Finding the Right Activity
Class Details Section
Age, Neurodiversity, & Sensory Guidelines
- Activities that serve a wide age range usually have multiple teachers and/or focus on individual or small-group skills so students get appropriately tailored age-level and skill-level instruction.
- Our age listings are guidelines and not absolute. We know that age is not an exact reflection of maturity, ability, and neurodiversity, nor is age a metric of sensory tolerance. Exceptions are frequently made, but talk to us before registering.
- Some of our classes are noisy and chaotic. Some are quiet and introspective. Some require students to stay focused on independent projects, while others are highly structured. Some classes are great for a wide range of ages and abilities and some are not. Many of our classes are well-suited to a variety of neurodiverse students. While we go to extreme lengths to accommodate specific needs, not every class can be stretched to fit every student.
If you have any questions about what classes would be right for your child, don't hesitate to ask. We welcome conversation about your specific needs and will accommodate as best we are able. We want your child to be set up for success in our programs, and appreciate your partnership in making that happen.
Tweens, Teens, & Pre-Professionals
Student Production Policies
- CASTING. When a student registers for a production, they are expected to accept whatever role they are offered. We do our best to make sure all students have a chance to shine in every production. Students interested in roles with heavy vocal and acting demands will be asked to audition at a time prior to the beginning of rehearsals to ensure the right fit and support is in place. If your student has special needs, advanced abilities, or other concerns, contact us so we can ensure placement in the program will be appropriate and a great experience for all.
- AUDITONS. When auditions are offered for a production, priority for principal roles will be given to students who audition. Some shows are cast by Audition Only. Please check the Details of the production.
- VOLUNTEERING. Production classes, including plays, musicals, and films, do require Students and/or their families to volunteer, which can include rehearsal monitoring, costume and set building, venue preparation, backstage assistance, location management, cast party planning, and more. Sign up details for specific productions will be made available upon registration.
- CONFLICTS. Please communicate up front if you have known conflicts with the schedule. We can plan around most conflicts if we know in advance, maximizing the time we do have. Significant conflicts may affect casting decisions.
- DESIGNERS. Being a designer for one of our shows is one of the most time-flexible roles. Designers do not need to be at all rehearsals. Designers may work during rehearsals or at other mutually agreed-upon times. Designers should plan on being present for all performances.
- DIRECTING, CHOREOGRAPHY, STAGE MANAGEMENT, AND OTHER ROLES. Students with an interest in aspects of theatre besides performing will be encouraged to participate and will be allowed to earn opportunities for leadership.
Drop Off and Pick Up
- SCHOOL YEAR CLASSES. Our teachers are mostly also parents and frequently arriving directly from picking up their own children. Please be patient if we don't arrive very much in advance of class, and pick up your child promptly at the conclusion of class. If there is a class immediately before or after yours, arrival and departure can be flexible, but please do check with us in advance.
- SUMMER CLASSES, SPRING BREAK CAMP, & SCHOOL DAYS OFF ACTIVITIES.
- For full day students, drop off hours begin at 9:00am. The first hour is usually unstructured time, when students are allowed to read, craft, rest, and play games. Activities begin at 10:00am unless otherwise noted.
- Activities end at 4:00pm unless otherwise noted. Students must be picked up no later than 5:00pm.
- MALL ACCESS. Some classes end after the mall closes. If you cannot be in the mall by the time it closes, please be sure we have accurate contact information. We will walk students to the sliding doors outside the swim school for pick up.
Extended hours may be possible some weeks with prior arrangements and for an extra fee. Please contact us to inquire.
Parents During Class
- Children 3 and under must be accompanied by a caregiver at all times.
- Unless a class is labeled as Caregiver Participation, if your child is registered for a class and we have the requested contact info, contact permissions, and waiver on file, you are welcome to drop off your child and return at the end of class.
- Parties are an exception. We do rely on at least two parent volunteers willing to stay on site and chaperone. This helps reduce our staffing costs and keep the parties extremely affordable.
- Parents are welcome to stay in the venue as desired whenever we have room. We have private desks, seating in the room, seating right outside the room, and a lounge in the back room. Whether your child needs extra support, you’re working thru separation issues or you just need a place to work while waiting, we are happy to accommodate parent needs when possible.
- Parents are asked to not stay in the venue on teen nights or large rehearsal nights unless parent is volunteering. Teen activities typically take over the entire venue. The mall has other places nearby where parents can hang out.
What to Bring
- We always recommend students bring a water bottle. Our water fountain has been out of commission due to Covid. We will service and/or replace it when we are able.
- If your student is staying for 90 minutes or longer, we recommend packing or bringing money for a snack and water ($1 each). We do not supply snacks.
- If you are attending a class between school and dinner, please be sure your student has a snack to maximize their ability to enjoy the class. If a student is struggling to focus and does not have money or a snack, I frequently personally donate a snack to the student. Please remember to send money or a snack. Bulk snack donations from parents are very helpful.
Shows & Events
- WHERE/WHEN TO BUY. You may buy tickets online or at the venue for shows and events. We encourage you to buy tickets in advance. Our space is not large and some shows do sell out.
