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Frequently Asked Questions about EPIC Productions

EP is a competitive program created in 2017 to enhance artistic and theatrical opportunities for FCFSC skaters. Members are 15 – 30 skaters who learn original ensemble numbers with theatrical costumes, props, and scenery. EP provides over 90 hours of customized training on- and off-ice to enhance your teamwork and ensemble skating. EP is directed by Marianne Strobel, along with certified coaches Diana Deka, Denaysa Sisemore, and Lomi Christiansen.

What is the National Showcase Competition?

An annual non-qualifying competition held by U.S. Figure Skating that fuses artistic creativity with solo, duet, and ensemble events. It is held over 5 days the first week of August – in 2020 it will be here in Fort Collins! Most showcase numbers are 2 to 5 ½ minute programs with music from popular Broadway or movie musicals, such as Hamilton, Lion King, Moana, or Chicago. Showcase uses 6.0 judging for all events, based on technical merit (20%), skating skills (30%), and entertainment value (50%).

How do I join EPIC Productions?

To become a member of the EPIC Productions team, you need to sign up and attend a casting call each year. Even if you’ve skated with us before, you need to fill out a new form. You’ll also sign the (new in 2020) Member Agreement, which is a contract to participate in the program, a Code of Conduct agreement, and two medical forms. It’s also very important that you read through the EP Handbook to learn about our policies and processes.

What will I do for the casting call?

The casting call is conducted in groups of skaters, organized by level. It lasts about 30 minutes for each group. You will not skate an individual program. You’ll be asked by coaches to perform jumps, spins, theatrical tricks, and an interpretive group skate. The purpose of the casting call is to place skaters into roles for the large and mini ensembles, as well as create choreography that best suits the skaters. Placements are based on skating level, skill, age, size, and the number of skaters. 

What if I change my mind about joining after the casting call?

It’s just fine to change your mind after the casting call! Please come skate regardless of how sure you are. You don’t need to decide until about a week later, when membership registration is due, so you can think about it until then. If you have questions, come to our parent meeting (1st week of December) or contact Marianne Strobel (mkstrobel@hotmail.com) or the volunteer Team Manager Rosa Martey at rosa.martey@colostate.edu.

What kinds of roles can I get?

Skaters will each have two roles: one in the large ensemble with all skaters, and one in a mini-ensemble of 3 – 7 skaters. All skaters have featured moments. Younger skaters often skate in trios or quartets, and more advanced skaters have featured vignettes. Roles include exciting theatrical costumes and many skaters use props.

When are rehearsals and competitions?

Rehearsals start in mid-January, and are usually held on weekends or Friday evenings during the school year. In June and July, rehearsals are usually Tues., Wed., and Thurs. at 7:00 a.m. (final days/times will be announced in January):

  • January – May – 2 rehearsals per week: 90 minute rehearsal for large ensemble + 60 minute for minis
  • June & July – 4 rehearsals per week: two 60-minute large ensemble + a 60-minute for minis + a 60 minute off-ice

The ensembles will compete at Fort Collins Classic and at the USFS National Showcase Competition. We will also perform a program in the Spring Spectacular ice show and rink exhibitions.

How much does it cost?

Members pay a $250 non-refundable deposit (due December 20th), and 8 monthly payments (January through August). You will be billed electronically, and you may use bank or credit card payments. Total cost for the 2020 season is estimated at between $1,600 and $1,800 per skater for rehearsals, costumes, props, competition registration, photos/videos, and all other program expenses. The final cost will be announced after the casting call.

Why has the cost gone up from last year?

For 2020, we’ve added nearly 40 hours of training by starting 3 months earlier, and we added a competition: Fort Collins Classic. We are also have four coaches (rather than three) this year, and have added regular off-ice rehearsals in the spring. You will receive a separate sheet with costs detailed for the current year as part of your membership packet before fees are due.

How do we communicate with each other about all the details?

We do not use email to keep you updated about the many logistical details we navigate in EPIC Productions once the season begins. Instead, we use a free app called Slack that organizes conversations into channels for easier discussion management. See the Communication page for details about how to set up and use Slack.

What if I need to drop out of the program?

When skaters leave the program mid-season, all their ensembles have to be re-choreographed and re-cast, which represents a lot of time and effort for coaches and the other skaters. We do understand that injury sometimes means skaters have to leave the program. Please schedule a meeting with the Director to discuss your situation no matter why you need to leave the group. We don’t offer refunds for past months, but you will not be charged for the balance of the season if you have to leave because of injury. Skaters who choose to leave mid-season for personal reasons must meet with the Director to discuss, and may not be eligible for membership the following year. Regardless of the reason, the paid deposit is non-refundable.

Why did the site change design suddenly?

I finally tackled the poor defaults of the previous WordPress theme I was using, and switched to this much more customizable and pleasant one.#futuregoalsachieved

Take a look at this highlights video to see EPIC Productions in action!