Announcing Open Auditions for The Academy at the Asheville Arts Center!

THE ACADEMY AT THE ASHEVILLE ARTS CENTER is a year-round, pre-professional conservatory for students with the commitment and desire to deepen their performing arts education in acting, singing and dance.

Students ages 7 – 18 are eligible and may be admitted by audition after submitting an application.

The Academy’s “acting company” conservatory approach allows students and instructors to build a supportive, exciting, boundless learning group. Together they’ll explore the tools and styles of performing on stage, film and TV.

The Academy and Jr. Company are also the recipients of the prestigious and nationally recognized Broadway Junior Spirit Award from the annual Junior Theater Festival hosted by iTheatrics and Musical Theatre International. They were also honored with multiple acting achievement awards and directing awards.

Current Academy students have earned lead roles in many community and school productions, paid voice-overs, and film projects. The Academy works hard to help graduating students who wish to continue their studies prepare University auditions or find professional theater company internships. Three of our graduating seniors, this year, have received full scholarships to continue their study in college.

Auditions will be held on Saturday, July 17th at the Asheville Arts Center (308 Merrimon Ave.). Individual auditions will begin at 9:00am and last until 10:45am. Auditions will be scheduled in 15 minute increments. Auditionees must call the Asheville Arts Center at 253-4000 to schedule an audition time.

(more…)

June 17, 2010 at 4:59 pm Leave a comment

Next at the AAC:

Disney's The Aristocats Kids

Disney’s The Aristocats Kids
North Cast: Friday May 21 6:00PM, Saturday May 22 4:00PM and 6:00PM
South Cast Saturday May 22 12:00PM and 2:00PM

Madame’s jealous butler Edgar cat-naps Duchess and her Aristokittens and abandons them in the Parisian countryside. What’s a cat to do? Luckily, Thomas O’Malley and his rag-tag bunch of Alley Cats come to their rescue! This feline adventure is sure to get you tapping your feet to the hep, jazzy beat, of some Disney favorites including “The Aristocats,” “Scales and Arpeggios” and “Ev’rybody Wants to Be a Cat.”

Cats at the Asheville Arts Center

Cats
May 28th, May 29th, June 3rd, June 4th, and June 5th at 7:00pm
May 29th, and May 30th at 3pm

Based on “Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats” by T.S. Eliot, CATS tells the story, in song and dance, of the annual gathering of Jellicle cats at which time one special cat is selected to ascend to the Heaviside layer. A true musical theatre phenomenon, CATS opened at London’s New London Theatre on May 11, 1981 and ran for a record-setting 21 years. CATS’s London success was nearly matched on Broadway where it ran at the Wintergarden Theatre for just over 18 years.

The Asheville Arts Center Music Recital
May 9th at 1:00pm in the Main Hall of the AAC. Asheville Arts Center students will perform a showcase of the wonderful things they have been learning in their music lessons. Admission is free.

The Asheville Arts Center Dance Recital
Saturday May 15th at 1:00pm at Isaac Dickson Elementary School. Asheville Arts Center students will perform routines from their dance classes. You’ll see some incredible dancing from ballet to musical theater to hip hop! Admission is free.

The Gallagher School of Irish Dance Performance
Saturday May 15th at 6:00pm at Isaac Dickson Elementary School. Come see our largest dance department showcase what they’ve been working on all year!  Tickets are $5.

May 3, 2010 at 1:27 pm Leave a comment

KINDERMUSIK: Growing & Learning

Yvette Odell

We’d like to share the triumph that our very own Yvette Odell received recently from the Kindermusik organization. She was given the Special Growth Award that recognizes program owners who have the highest growth percentage in each curriculum area. On top of that honor, Kindermusik also featured Yvette in their last newsletter for this accomplishment:

A special CONGRATULATIONS to Yvette Odell, Kindermusik educator from Asheville, North Carolina who received the award for the Greatest Percentage of Growth for ALL Curricula.

Yvette has consistently been there to help the children of Western North Carolina to grow and learn through music with Kindermusik. And she is truly amazing with all the children, including kids with special needs. In fact, Yvette just got this glowing review from a very happy mother:

At Kindermusik at the Asheville Arts Center, Austin is celebrated for who he is regardless of his abilities. Miss Yvette creates a warm, encouraging environment for all of the families in the group and Austin adores her. She shares my joy in Austin’s accomplishments, large and small, and is a valuable member of Austin’s “community.”

– Jennifer Kelly, Austin’s mom

So Yvette, we would like to join Kindermusik and all the parents and children you teach in thanking you for a wonderful job!

If you or anyone you know is interested in upcoming Kindermusik classes, or our award-winning Kindermusik summer camps call 253-4000 for more info. Or just CLICK HERE.

April 28, 2010 at 10:47 am Leave a comment

UPCOMING SHOWS AT THE AAC!

I Never Saw Another Butterfly

I NEVER SAW ANOTHER BUTTERFLY
Directed and Produced by Andrew Gall
April 29, 30, and May 1 at 7:00PM.

