Teenage drama workshop

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About TADW Teenage Drama Workshop

TADW Shows
* Are TADW productions suitable for young children?
* How do I get tickets for TADW shows?

About Us
* What is Teenage Drama Workshop?
* Who may attend TADW?
* What is the TADW technical program?
* Who may attend the TADW technical program?
* What is a typical day at TADW?
* I heard you have to attend TADW from 8 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. everyday for six weeks and that you cannot miss any days. Is that true?
* Why do I keep hearing this program called "TAD-WUH"?

* How do I apply for TADW?
* Why do I have to provide my child's theatre experience and references? What if he/she is new to theatre?
* What does tuition include?
* Are there any discounts?
* Does TADW offer financial assistance?
* What is the TADW Attendance Policy?
* What is the TADW Refund Policy?

* Where is TADW?
* Where are TADW plays staged?
* Where do I meet for auditions and classes?

* Who are the TADW leaders and instructors?

Parent/Student Info
* As a parent of a TADW student, whom can I contact with questions about the program?
* I'm a parent and I want to get more involved in TADW. What should I do?
* How do I buy a TADW T-shirt?
* What should I bring to TADW?
* What should I wear to TADW?
* What do TADW students do for lunch?
* Does TADW have standards for student behavior?

* Where do I park for TADW?
* What is the parking rate?
* Those parking machines sound inconvenient. Can I just buy a permit?
* What if I don't want to park? Can I just drop off my child?
* I'd love to carpool with another parent. Is there a carpool list?

* How should I prepare for the TADW audition?
* Will there be callbacks?
* If I'm a singer, will I be in the musical? Or, if I don't sing, will I automatically be in the play?

* On the application, it asks me to pick my "elective". What should I pick?
* If I'm cast in the musical, will I automatically be in the musical theatre elective?

* I love acting but I don't dance. Do I have to take dance class?
* If I'm already in the musical theatre elective, why do I have to take voice?
* Is there homework at TADW?
* Are there grades at TADW?

* When are rehearsals for the TADW productions?

TADW Traditions
* Are there any famous TADW alumni?
* Does TADW bring in working professionals from the entertainment industry to meet with students?
* What is "Bogus"?
* If I'm not in the musical theatre elective, do I have to attend Munch & Crunch?
* Are there any other TADW traditions?

* When are the TADW shows?
* Do I have to participate in set strike?

* If my child is in the play, the musical, or the 10-Minute Play Festival, do I need to buy tickets?
* I went to buy tickets and the show I wanted was already sold out. What happened?
* I have a group/camp/team/scout troop that I'd like to bring to see a TADW show. Are there group rates?

TADW Shows

  • TADW productions are geared for young audiences (with the exception of the 10-Minute Play Festival, which may have themes more suited to older teens.). Annually, we have many pre-school aged children attend our musical and play, but parents are always the best judge of their child's ability to attend a live performance. TADW shows are always presented in one-act and are generally about 75 minutes or less. For Summer 2015,"Disney's The Little Mermaid" is the Broadway show, "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" is the play based on Roald Dahl's famous story.
  • Here is a detailed explanation on how to get tickets for TADW shows: How to Get Tickets. All seats are general admission. Some performances are already sold out to local camp groups, so buy your tickets today!
About Us

  • TADW is a six-week, intensive summer workshop for young people interested in theatre.  In fact, it is the longest-running workshop of its kind in the nation.  Through the program, students receive intensive training in the areas of acting, dance, and voice, or technical theatre arts (costume, stagecraft, lighting and sound).  The students form a theatre company and stage two productions (a musical and a play), as well as a festival of student-written short plays, and a showcase of music theatre repertoire.
  • For 2015, the musicals will be “Disney's The Little Mermaid” and “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory". "
  • To read more about the history of TADW, please Click here to view our history
  • Students entering 7th – 12th grade as of Sept. 2015 may attend TADW, as well as June 2015 high school graduates.  The program welcomes those with little experience as well as those with a considerable performance background.  For those interested in technical aspects of theatre, TADW will offer a technical theatre track.
  • 2015 registration will be 80-95 students in the performance track and another 15 to 20 (grades 9-12) in the technical theatre track.  Registration is handled on a first-come, first-served basis. 
  • Students are encouraged to apply and pay their deposit online at www.csun.edu/tadw.
  • Students attend 2 weeks of introductory courses in the technical aspect of theatre; exploring the theatre itself, the many design elements needed to mount a production, as well as the various pieces of equipment and machinery necessary. Classes are from 8:15 – 12:30pm each weekday morning. In addition to classes, students will have the opportunity to become involved in the afternoon production program.

