“Save the drama for drama class”

In the fall of 2010, the Parkway Playhouse, Jr. opened the doors to children ages 6 to 18 for their first session of theatre classes. A wonderful time was had by all!

A total of 34 students spent 8 weeks exploring various elements of theatre arts. Our elementary students ventured into the excitement of imaginative play, while learning performance skills as they memorized and practiced poetry with clear diction and lots of charisma. The teen students dove straight into monologues, while continuing to practice improvisational skills and discovering basic fundamentals of life in the theatre.

Our instructor, Mary Katherine Smith, is a Parkway Playhouse Company member who just so happens to also be a passionate educator.  Mary Katherine was last seen in Guys and Dolls as Miss Adelaide and Lily St. Regis in Annie, which she also choreographed. She has training from international instructors from all over the world and has worked in various educational studios and institutions with ages 2 to 70 over the past 10 years. We are happy to add her to our Parkway staff as Director of Education and Outreach and are eager to see what she brings to our organization.

We are now moving full steam ahead as we plan for the Spring of 2011 Parkway Playhouse, Jr. classes! We have extended the Spring session to 16 weeks and have added a new age to the equation but opening an 8 week session for 4 and 5 year-olds.

We are very pleased to introduce  Andrea Bailey as a new teacher for the Spring.  Andrea brings with her a deep passion for music, and especially the benefit music has on children and young adults.  Andrea is the music director of Bright Hope Laurel United Methodist Church and is a member of the Southern Appalachian Chamber Singers and a graduate of the Mars Hill Music Department. She is working on A Christmas Carol for the Playhouse where she is serving as music director, and was last seen on stage this summer in the productions of Pride and Prejudice, Guys and Dolls, and Annie. We are very excited for this new addition to our educational department.

We are also thrilled to announce that on the evenings of April 29th and 30th, the Parkway Playhouse, Jr. will be producing their first annual Country Western Show! This will give elementary and teen students an opportunity to hone in on performance skills, while uncovering movement, vocal/choral, and character techniques.

Stay tuned for upcoming information about Parkway Playhouse, Jr. summer camps and programs!!!!


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Parkway Playhouse, located in the Appalachian town of Burnsville, NC, is a haven of theatre talent. While people come to the mountains to get away, Parkway Playhouse is a natural gathering place to connect. Likewise, we are an extension of traditional mountain talents: singing, dancing, and, foremost, storytelling. By giving rise to energetic new voices and through a wide variety of plays and musicals, we invite our audience into experiences that are thought-provoking, adventurous, and entertaining. Together we reimagine the world in every live performance, creating dynamic conversations that last far beyond the curtain call. This blog is will feature stories, helpful information, insight and features about the performances.

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