The Academy for Musical Theatre

OK, so confession: I was a real band geek as a kid. Actually, I should say "orchestra" geek, because I played the viola, and we were part of the orchestra (all string instruments). My enthusiasm for music extended to the piano, and led to several trips to Scarborough Music Camp. My family loved indulging my musical tastes, and took me to all sorts of musical theatre, concerts and ballets. So I was more than a little excited when The Academy for Musical Theatre (formerly Perth Academy of Musical Theatre) came on board as our May featured sponsor. The Academy offers high quality instruction in music, acting, dance and various aspects of technical theatre for youth ages 5 to 19, culminating in the performance of a full-scale Broadway musical.

My oldest daughter is a tiny bit too young for their summer programs, but you can bet I'll be signing her up next year! Youth of all ages have a new opportunity in Ottawa this summer to participate in high quality and immensely rewarding and fun musical theatre workshops, and to perform in full productions of Annie, Pirates of Penzance, Fiddler on the Roof, or Rent.

Can I just plug music and theatre for a moment? I know parents often think of the arts as less important than, say, athletic or math skills, but research has proven that musical children actually perform better in school. Yup, that's right! Learn a musical instrument (including your voice!), and you'll get higher grades!

As well, learning to perform in front of a non-judgmental audience can be a HUGE boost for kids' self-esteem - they gain confidence, loads of new friends, and discover new abilities.

Here's a bit more about the Academy for Musical Theatre and some of the summer program highlights. Don't miss out - sign up soon! In the meantime, check them out on Facebook and learn more by visiting their website.

The Academy is the winner of the Perth Chamber of Commerce 2004 Business Achievement Award, is headed by Heidi Stepanek (B.Mus., M.A.), who has also nominated for the YWCA’s Women of Distinction Awards, and boasts a staff of several highly trained theatre professionals who are also all long-time alumni of The Academy. Heidi is a professional and experienced musician, stage director, drama educator, who has built a career out of her love of working with children, and passion for musical theatre. She is also a registered music teacher with ORMTA.

The Academy‘s 2014 summer workshops include four exciting choices: Annie (ages 5-9), Pirates of Penzance (7-18), Fiddler on the Roof (8-14), and Rent (13-19).

Each workshop includes training in triple threat skills provided by professionals in their art (dance, voice, acting), training in various technical aspects of musical theatre (sound/microphone use, lighting, props, costuming, make-up), a script, costumes (provided by their own costumer), and a chance to perform in a professionally staged production with high quality sound and light engineering. Each workshop participant is cast in a specific role, and has the opportunity to be featured, for has Heidi says, “everyone deserves a little time in the spotlight!”

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