  • Each summer a variety of plays are produced, selected for their value to the community as well as to the performers. This year, TADW will continue to offer the technical theatre program for participants to learn everything backstage that goes into making the show happen. Participants will be offered an overview of various aspects of technical theatre they want to learn more about: lighting, sound, scenery, props, costume or stage management.
  • Throughout the session, students will explore the technical aspect of their choice. These classes will be taught by professional designers and theatre technicians. All students will be required to participate in the hands on mounting of each production. During show time, students will be the running crew, board operators, and any other position needed to run the show.
  • Students entering 9th – 12th grades may attend TADW. Students with little experience as well as those with considerable technical backgrounds are welcome. After the introductory classes, students will be placed in classes according to personal interest.  Some secondary schools give academic credit for participation in TADW. Check with your school counselor if you are interested in receiving academic credit.
  • Students in the performance track begin the day with intensive classes in voice, dance and acting, along with an elective (improvisation, musical theatre or playwriting).  After lunch, they break out by cast to rehearse for either the musical or the play. 
  • Students in the technical track will begin their morning with classes in costuming, lighting, sound and stagecraft.  After lunch, they will break out by crew to work behind the scenes on the musical or plays. 
  • As the six weeks come to an end and the productions go up, the performance students will also use their afternoon session to rehearse for dance class finals, to stage and rehearse their 10-minute plays, and to prepare for the musical theatre showcase called “Munch & Crunch.”  Needless to say, TADW is a busy place!
  • Basically yes.  Extended rehearsals and Saturday rehearsals are also scheduled.  While this sounds like a tremendous commitment, TADW students will tell you that the experience is memorable and fun-filled, and we see many students return year after year. Of course, we understand if you are sick and must miss a day or two for illness, but TADW works like a theatre company with every member pulling his or her weight.  For this reason, students are expected to attend all classes and rehearsals.  Extended absences for vacations or for other reasons cannot be accommodated.  If you have specific questions, please address them to the TADW office at tadw@csun.edu, or call (818) 677-5811.
  • Frankly, it’s a nickname that stuck a long time ago and continues to stick around.  It is a phonetic representation of our initials, TADW.  The students are also called TAD-Wanians.


  • We recommend that you apply online, via our website at http://www.csun.edu/tadw and be sure to select the program of your emphasis (performance or tech/design).  If you have any difficulty, please call (818) 677-5811 to request registration materials by mail.
  • The deadline for reduced early enrollment with a $300 discount is December 31, 2014. The regular early enrollment discout of $200 will be available until March 1, 2015.
  • Generally we accept students up to the callback audition date if space is still available.
  • Last-minute applications are not the norm and we prefer that TADW students sign up early.
  • The application allows us to learn more about each prospective TADW member.  Students with little experience as well as those with considerable performance background are welcome and they are placed in classes with other young people of similar age and grade. 
  • First time students are asked to submit two references from teachers or professionals acquainted with student's work habits, cooperation, and ability.
  • TADW is committed to providing students with professional instruction in an immersive experience in the theatre arts.  Students receive education and supervision for 8+ hours a day, with specialized instruction in dance, voice and acting (or technical theatre for students interested in costuming, lights, sound and stagecraft).  We feel our tuition is very competitive, if compared to other summer “camp” programs in the region, and low if you were to break out the individual cost of dance lessons, acting lessons and voice lessons over the course of six weeks.  To cap it off, students receive the opportunity to perform or work backstage on a full-scale production for multiple shows—unlike most school or community programs that may only offer a weekend of performances. 
  • Yes, there is a $300 reduced discount for students who apply before December 31, 2014.  You must apply by March 1, 2015 to receive the regular $200 early enrollment discount.
  • TADW is committed to providing scholarships to students who need tuition assistance.  You can indicate your financial need on your application, or contact the TADW office for more information at tadw@csun.edu, or call (818) 677-5811.
  • A key to producing good theatre is regular class and rehearsal attendance. To that end, the following policies will govern attendance for TADW productions and classes. Permission to miss classes and rehearsals for vacations and summer school is ONLY given in the rarest of circumstances, and usually results in limited participation in the productions.

    Class Attendance Policy

    1. Attendance will be taken at the beginning of each class.

    2. Two tardies will equal one absence.

    3. Students who are absent or tardy from more than two class sessions will be asked to meet with the class teacher and Managing Director.

    4. Too many absences or tardies will affect the final class grade.

    5. Withdrawing from the TADW classes before the end of the program, will result in NO CREDIT.

    Rehearsal Attendance Policy

    1. Attendance will be taken at the beginning of each day's rehearsal.

    2. Students who are absent from two rehearsals (excused or unexcused) will be asked to attend a review with the Show Director, Production Manager and/or staff members. The director and staff members will determine what course of action to take, up to and including the dismissal of the student from the production.

