As autumn looms and our children head back to school, Adventure Theatre MTC is also gearing up for the fall semester — one filled with performing arts classes that are fun and enriching, that will benefit kids on stage and off.
The Adventure Theatre MTC Academy offers their students the highest quality creative drama and musical theater training, including classes, student productions, camps, and workshops based on National & State Fine Arts Standards of Learning. Courses have a defined curriculum and goals regardless if they are enrichment (ie, just-for-fun) or technique-based, and the teaching artists have over 30 years combined experience. And ATMTC prides itself on its history of alumni which includes Broadway and National Touring artists as well as leaders in local theatre in and around Washington, DC.
I can personally attest to the quality of their programs. Owen recently participated in his third year of camp with Adventure Theatre, an experience that was once again a highlight of his summer. Over a two-week session the kids learn an incredible amount about acting and the inner workings of the theatre, which they showcase in a real production that parents and friends are invited to watch. It truly is impressive to see just how much they get out of classes.
But the best part is knowing how much fun they have in the process and seeing them gain skills that translate into other parts of their lives. As one Adventure Theatre rep put it:
“No matter what you do in life, you will have to present yourself and display confidence despite what you’re really feeling inside. For interviews, presentations, and meetings, regardless of your chosen career path, you will have to understand your own body language and movement ability — and what that says to others. Learning to present oneself early in front of a group of people will assist in future endeavors no matter what path they choose in life. Additionally, enhancing nonverbal and verbal skills helps you stand-out and creatively communicate to others in this age where everyone relies on digital communication. However, if their path is one of the stage (singers, musicians, actors, and even behind-the-camera), understanding the actor’s process is essential.”
A variety of classes are available this fall for all ages, interests, and experience, even a workshop for parents, including:
(Grades K-3) Musical Theater Dance: A beginning dance course designed to introduce your young dancer to the dance moves and terminology used in professional musical theater. Under the direction of the instructor, students will learn proper dance terminology, develop dance etiquette, and increase their body awareness as they learn the basics of ballet, jazz, and tap dance.
(Grades 6-12) Actor’s Workshop: In Actors Workshop III, students will sharpen their talent through the process of rehearsal and presentation of scene work and a one-act piece, allowing them to identify acting habits that will inhibit growth in textual work, character development, technical polish and interplay. Pre-requisite of Acting Technique II is required, or by instructor permission. (Once advanced to level III, students will continue to work a different play each semester, culminating in The Academy Acting Showcase to be performed at the Glen Echo Main stage on Sunday, May 15, 2016.)
Smart Stage Parent’s Workshop: This workshop has been created to provide parents with practical, solid advice to benefit their child and assist them in navigating the world of professional theater. Make no mistake, the arts world offers steady stress for kids: Auditions outnumber jobs; competition and rejection are facts of life. This special workshop will offer valuable insight, advice and tips from a professional panel including casting and collegiate professionals. Topics will include overcoming what is holding you back from getting seen by Casting Directors (it’s all about relationships), to get (or not to get) a manager & agent, to be (or not to be) equity, creating resumes and headshots that stand out (for the right reasons!), steering clear of scams, how to effectively handle rejection, and plenty of insider tips that will help you help your child follow his or her dream.
(Grades K-3) Sing, Dance, Act!: The best way to introduce your young thespian to the genre of musical theater! This class will include stage performance basics, vocal instruction, and simple Broadway dance combinations by creating and using age-appropriate musical scenes. No pre-requisite or placement is required for this course. (Advancement level option after two semesters, or by instructor permission: Broadway Prep.)
(Grades 1-3) Mini-Play: Snow White and the Seven Dwarves: No audition required This class culminates in an informal performance that is guided by literature and created by our students. Participants will join Snow White, the Wicked Queen, and the Seven Dwarves as they explore the story, its characters, plot line, and sequence; working together to create their own improvised theater piece!
(Grades 6-12) Ballet/Jazz Combo I or II: Students learn two musical theater styles in one class. The combination course allows students to gain a fundamental knowledge of and preparation for the dance forms of both ballet and jazz. Classes consist of learning the standard placement of feet and arms, basic terminology, barre exercises, floor work and simple jazz combinations.
(Grades 4-7) Acting the Song: Facilitated by an experienced voice teacher and musical theater professional, students will work on the skills necessary to technically and aesthetically perform musical theater repertoire. Both up-tempo and ballad songs will be chosen for students’ vocal ranges and acting abilities.
These are just a sample of the many classes being offered, so be sure to check out the full list. Days, times, and rates vary by class — you can find all of those details on the Adventure Theatre MTC website.