Featuring Clare Johnson, Daniel Moore, Gabrielle Kay, Julia Williams, Tristan Wahl, Amy Rodgers, Kate Sorrells, Sabrina Utz, Jamie Foster, Tim Bates, and Kevin Foster.

SYNOPSIS: Between 1942 and 1945 over 15,000 Jewish children passed through Terezin, a former military camp. In the course of their thankfully short period in power, the Third Reich used Terezin as a ghetto. In this brief time Terezin was the “stop-off” point for hundreds of thousands who were persecuted by the Nazi’s and whose lives ended at Auschwitz.

I Never Saw Another Butterfly is based on a collection of poems, drawings, and mementos left by the children of Terezin that goes by the same title. Recreations and reprints of the actual drawings are being used in this production. The book briefly notes the names of the children, the dates of their birth, and their arrival at Terezin. For many children, whose stories are interwoven in this play, their brief biography ends with the note; “perished at Auschwitz”.

In May of 1945, when Terezin was liberated, there were only about 100 children left to return to their families and lives.

April 29, 30, and May 1 at 7:00PM.

Romeo and Juliet

ROMEO & JULIET
directed by Ann Mahoney-Kadar
April 29 at 8:00pm, April 30 at 8:00PM and May 1 at 3:00PM

Featuring Savannah Crespo, Lochlan Belford, Daniel Moore, Annie Benson-Greer, Mary Katherine O’donnel, Caroline Stray, Ben Word-Sims, Gracie Turner, Tori Silverman, Connor Dalton, Natalie Benson-Greer, Sabrina Utz, and Josh Koon.

FROM THE DIRECTOR: I set the show in the mind of Friar Laurence, an often overlooked and underused character in the play. In reading the text, it is the Friar that seems to hold the most affection for Romeo & Juliet, and presumably all the “kids” in Verona. He marries Romeo and Juliet believing, perhaps egotistically, that his actions may help “turn their households rancour to pure love.” Then, as the plan falls apart, the Friar speaks continually of the mental toll all the deaths, banishments, and threats of suicide, are taking on him. At the end of the play I often wondered, “What happens to the Friar? How does he deal with the sudden suicide of two kids he treats like his own children?”

My answer, is that the mental anguish is too much for him, and he has to be taken to a monastery asylum to live out his days. This is where OUR play begins. The Friar, confined to his bed in the asylum, flashes back to the bloody events he witnessed, spewing out the lines of the Prologue. He relives the story as if it is taking place all over again, at warp speed. His fellow monks give him some relief in the form of a sedative, but this serves only to send him into a dream state, where he lives out the events of the story again. This time, he appears not only as active participant, but also as a ghost of himself. The “Ghostly Father” haunts scenes he has no business being in, trying to undo the actions that led to his mental demise.

Enjoy! This ain’t your Mama’s Romeo and Juliet.

April 29 at 8:00pm, April 30 at 8:00PM and May 1 at 3:00PM

Aristocats, Kids!

Also, tickets for Aristocats Kids are going on sale TODAY! Performances for the North Cast will be Friday May 21 6:00PM, Saturday May 22 4:00PM and 6:00PM. Performances for the South Cast will be Saturday May 22 12:00PM and 2:00PM. Call 253-4000 now to get your tickets!

If your child is interested in being in our next production, they are Beauty and the Beast, Jr. (ages 6+) and Aladdin Kids (ages 4-7) this summer. There are still some spots open – call 253-4000 or click here for more info and registration for Beauty and the Beast, Jr. And click here for Aladdin Kids.

April 26, 2010 at 2:13 pm 2 comments

HUGE ANNOUNCEMENT!!!

The Asheville Arts Center is proud to announce our 2010-2011 Season!

Registration information will be available very soon. In the meantime, if you’re interested in being a part of these great shows, call us at 253-4000!

Fall 2010:

Disney's Sleeping Beauty Kids

Disney’s Sleeping Beauty Kids (ages 4-7)

It’s princess Aurora’s sixteenth birthday, and Flora, Fauna and Merryweather must use their fairy magic to save her from the spell of evil sorceress Maleficent! This classic fairytale told Disney-style has many roles for a large chorus, from King Stefan and Queen Stefanie’s Loyal Subjects to Maleficent’s slimy goons. Songs from the beloved film, including “Once Upon a Dream,” accompany fun new songs like “Maleficent!” and “A Little Magic Now” to bring a fresh telling of the story to a new generation of kids and families.

Music Man Jr.

The Music Man Jr. (ages 8-18)

Direct from Broadway, this American classic is sweeping schools nationwide! You’ll have no “trouble” convincing kids to perform in this masterful musical that features over 20 roles for kids of every level. With a pop standard that includes “Trouble,” “76 Trombones,” and “Till There Was You,” The Music Man Junior is the perfect production for young people!

The Pirates of Penzance, Jr.

Pirates of Penzance Jr. (Academy)

Wacky, irreverent and as entertaining today as it was when it first opened in 1879, THE PIRATES OF PENZANCE spins a hilarious farce of sentimental pirates, bumbling policemen, dim-witted young lovers, dewy-eyed daughters and an eccentric Major-General, all morally bound to the often-ridiculous dictates of honor and duty.