    3. Two tardies will count as one absence.

    4. Withdrawing from a TADW production before the end of the program may jeopardize enrollment in subsequent summers.

    Policy Definitions

    Absence - Missing a class or rehearsal for any reason, whether excused or unexcused. For the sake of the policy, no distinction is made between excused or unexcused absences.

    Tardy - Arriving late to any segment of class or rehearsal, including roll call and warm up.

    Withdrawal - Leaving a class or production before the end of the summer. This includes, Munch, Crunch and Strike.

    All refund requests must be done in writing, with the student's name and date. Requests may be faxed to 818-677-2080 or emailed to tadw@csun.edu.

    The $250 registration fee is non-refundable.

    Refunds are made according to the schedule below.

    Time of Request Refund (minus $250 deposit)
    Prior to Auditions 100%
    After First Audtion 75%
    After Casting 50%
    After start of TADW No Refunds

    TADW administration reserves the right to grant exceptions to the stated policy in situations, but not limited to illness and death in the immediate family.

    No refunds are given if a student is asked to leave the program for a violation of the Code of Conduct.


  • TADW classes and performances take place in Nordhoff Hall, on the campus of California State University, Northridge (CSUN) in the heart of the San Fernando Valley.  Nordhoff Hall is located at 18111 Nordhoff Street, just east of Reseda Blvd.
  • Nordhoff Hall is home to three fully-equipped theatres: 
    • The Campus Theatre.  This 400-seat theatre will be home to the 2015 musical production “Disney's The Little Mermaid”.
    • The Little Theatre.  This 200-seat theatre will be home to the 2015 play “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” and the annual "10-Minute Play Festival".
  • On the first day of auditions and classes, TADW instructors will be outside Nordhoff Hall to direct students to their meeting rooms.


  • Doug Kaback, a professor of theatre in the Mike Curb College of Arts, Media and Communications at CSUN is the Executive Director of TADW.  He is assisted by Hala Baki, who serves as Production Manager of the program. The other TADW administrator and parent liaison is Melissa Filbeck, who serves as Managing Director.
  • Dance classes are led by Candy Sherwin, a professional dance instructor and choreographer. An alumna of CSUN, Sherwin has more than 25 years of experience at TADW. 
  • TADW’s music director is Ed Archer, who also has more than 25 years of experience with the program.  
  • Together, Sherwin and Archer head TADW’s musical theatre elective.
  • TADW’s Technical Theatre track is led by Caroline Law
  • Ray Saar directs the musical with Diane Ketchie who also teaches voice classes. Diane is a professor of music at CSUN
  • Ronnie Sperling teaches improvisation and directs “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” with co-writer and musical director, Chris Halsted. Chris teaches the acting classes.
  • Lindsey Lorenz choreographs and also teaches dance.
  • Other instructors and support team members include CSUN’s theatre department faculty, experienced secondary school drama teachers and theatre industry professionals.

Parent/Student Info

  • Melissa Filbeck can be reached at tadw@csun.edu. Additionally, Doug Kaback may be reached at (818) 677-5811 or doug.kaback@csun.edu.
  • TADW’s website:  www.csun.edu/tadw is an excellent resource for general information about the program.  Additionally, TADW has an official page on Facebook where you can get regular updates and news. Simply search for Teenage Drama Workshop at CSUN.
  • A weekly newsletter is emailed to parents. It contains up-to-the-minute information about classes, productions, special “dress-up” days, photo calls, extended rehearsals and the like. When you enroll, please provide your PREFERRED email address(es) to the program.  If you would like this email sent to both you and your child, please let us know.
  • Attend the weekly TADW Parent Advisory Committee meetings, held from 3:00 to 4 p.m. every Friday throughout the six-week program in the conference room in Nordhoff Hall.  At this meeting, you can find out about volunteer opportunities and sign up to help with the TADW phone tree or other special events.  It is a great way to meet other parents, while supporting this worthy program.
  • TADW creates an annual t-shirt to commemorate the program. Order forms are available at auditions.  These popular shirts are ordered only once, at the beginning of the program, and no extra shirts are ordered for students who may have forgotten to place an order.
  • When you receive your shirt, please write your name in it immediately!  We don’t want your new shirt to go missing and we cannot replace any that are lost in Nordhoff hall.
  • You should bring a binder to TADW to hold your script and class materials.  Label it clearly with your name and phone number.
  • Some students bring a backpack or shoulder bag to hold their binder and personal belongings. Again, please label it with your name and phone number.  Do not leave your backpack or bag unattended and do not bring unnecessary valuables. 
  • TADW is not responsible for items that are left unattended, including cell phones, cameras or iPods. 
  • Comfortable clothes suitable for dance and movement.  (Such as leggings or workout attire.)  Sturdy, closed-toed shoes are required when on all CSUN stages.  (No flip-flops!)  Dance shoes are recommended for the dance classes.  They are available at dance stores, such as Capezio (on Topanga Canyon in Canoga Park) or Apparel Warehouse (on Yolanda Ave. in Tarzana).
  • Students may bring their own lunch. (Refrigerators are not available.) Or they may purchase lunch from several locations on the CSUN campus.  Additionally, if your child has a permission slip signed by a parent or guardian, he or she may walk off campus to one of several nearby restaurants or fast-food locations (i.e., McDonalds, Baja Fresh, Panda Express).
  • Also for convenience and fellowship, TADW offers the opportunity to take part in the weekly “Subway Tuesday”, "El Pollo Loco Wednesday", and/or “Pizza Friday” lunches brought in for students.  Order forms for these low-cost, TADW-sponsored lunches are available at auditions.
  • For quick snacks, there are several vending machines in Nordhoff Hall.


