Program Overview

  • Cheney Middle School Theatre Arts - Play
    Program Director: Olivia Edwardson

    The word “theatre” comes from the Greeks. It means the seeing place. It is the place people come to see the truth about life and the social situation. – Stella Adler

    What is the goal of the Cheney Middle School Theatre Arts Department?

    Our first and foremost goal is that students have an enriching experience in the theatre arts. Students gain confidence, new friendships, and a deeper appreciation for the arts by being involved in theatre. As a department, we want to put on productions that we can be proud of together. We strive to create visual art through voice, through movement, and through dance. Finally, we want to share this vision with an audience, and to tell a story that is important to not only us, but that story’s artistic creators.

    What do I need to know about productions at Cheney Middle School?

    Cheney Middle School produces two productions each school year – a winter musical and a two-act spring play. Theatre offers students the opportunity to act onstage, operate technical aspects such as sound and lighting, and to manage backstage components. Students are expected to be committed to this experience for its entire duration, whether they are involved in one or both productions. Winter musical rehearsals typically begin in November and conclude with performances in January. The two-act play rehearsals begin late-February and conclude with performances at the beginning of April.

    How are auditions for the CMS productions operated?

    Auditions are open to students in grades 6-8 and are operated in groups of five to provide students with a relaxed atmosphere, as we know that auditions can make anyone nervous! A sign-up is posted outside Director Olivia Edwardson’s classroom two weeks prior to the production audition date. There is one set of auditions per production. Students can begin sign-up at this time and are expected to gather the necessary audition materials then (audition form and audition selections).

    For the winter musical, students will be provided with 12-16 measures of a song from the show and will be taught this selection prior to the audition date at a mandatory musical theatre workshop. For the two-act spring play, students will be provided with a monologue selection (between 30-60 seconds) from the show. Memorization of monologues is encouraged but not required.

    How is casting and participation in productions determined?

    The lead production team will review all audition components and post a cast list outside Olivia Edwardson’s classroom once auditions (and callbacks as applicable) are complete. Please note: if a student has multiple rehearsal conflicts, he or she may not be cast in a role. As such, students will ultimately need to make a decision about the activities they commit to prior to the cast list being posted.

    Finally, participating in auditions does not guarantee a role in the productions. We have a large student body here at CMS and many students from every grade interested in participating. We hope you understand that casting choices can be difficult when we have so many talented students and we appreciate your cooperation in the matter.

    What are the rehearsal expectations for students who are cast in a production?

    Students who are cast in a production are expected to attend rehearsals from 4:00-6:00PM four days a week. Rehearsals will typically be held Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday with minimal Wednesdays to accommodate evening church activities. As we progress towards performance dates, times and days will vary but families will be provided with this information in advance. We are looking for committed students who will be responsible with their theatre involvement.

    What are any additional expectations?

    Students who are cast in a production are required to pay a $40 activity fee. Payments should be submitted to the Cheney Middle School office and checks can be made payable to CMS or fees can be paid on My School Bucks. In addition, students are expected to attend our set construction dates and technical rehearsals. It is important that we have all cast and crew on these dates.

    What if my child is interested in helping with theatre crew activities?

    Once our rehearsals have begun, we will put out a call for students who may be interested in helping create the set, help with lighting and sound, and any other applicable technical/backstage work.

    What should I do if I have further questions?

    If you have any questions regarding either production, please email Director Olivia Edwardson at She will do her utmost to respond in a timely manner.

    We look forward to working with your students in this year’s productions!

    Academic Eligibility 

    • 8th Grade: Every Monday morning grades will be run to determine eligibility. If any athlete has more than one F, they will receive a green slip on Monday morning indicating they have until 2:00 P.M to get grades in order. The slip must be signed off by their teacher indicating that their grade is above an F. The student still needs to attend practices even though they cannot play in games.
    • 6th  & 7th  Grade: Every Monday morning we will be running your child’s behavior (CCR) grades to determine eligibility. If any athlete has a ‘1’ in any of the CCR’s they will not be eligible to play in any games during that week but will be required to attend practice. We will run the behavior grades weekly.