Placer Rep Announces New VAPA Academy of Colfax

This is a pilot program developed for grades K-8. 

Placer Rep Announces New VAPA Academy of Colfax

Due in no small part to the scholastic vision and creativity of Superintendent Andrew Giannini and the Colfax Elementary School District, Placer Rep is excited to announce the establishment of the Placer Repertory Theater VAPA Academy of Colfax, a pilot program developed for grades K-8.

The VAPA Academy program employs the visual & performing arts as a foundation from which applied arts, language arts, social sciences, and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) may be integrated and explored through non-traditional thematic and experiential curriculum & activities outside the regular academic school day to address students' social, emotional, physical, and mental development.

"Huge thanks belong to Superintendent Andrew Giannini and the Colfax Elementary School District for their scholastic creativity and vision. Funny story - I first reached out altruistically to help Andrew find a visual arts educator. As our conversation migrated to Placer Rep's current education outreach programs to middle & high schools and colleges, it became apparent that there was a tremendous opportunity in Colfax to build something substantial, due primarily to Andrew's creativity and kind willingness to raise funds and garner support for a K-8 extended learning program," said Placer Rep Founder Teresa Stirling Forsyth.

Through expert facilitation of thematic and experiential curriculum, VAPA Academy students learn to use their creativity and imagination to conceive, plan, author, collaborate, lead functional groups, direct, design/craft, produce and perform age-appropriate new works relevant to the students, reflective of their individual voices and collaborative group voice.

The VAPA Academy program operates in three formats:

  • Intersession: All-day programming (usually for one week) during school breaks.
    • April 3 through 7, 2023 from 8 a.m. to 5:30 PM
  • Summer Program: All-day programming for four to six weeks outside the regular academic school year.
    • May 29 through June 30, 2023, from 8 a.m. to 5:30 PM
  • Extended Education: Daily afternoon programming throughout the academic school year.
    • August 2023 through May 2024 from 2:30 to 6 PM.

Some of the Placer Rep Company Members and Affiliates who selected to participate in the VAPA Academy administration and student education facilitation include Teresa Stirling Forsyth, MFA MS, Founder/Producing Artistic Director for Placer Repertory Theater, expert in new works development and social sciences; Judy Merrick, BFA USC and RADA training program, with 13 years professional theater in NY, LA and UK, who is an expert in improvisation; Kyla Quinn, BA Technical Theater, who worked for Lifetime and Asylum Studios and is a specialist in Performing Arts Technology, and Carey McCray, BFA NYU Tisch, who is a professional regional theater performer and musical theater specialist, along with Matthew D. Heyer, BFA, professional actor, Arie Krastev BS Computer Science, BS Mathematics and early career actor and STEM specialist, Shianne Dingeman, BA in Film/Media Studies, minor in Theater from UC Santa Barbara, our digital media specialist; and Cloud Adams, BA in Theology who has professional film acting credits and is our humanities specialist. Visit Placer Rep's website for more information on the program and biographies of the artist/educators helping to facilitate the Placer Rep VAPA Academy of Colfax: or contact the Colfax Elementary School District (


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