  • The most convenient place to park for all TADW functions is CSUN’s Lot B1, near the corner of Darby Ave. and Nordhoff St., one block east of Reseda Blvd.  You can find a map HERE.  
  • Enter Lot B1 off Darby Ave. and be sure to purchase a parking voucher from the automated machines at either end of the parking lot and place it on the dash of your car before you enter the theatre. 
  • We cannot stress this enough:  If you do not purchase a parking voucher, you will get a ticket. This is true 24-hours a day, seven days a week.
  • On performance dates, the parking voucher machines can be busy and you may have to wait in line.  Please arrive early and allow time to park, purchase your voucher, place it on your dash and get to the theatre.
  • For 2015, the daily parking rate is $6.  Voucher machines take cash or credit cards.
  • Yes. There are weekly passes that can be purchased.  These special “scratcher” passes can only be purchased through the Department of Public Safety (DPS) office. Tell the parking office you are from TADW.
  • The DPS building is at Prairie and Darby Streets and is open as follows:
    • Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
    • Tuesday, Thursday: 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.
    • Sunday: 8 a.m. to noon.
  • You must display the pass in your vehicle whenever you are parked on campus.
  • Yes.  Enter lot B1 and drop off / pick up your child at the end of the lot closest to Nordhoff Hall.  Students should then cross Etiwanda Ave. (the roadway between lot B1 and Nordhoff Hall) at the crosswalk and enter Nordhoff Hall.   Do not block Etiwanda, as students and faculty use this road to drive through campus. Note:  if you park and exit your car, even briefly, you are required to have a parking permit.
  • Your TADW student will receive a cast & crew list (for the musical or the play) and this is a great place to start looking for carpool members.  (Generally, students from the same show and the same elective will have the easiest time carpooling, since rehearsal schedules will be similar, however many families have successfully managed carpools with students from different casts and/or electives.)  Look for people on the list who live in your area and give them a call. 


  • All students in the performance track must audition for the casts of both the musical and the play. Students are evaluated in the areas of voice, dance and acting. 
  • For the voice audition, students are asked to prepare a song of their own choosing.  Most students sing a selection from popular American musical theatre repertoire, but most important is selecting a song that suits your vocal range.  You may bring sheet music (an accompanist will be provided) or a CD track and your own boom box. Because our faculty reviews many students, you may be directed to sing only a short portion of your song.
  • For the dance audition, you will be grouped and taught a simple combination of steps that the dance faculty will then review. 
  • For the acting audition, you will be asked to take part in improvisational games.  Additionally, you may be asked to read “sides” (lines) for certain parts in the musical or the play.
  • All students are called back for the second day of auditions. On this day, you may be asked to read “sides” (lines) for certain parts in the musical or the play. Or you may be asked to sing certain vocal selections.  All of this allows the instructors and directors to evaluate everyone for roles in both shows.


  • At TADW, we offer electives in musical theatre, playwriting and improvisation as well as a dedicated track in technical theatre.  You should pick the elective that interests you the most.  Note that students in the playwriting elective are expected to write short plays for our annual “10 Minute Play Festival,” and the actors for those short plays come from TADW’s “improvisation” elective.   Meanwhile, students in the musical theatre elective stage a showcase of their work at the end of the session entitled “Munch & Crunch.”  These elective projects are in addition to the musical and the play. 
  • Not necessarily.  The musical theatre elective is always popular and enrollment is subject to instructor approval.  Because class size is limited, some students may not receive their first choice elective. Trust the process and the faculty to put you in an elective where your talents will grow and shine .


