Frequently Asked Questions about EPIC Productions
EPIC Productions (EP) is a competitive program in Fort Collins, created in 2017 by Marianne Strobel to enhance artistic and theatrical opportunities for FCFSC skaters. The group consists of 15 – 30 skaters who learn original ensemble numbers with theatrical costumes, props, and scenery under the guidance of 3 – 4 certified EPIC rink coaches. 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 and supported by several coaches including Denaysa Sizemore.
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 5-6 days the first week of August. 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 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 fine to change your mind after the casting call! Please come skate regardless of how sure you are about your participation for the year. You don’t need to decide until membership registration is due, which is generally a few weeks later. If you have questions, come to the parent meeting (1st week of December) or contact Marianne Strobel (firstname.lastname@example.org) or the volunteer Team Manager Rosa Martey at email@example.com.
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 late January, and are usually held on weekends 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 by March):
- 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 compete at the USFS National Showcase Competition held annually in the first week of August. We also sometimes compete at local competitions and in the FCFSC ice show. We also perform a public exhibition in late summer to prepare for the competition.
How much does it cost?
Members pay a $250 non-refundable deposit 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 season is generally around $2,000 per skater for rehearsals, coaching, ice time, costumes, props, competition registration, photos/videos, and all other program expenses. The final cost is announced after the casting call.
What do my fees pay for?
Members receive over 60 hours of on- and off-ice training in theatrical and ensemble skating, and have leadership opportunities such as serving as ensemble captain, costume manager, and more. Plus, the program includes competing in a USFS sanctioned national competition! 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 deposit is non-refundable.
Take a look at this highlights video to see EPIC Productions in action!