Columbus Children's Theatre Launches Advanced Performance Academy

Columbus Children's Theatre Launches Advanced Performance Academy

Columbus Children's Theatre announces the launch of its Advanced Performance Academy for stage-bound students. Known for its professional productions and stellar introductory and intermediate classes, CCT is answering the demand for students who are looking to enhance their current skills this summer or are considering a career path in theatre arts.

CCT's Advanced Performance Academy will feature a top-notch faculty and staff who will lead the students to professional-quality productions through the program's three subdivisions: Youth Ensemble (ages 8-11), Junior Ensemble (ages 11-14), and Young Adult Ensemble (ages 14-18).

At the top of the highly-qualified faculty is Greg Hellems, Associate Professor of Acting/Musical Theatre at Wright State University. Mr. Hellems brings to CCT nearly thirty years as an artist/teacher, working with professional and pre-professional actors, singers, and dancers. He has worked as faculty and guest artist at the Interlochen Center for the Arts, and has directed and choreographed for university and regional theatres across the country, including the Signature Theatre in Washington, D.C.

"Greg brings a level of expertise to the table that I find really exciting for our students" said Ryan Scarlata, CCT's Associate Artistic Director. "His approach is inspiring - how he engages students and gets them to break through barriers, whether those be challenging skills or personal walls. I have seen him transform students with his questions, asking and encouraging that they think critically and feel immensely."

This summer, Mr. Hellems will head up CCT's Advanced Performance Academy's 5 week Young Adult Ensemble as teacher and director. Along with faculty members Dr. Kathleen Allen (Assistant Professor, Central State University), Joey Bates (Fitzmaurice Voicework Master Teacher), Krista Stauffer (regional actor/teaching artist) and Jonathan Collura (regional actor/music director/teaching artist), Mr. Hellems will teach the teenage students to utilize their tools to their greatest potential and guide them toward a greater understanding of their individuality as artists. With a collegiate approach, the students will be pushed to high levels of challenge and expectation to strengthen their talents and prepare them for future studies. The Young Adult Ensemble will culminate in production of the hit Broadway show Spring Awakening. This coming-of-age rock musical will take place on CCT's Park Street Theatre stage August 3-13.

The two younger ensembles of CCT's new program will be led by CCT's renowned staff of directors and teaching artists including Collura, Stauffer, Scarlata, and CCT's Education Director Kati Serbu. The Youth Ensemble and Junior Ensemble, serving 8-11 years and 11-14 year olds respectively, seek to provide an enhanced foundation for their participants.

The Junior Ensemble, inspired by CCT's former internationally recognized Summer Youth Performance Conservatory, provides students ages 11-14 with in-depth musical theatre training in acting, singing and dancing. Working together for 3 and a half weeks, the students will work with teaching artists and production staff 8 hours a day in classes and rehearsals culminating in a two week run of Shrek The Musical Jr. at CCT's Park Street Theatre.

The Youth Ensemble opens opportunity for advanced students 8-11 years of age. This ensemble is set to perform a full staged run of Disney's The Lion King, KIDS - an adaptation specifically made for young performers. Following 3 weeks of classes and rehearsals (mixture of both half and full-day), this performance will take place June 29 - July 2 at the McConnell Arts Center.

Auditions for CCT's Advanced Performance Academy will take place on April 1st and 2nd. Registration is required. CCT encourages any student that is looking to further their experiences and gain a wealth of training to consider auditioning for the program. Exact dates, times, tuition fees, and financial assistance information can be found on CCT's website Any additional questions please contact our Education Director, Kati Serbu, 614-224-6673 ex 33.

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