats 200 people. Shows through December of 2021 will be general admission seating. While there are currently no state or city indoor venue capacity restrictions in place, we will be monitoring information regarding capacity and will adhere to guidelines if they are updated.
Physical distancing will be encouraged in the lobbies, hallways, restrooms, and other areas.
In addition to the robust cleaning practices that were already in place, we have:
We ask that guests stay home if they are sick or exposed to COVID-19. Please contact the box office to transfer your tickets to another performance, donate your tickets, or request a refund. Contact the ticket office at email@example.com.
We will continue to update this page as we gather new information and will share pertinent updates through email and social media. Please check back as the details and requirements for reopening are subject to change as we work through this uncertain yet exciting time.
Thank you for your support and we look forward to having you engage with Park Square and SteppingStone.
There is a $50 non-refundable and non-transferable class deposit.
Exceptions will be considered for students with COVID-19 symptoms.
In the event of a positive COVID case within a class, the program will not be canceled but instead transition to a virtual format. Refunds will be considered for students with COVID-19 symptoms.
If SteppingStone cancels a class, for any reason, you will be issued