As a teacher and director with over fifteen years of experience directing theatre at the high school level, Julie Little has been committed to students' education in the dramatic arts. She strongly believes in providing an enriching theatre experience that connects students from the imaginary world of drama to a practical
application of a theatre production through dramaturgy and interdisciplinary study. Her teaching perspective has always included youth's introduction to a wide range of hands-on skills and has provided an avenue for producing classic literature as theatre, workshops, field trips, and community outreach. Her programs have been a collaborative effort in which cast and crew, adults and students are of vital and equal importance. Little's background includes teaching theatre history and dramatic literature, experience as a dramaturg for multiple productions, play adaptation, and training in acting, directing, and production.
Director Julie Little holds a Masters of Fine Arts in Theatre and is a drama coach and a member of the local repertory, Castaways Repertory Theatre. She is experienced in directing, teaching drama, and working with small and large groups of young actors. Through drama classes and plays, she has demonstrated her professional and creative acting and directing abilities in several areas within the field of theatre arts. For her contributions to local youth theatre, Julie Little was named the 2017 Outstanding Arts Educator during the Kathleen K. Seefeldt Awards for Arts Excellence ceremony in May 2017 at the Hylton Performing Arts Center in Manassas, Va. After 15 years writing and directing, Ms. Little plans to take more of an executive function in future productions, beginning 2019.
Homeschool Theatre Troupe (HTT) is a place for homeschoolers, ages ten and older, to participate in the production of large-scale shows and potentially other activities over the course of the year. For many years, we have performed sketches for a local senior facility, scheduled field trips related to theatre, and held dances and reunions in addition to our main stage productions.
Homeschool Theatre Troupe (HTT) has been in existence for fifteen years, but in 2014 we came under the auspices of the local nonprofit community theatre group, Castaways Repertory Theatre (CRT), and are very happy to have found a home with which to continue our youth theatre program. This is why you will see us sometimes referred to as Homeschool Theatre Troupe and other times as Castaways Youth Theatre.
Though CRT is moving toward eventually including a youth musical, we currently specialize in bringing classic literature to the stage. Our shows over the years have included Les Misérables, The Count of Monte Cristo, Alice in Wonderland, The Canterbury Tales, A Christmas Carol, The Odyssey, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Robin Hood, A Tale of Two Cities, Pride and Prejudice, The Great Gatsby, Oliver Twist, Jane Eyre, and The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. We wrapped a stirring rendition of A Little Princess in June.
We rehearse and perform at the Ferlazzo Auditorium in Woodbridge; schedules are determined by the availability there. We generally rehearse during the day during the school year and the schedule varies, but a typical schedule is nine weeks of three-hour rehearsals, three times a week until technical rehearsals, when we move to an intense, five-hour, daily rehearsal schedule (am & pm) until performances. Our casts are anywhere between 25-50 in size, ages ten and older.
Auditions are required to be cast in a show. Casting is dependent upon the number of roles available in the script and therefore not everyone who auditions can be cast. Those not cast in speaking roles are often offered ‘extra’ roles (roles with no lines) when available, or other technical jobs if the student is mature enough, such as helping back stage or with lighting and sound. A membership fee is required to participate in any of Castaways’ productions. Production fees are also applied; fees are based on the needs of the show.
Participating in a show requires a huge time commitment for the student as well as the family of the student. Actors often spend more than 100 hours working on a show and parents are asked in some way to volunteer time and energy on the production in behind-the-scenes committees.
HTT is in a bit of a transition at the moment with a new production team taking over the helm. Our next production will be spring 2020. Feel free to request to be on the email list so that you can receive updates on audition notices. You can read more about HTT on these pages. Though each show varies in scope and costs, here you will find a typical rehearsal schedule, membership fees, and production costs.