  • If you are in the performance track, yes.  TADW dance classes are geared to students from beginners to advanced levels.  You will have fun while increasing your flexibility, fitness and ability.  Students receive training in the areas of ballet and jazz, along with choreography. 
  • All students in the performance track take voice classes.  TADW voice classes include instruction in proper vocalization (speaking) and singing techniques to help you build your abilities as an actor or singer.
  • Sometimes. Instructors may ask you to memorize a scene, work on your play or choreograph a short dance number.  Additionally, you will be working on memorizing lines and/or songs for your production or showcase.
  • Yes.  You will receive a letter grade for each of your classes and your elective.  CSUN will mail each student a transcript of grades at the conclusion of the program, which you may take to your school counselor.  Some students have been able to receive credit for their class work at TADW, but you must confirm this with your individual school-counseling department.


  • The majority of rehearsal time is held during the afternoon sessions at TADW, however as show time nears, extended or extra rehearsal time will be scheduled.  These times are announced to cast members in advance, and included in parent newsletters that are emailed weekly. 

TADW Traditions

  • Yes. TADW alumni include many working actors and entertainment industry professionals, including actress Mare Winningham and actor Don Burroughs.  Many TADW students go on to study theatre at Cal State Northridge and other universities nationwide.
  • From time to time, depending on availability.  In 2008, For example, Broadway star Shoshanna Bean (“Wicked”) was a guest speaker. Additionally, Peter Barsocchini, the writer of “Disney’s High School Musical,” along with Charles “Chucky” Klapow, a choreographer from the film “High School Musical 3,” and actor/TADW alumn Don Burroughs (“Mamma Mia” Las Vegas) came to visit with students as they prepared for TADW productions.
  • Nancy Cartwright, the voice of Bart Simpson, and character actor, Allan Rich, visit the program and even sponsored scholarships for students.
  • At the annual “Munch & Crunch” showcase, which serves as the unofficial “culmination” of TADW each summer, senior students prepare a fun skit, called “Bogus” highlighting memorable moments from the summer.  It is definitely not to be missed.
  • As mentioned, Munch & Crunch is the unofficial “culmination” of TADW and an annual highlight for students. While it features a showcase of student work from the musical theatre elective, students from dance and voice classes are invited to perform, as well.  Additionally, you won’t want to miss the annual picnic lunch, “Bogus” skit and the presentation of certificates, awards and scholarships.
  • From time to time, the students organize and promote (via bulletin boards and in-class announcements) fun dress-up days.  Examples include pajama day, superhero day, Broadway T-shirt day, etc. 


  • TADW production dates are announced early, so please consult the production calendar (Found here: Showtimes ) before you audition to avoid any conflicts.  Some performances are held during the day, some in the evenings and some on weekends. This ensures parents and community members have many opportunities to enjoy live theatre for youth at CSUN. 
  • Yes. Following your last performance for the play, musical, or 10-minute play festival, all cast and crew are expected to be on hand for the mandatory set strike. Directors and stage managers will provide additional information.  Additionally, following Munch & Crunch, all TADW members are expected to participate in a brief clean up of Nordhoff Hall.  Remember: Many hands make light work.
  • Tickets

    • Absolutely.  Tickets are available via Ticketmaster (for a surcharge) or at the CSUN Ticket Office, which is located in the University Student Union on campus, near the Plaza del Sol theatre.  The nearest parking lot to the ticket office is Lot G4 off Zelzah Ave.  Ticket office hours are Monday-Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.  You can also reach the ticket office by phone at (818) 677-2488.  Additionally, on show days, two hours prior to each performance, the Ticket Office operates a satellite box office in the lobby of Nordhoff Hall.
    • Because TADW has operated for more than 50 years, and is known for its quality productions for youth, many community organizations (YMCAs, day camps, youth centers) buy blocks of tickets for our performances.  Weekday morning shows are the most likely to sell out.  Please plan accordingly and buy your tickets early if you have certain dates in mind.  By the end of our run, most shows will sell out.  We don’t want to turn anyone away, so we encourage you to purchase tickets for your family and friends as early as possible.
    • Yes.  Please call Doug Kaback at (818) 677-5811 for more information.

click for showdates & times

The Little Mermaid Logo


Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Logo


10 Minute Play Festival Logo

TADW | California State University, Northridge 18111 Nordhoff Street Northridge CA 91330-8320 | (818)677-5811 | tadw@csun.edu