- CHECK IN. We keep a list of purchasers at the door for check in. You do not need to bring a physical ticket or receipt. Once you have purchased your ticket, your reservation is confirmed and you will only be contacted if the schedule changes. We are working on automating processes to improve this part of the communication experience, and appreciate your patience.
- TICKETING FOR CHILDREN. Shows require a ticket for all attendees.
All students age 11 and younger must be accompanied by a responsible adult, maximum six kids per chaperone.
Responsible and appropriately-behaved students age 12 and over may attend on their own, provided a responsible adult is present and reachable in the mall. Students will not be directly supervised.
- Shows require a ticket for all attendees with the exception of children ages 2 and under sitting on a caregiver's lap. If the show is not appropriate for the child or the child cannot behave appropriately, you may be asked to watch from the back of the room where we can supply drawing supplies or blocks for younger children, to be supervised by their caregiver.
- Unless otherwise noted, seating is general admission.
- We tailor the house arrangement every performance based on the activity and number of tickets sold. If you have specific needs, please let us know in advance.
- Wheelchair patrons, please let us know how many are in your party and if you prefer front, mid, or back of house.
- Strollers must be left outside the seating area. A stroller parking area will be provided as needed.
- You may register online or at the venue for activities.
- We encourage you to sign up early or let us know if you are considering signing up, to help us staff and plan appropriately. Most classes have a run determination date listed in their details, which is the date we will cancel a class that doesn't have sufficient registration. Knowing you’re coming can make a difference in whether or not the class happens at all. Some classes require advance registration to ensure enough supplies are on hand. Check the event's details section for more information.
- While class preregistration is not required, it is highly recommended to ensure availability and receive notification of any changes due to weather and other extenuating circumstances. We can’t always get to the mall to post signage about changes.
- Once you have completed your order, your student is enrolled and you will only be contacted if the schedule changes. We are working on a registration form, but for now, if you are a new student, we will collect your info and ask you to sign a waiver on the first day of class. We are working on automating processes to improve this part of the communication experience, and appreciate your patience.
- Registration fees are due in advance of the first class.
- We are usually willing to set up installment plans upon request.
- SCHOOL YEAR CANCELLATIONS.
- For Classes and Events during the school year, registration is refundable up until 48 hours before the beginning of the first class minus a 10% cancellation fee. Classes cancelled within 48 hours of the first class and before the start of class are 50% refundable. Registrations are non-refundable from the start of class onward. Alternately, cancelled registrations may be credited 100% (pro rata) towards future classes.
- In some circumstances, if a student must miss class or cancel part way through a class, we will consider offering a pro rata credit towards future classes or arrange for a make up time.
- PRODUCTIONS ARE NOT REFUNDABLE. Future class credits be issued at our discretion.
- SUMMER CANCELLATIONS. For summer classes and events, registrations cancelled before May 1st can be refunded minus a 30% cancellation fee. Registrations are non-refundable from May 1st onward, but may be credited towards future classes.
- SHOW CANCELLATIONS. Show tickets are not refundable but they are transferable to any other performance, class, or event.
- IF WE CANCEL. Any class that we cancel will be refunded as soon as we are able. Reasons for cancellation may include:
- Federal, state, or local mandates
- Staffing shortages and changes
- Classes with fewer than 4 students
- Productions with fewer than 9 performers
Need a discount? Take one! Need more of a discount? Send us a message. As a non-profit, our mission is in service to our community and we want you to be able to participate, whatever your circumstances. If we reach at least 60% enrollment in a class or if we have received donations, we may be able to offer scholarships.
- SCHOOL YEAR DISCOUNTS. Use code NEED20 for 20% off all school year Classes and Student Productions for whatever reason you need it.
- SUMMER DISCOUNTS. Use code NEED10 for 10% off all summer Classes and Student Productions for whatever reason you need it.
- SHOW DISCOUNTS. There are not generally discounts for shows, showcases, guest artists, and professional productions. Tickets sales in our small space cover the expense of presenting and are frequently split with the artists. If you cannot afford a ticket to a production featuring your student, let us know and we will offer you a discounted or complimentary ticket.
Can you make a donation? Great! We are a 501(c)3 nonprofit. Donations help keep our programs affordable and pay for scholarships, and you can add one at checkout. Please visit our ABOUT US page to learn more about our mission and vision for the performing arts in Frederick County. If you would like to make a donation specifically for a scholarship, you may put that in the notes on checkout and it will be honored.
Photos, Videos, & Social Media
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The Free Range Kids & Teens storefront is located in the Francis Scott Key Mall at 5500 Buckeystown Pike in Frederick, Maryland.
The best entrance to use is the one under the Blue Awning on the backside of the mall. This parking area is between Macy’s and Value City Furniture. You will be able to leave through this door at any time.
We are near center court, across the hall from H&M. For more details, visit our HOURS & LOCATIONS page.
If you arrive to pick up your student and the mall is closed, wait by the blue awning door on the backside of the mall. We will walk students out to this door and wait with them until your arrival.