Q: What is The Imagination Machine?
A: The Imagination Machine is a professional children’s theatre company. We have a 30-year history in Southern California of performing elementary school students’ original stories in an assembly format. Students whose stories are performed will receive a Certificate of Writing Achievement at the end of the assembly. THE BEST PART - EACH SCHOOL ONLY SEES STORIES WRITTEN BY THEIR OWN STUDENTS!!
Q: How many stories do you perform?
A: We encourage EVERY grade level to participate, and ask that teachers submit approximately ten stories per class. After our company members read through every story, we will choose a total of approximately ten to be performed at your school. (Due to time constrictions, at schools requiring only one performance, we may be able only to perform eight stories.)
Q: How far in advance do you need the stories?
A: Stories need to be in our offices approximately 6 weeks prior to assemblies.
Q: Do spelling, punctuation and grammar matter in submissions?
A: NO! Our hope is to inspire children’s imaginations, and let them know that pencil and paper are nothing to fear. We NEVER “grade” stories on the mechanics of writing, but choose stories which will “translate well”, and leap to life on stage. (For more specific guidelines, please refer to our “Guidelines for Teachers”.)
Q: How long is the show?
A: Each assembly runs approximately 45 minutes. Should you require more than one performance, it is recommended you leave about 15 minutes between shows to facilitate easier audience turn-over.
Q: Do you need a stage?
A: Not necessarily. We do require an indoor performance space, but it is not unusual for us to perform in a library or cafeteria. We simply need about 16’x20’ area of actual performance space and access to ac power.
Q: How many performers are there?
A: Our shows consist of 3 or 4 actors (depending on the stories to be performed) and 1 pianist.
Q: What is the cost?
A: For assembly prices, please refer to our booking page on this website. Pricing varies upon the number of assemblies required for your individual school site. (This depends on your student population and the capacity of your performance space.)
Q: Do you tour outside of Southern California?
A: 2012/13 will mark the beginning of our newly expanded tours of Northern California and the San Diego area. For our touring program, our normal pricing will apply for performances. However, contracts will need to cover travel expenses including transportation and room and board for 5 performers, plus transportation of our set and props. (Set, props and performers will travel in one van.) These costs will be divided between the schools booked for the tour. The more schools who book, the more affordable this will be for every school!
Should you have any further questions, please contact the office which serves your area.
We look forward to bringing your students’ stories to life!
Your students are important to us! In order to give them the greatest opportunity to have their writings performed, please make sure to follow the guidelines listed below.
- Each story submitted must be labeled with the student's full name, grade level and teacher's name.
- We accept stories from one or two sentences on up to, but not exceeding, two pages.
- Please avoid using specific prompts. Variety, creativity & imagination are highly encouraged. Book reports, essays, and lists are unable to be accepted.
- All submitted stories must be on paper no larger than 8 ½ x 11.
- Every story that is selected for performance is copied for our actors. If you submit a copy rather than an original, please be sure the quality of that copy is such that we can easily read the entire story as well as the name, grade and teacher's name.
- All grade levels are encouraged to participate. Please flag stories written by special education students. Stories can be individually written or a collaboration of two or more authors.
WRITINGS THAT WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED:
- Due to the memorization required on a daily basis, we are not able to perform plays written in “script format”.
- We cannot accept, nor be responsible for the safety of any books submitted.
Please proofread all stories prior to submitting. We rely on you to ensure the subject matter is appropriate/permissible for your school. We strongly advise that you DO NOT SEND STORIES VIA DISTRICT MAIL, as it often delays delivery.
All stories must be in submitted to The Imagination Machine six (6) weeks prior to scheduled performance date.
Should you have further questions, please contact the office which books assemblies in your area.