Young aspiring performers eager to hone their skills need to look no further than Naperville to learn from masters in the craft this summer. In a move-the-mountain-to-Mohammad scenario, the Academy of the Arts, a nonprofit academic and art school launched in 2021, secured a cast of theatrical artists from Broadway to lead a new series of classes for students 10 years of age through college.
“The Impact Series provides students with high-intensity experiences and connects them with the professional arts world,” said Academy Co-Founder & Executive Director Dylan Ladd. “Each program gives students the unique opportunity to train with those they aspire to work with someday.”
The courses in the series focus on varying areas of theater and run consecutively, thus enabling registrants to take one, two, or all three.
First in line is Musical Theatre, a five-day intensive workshop comprising vocal sessions, mock auditions, dance, and acting. This course features Broadway personalities Erika Henningsen (Mean Girls), Merri Sugarman (casting director for Jersey Boys, Miss Saigon, and School of Rock), Justin Prescott (Funny Girl), and Galen J. Williams (Motown the Musical). The course includes a field trip to see SIX at the CIBC Theatre. June 13-17, 9AM-4PM. Tuition: $995. Lunch provided daily.
Next up is Dance, an immersive class led by eight professional dancers who host six masterclasses in jazz, modern, hip hop, composition, and career path mentoring sessions. Faculty members include Nan Giordano, Giordano Dance Chicago artistic director, Beverly Bautista, a dancer appearing in a Nicki Minaj music video, and Chawantá Marie Van, a cast member in Lizzo’s Watch Out for the Big Grrrls on Amazon Prime. June 20-24, 9AM-4PM. Tuition: $950. Lunch provided daily.
The series concludes with Music Audition Prep, a course offering group and individual audition repertoire coaching, placement exam prep classes, mock auditions, and a college fair experience for vocalists and instrumentalists preparing for admission to college music programs. June 27-July 1, 9AM-4PM. Tuition: $725.
The series will be held at CityGate Centre at the corner of Rte. 59 and Ferry Rd. All courses will conclude with a recital performance for family and friends.
The Academy is committed to accessibility in its programming and offers need-based scholarships to those seeking an arts education.
“One of our biggest values as an organization is the ability to provide this high-level arts training to all students that have the desire, regardless of their financial background,” Ladd stated.
Registration and scholarship applications are available at www.illinoisartsacademy.org. Students traveling to Naperville for the Impact Series are eligible for a special rate at Hotel Arista at CityGate Centre. For reservations, call (630) 579-4100.