Musical Theatre West (MTW) will continue its initiative to provide free and affordable arts enrichment programming for children of all ages through two Summer Youth Conservatory programs starting this July. Aspiring student actors ages eight to 18 will have an opportunity to work with professionals in developing their musical theatre skills.
According to an announcement from the Long Beach-based theatre company, MTW’s Education and Outreach program has exposed well over 100,000 youth to the “magic of musical theatre” since its inception in 1991. Through daytime matinees and school tours, MTW continues to impact on the world of educational theatre.
Musical Theatre 101 from July 6 to July 10 will teach eight-to-twelve-year-old students the basics of musical theatre and audition prep during the morning session and 13-to-18-year-olds similar introductory basics during an afternoon session.
Discovering Theatre, a class for students who enjoyed Musical Theatre 101 or have a background in theatre, is designed to hone the skills necessary for future careers in the profession. By the conservatory’s completion, students will have a fully rehearsed audition song in their try-out arsenal and a better understanding of how to navigate the professional world of musical theatre.
New to the curriculum this summer, students will have the chance to help write a show, to be performed for parents and friends.
Discovering Theatre runs for two weeks from July 13 to July 24. On July 23 students will perform in a show they created for the their families, friends and the public.
Brandon Nease, MTW’s new education/outreach coordinator will oversee the program, working with Executive Director and Producer Paul Garman.
“We are delighted to offer programs for those interested in exploring musical theatre and those who desire to enhance their skills,” said Nease in a statement.
Both programs will be separated into different age groups, allowing the students to work within their prescribed developmental level, noted Nease.
According to the release, Nease, a graduate from Chapman University with a double major in Theatre and Integrated Educational Studies, has worked as a choreographer and director at local community theatres, middle and high schools and the Boys and Girls Club. In addition to teaching summer camps programs in dance, vocal, and acting training, he most recently served as the Center Theatre Group Education and Community Outreach Intern, where he developed and organized workshops and youth engagement activities.
Garman added, “Our goal is for the students to have fun, while learning and developing their abilities as performers. Enthusiasm and passion for theatre is as important as experience.”
Musical Theatre 101 is $150 for the week-long course. Discovering Theatre is $275. Students wishing to participate in all three weeks will pay $325 for both programs, with a $75 discount.