WVU School of Theatre & Dance invites young students to take the stage this summer with new programs
School’s out for the summer—or at least it will be for a number of K-12 students in the coming weeks. Some students have the beach on their minds when turning in those final homework assignments; maybe a family vacation, or even just time to sleep in or play outside.
For other students, the summertime is an opportunity to focus on their love for the performing arts and refine their craft.
“It’s important for young performers to study in the summer since school is out and they can focus solely on their passion for dance or theater without having school-related things in the back of their minds,” said Yoav Kaddar, director of the dance program at West Virginia University.
Summer Dance Academy & Young Academy
Under the direction of Kaddar, two programs intended for different age groups will be held during the week of June 10-16.
Students ages 11-18 with at least three years of prior dance training are encouraged to register for the Summer Dance Academy to train with WVU faculty and guest artists in a variety of styles. Participants have the option of commuting to their daily classes or to stay in the WVU residence halls.
Students will take classes in technique, ballet, pointe, jazz, modern, repertory, yoga, stretch and relaxation, hair and make-up for the stage, Israeli folk dance, injury prevention, improvisation, theater movement and capoeira, a Brazilian dance form.
“After a very successful initial year with the launch of the Mountaineer Summer Dance Camp last year, we are proud to offer this extended program, which brings new and exciting guest artists and faculty as well as an extended class schedule,” Kaddar said.
Faculty members Kaddar, Stephanie Morris, Mary McClung and Renee Nicholson will teach classes. In addition, guest teachers include Gail Benedict, Maureen Mansfield Kaddar, Kara Lawson and Luciana Carvalhal Braga.
Students who elect to stay in the WVU residence halls will be supervised by WVU Dance Program student chaperones.
The week will culminate in a student showcase at 11 a.m. on June 16 that will feature the participants performing original works created by faculty. Students are welcome to bring choreography from their own studios that they wish to present in the show. The showcase will be held in the Lyell B. Clay Concert Theatre and is free to the public.
In addition to the main program, WVU is introducing the Young Academy that is geared toward the younger dancer, ages 4 to 9. Alumni and current students of the WVU Dance Program will lead the program. Classes will include ballet, jazz, tap, creative movement and more.
A short informal performance will be held at 12:15 p.m. in the dance studio at Elizabeth Moore Hall on June 15.
“This summer program promises to be packed with dance and creativity,” Kaddar said. “We look forward to meeting and welcoming new students to the WVU campus and the Creative Arts Center for this exciting week.”
For more information on both programs, including what participants should bring with them, the week’s schedule, tuition and registration forms, visit http://theatre.wvu.edu/summerdance.
Summer Acting Academy
Young actors of all levels are encouraged to participate in the Summer Acting Academy. The one-week program is intended for students ages 11 to 17 who are interested in exploring a wide array of actor training classes.
“This is a wonderful opportunity for students to experience what life as a real actor is like,” said Joshua Williamson, director of the School of Theatre & Dance.
Classes throughout the week consist of acting, movement and stage combat, voice and speech, dance, monologues, character masks, improvisation and production. Students will attend classes held in the Vivian Davis Michael Laboratory Theatre.
The program is led by WVU faculty and guest artists, including Jenna Cole, Cathy O’Dell, Jerry McGonigle and Gail Benedict, who are trained in working with young actors.
Like the dance academies, the week will finish off with a performance on June 16 at 2 p.m. in the Antoinette E. Falbo Theatre.
“These summer academies in dance and acting were developed in response to requests from parents and high school students in the community for a more intensive and immersive study of acting and dance,” Williamson said. “Specifically created for the teenager, these academies offer instruction by our own faculty and students and feature recitals that allow the students to demonstrate what they’ve learned.”
Interested participants should register by June 1 to guarantee enrollment. For more information on classes, tuition, registration and more, visit http://theatre.wvu.edu/summeracting or call 304-293-2020.
CONTACT: Joshua Williamson, School of Theatre & Dance
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