A Year With Frog and Toad Kids

A Year With Frog and Toad Kids (Academy)

Arnold Lobel’s well-loved characters hop from the page to the stage in Robert and Willie Reale’s musical A Year With Frog And Toad. Conceived by Mr. Lobel’s daughter, Adrianne Lobel, A Year With Frog And Toad remains true to the spirit of the original stories as it follows two great friends, the cheerful and popular Frog and the rather grumpy Toad through four fun-filled seasons. Waking from hibernation in the spring, they proceed to plant gardens, swim, rake leaves and go sledding, learning life lessons along the way, including a most important one about friendship and rejoicing in the attributes that make each of us different and special.

Winter 2010-2011 Shows

Disney's 101 Dalmations Kids

Disney’s 101 Dalmations Kids (ages 4-7)

In a loving home in the city of London, Dalmatian parents, Pongo and Perdita happily raise their Dalmatian puppies, until the monstrous Cruella De Vil plots to steal them for her new fur coat! Join all the dogs of London, as they daringly rescue the puppies from Cruella and her bumbling henchmen. With a delightfully fun score, lovable characters, and one of the most deliciously evil villains in the Disney canon, this stage adaptation is certain to charm and delight all audiences.

Schoolhouse Rock Live! Jr.

Schoolhouse Rock Live! Jr (ages 8-18)

The Emmy Award-winning Saturday morning educational cartoon series is now the basis for one of the most fun, energetic, and easily mounted musicals ever to hit the stage! Perfect for young performers of all ages and experience levels, Schoolhouse Rock Live! Junior will be a hit for actors and audiences alike! This cast will also tour local schools performing for their peers.

Spring 2011 Shows:

The King and I (all ages)

TBA (Academy)

Again, registration information will be available very soon – so keep your eyes peeled!

April 21, 2010 at 11:18 am Leave a comment

AAC Students ON FIRE!!!

Our Academy Students Excel!

Kate Sorrells in ONCE ON THIS ISLAND, JR.

Our Academy Students continue to impress and delight everyone who gets the chance to see them! We are incredibly proud to announce that three Academy Alums, Daniel Moore, Mary Katherine O’Donnell, and Kate Sorrells, were accepted to the Greensboro College Theatre Department in the fall. CONGRATULATIONS!
Daniel Moore was offered a full scholarship and Mary Katherine O’Donnell received a half-scholarship. Not ones to rest on their laurels, Mary Katherine O’Donnell and Daniel Moore will be summer interns at Parkway Playhouse where they will be cast in shows as well as working behind the scenes on the technical aspects of the summer shows.

Seniors Daniel Moore and Mary Katherine O'Donnell

Our Academy students have been racking up the roles this summer, too! Here are just a few highlights. Mary Katherine O’Donnell will be a Hot Box Dancer in Guys and Dolls, Laura in The Ballad of Tom Dooley and she will also be in the ensemble of Pride and Prejudice. Daniel Moore will be playing the Multi-Character Male in Leaving Iowa (NC Premiere production), and he is in the ensemble of Guys and Dolls and Annie. Annie Benson-Greer will also be a Hot Box Dancer in Guys and Dolls. All three students will all be at The Parkway Playhouse this summer.

Aislin Thompson, Instructor Mary Katherine Smith, and Josh Koon

And over in Hendersonville, Josh Koon is playing the role of Edward, Ralph Waldo Emerson’s son, in The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail a drama/biography by Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee (authors of Inherit the Wind and Auntie Mame) at Hendersonville Little Theatre. Performance dates are May 7 – 23, Friday and Saturday at 8pm and Sunday at 3pm.

Even More Good News from the Junior Theater Festival!

Gavin Reep, Savannah Crespo, Lincoln Belford, and Sarah Plaut, all selected as 2010 All-Stars

iTheatrics will be inviting the 2010 Junior Theater Festival All-Stars to participate in a special workshop this summer as a part of their Junior Theater Academy in New York City. Lincoln Belford and Sarah Plaut, were selected as All-Stars, and they are automatically eligible to participate without an audition. They’ll be joined by Savannah Crespo.
There are slots for up to 36 students in a special workshop reading of Disney’s My Son Pinnochio JR. with music written by Stephen Schwartz. This workshop will be held from Monday July 26 to Friday July 30 with the final presentations being held that night at an Off-Broadway theater. Additionally, any student who participates in this workshop and also attends the 2011 Junior Theater Festival will be invited to perform in the presentation of Disney’s My Son Pinnochio JR. as a part of the New Works Showcase!

Aislin Freya Pax Thompson warming up

Aislin Freya Pax Thompson, of our Junior Company, has been selected out of THOUSANDS of students from all over North America to travel to New York for a week this summer to take part in the MTI Choreography DVD as a dancer! She will be dancing in the choreography DVDs for Fame Jr. and Dr. Doolittle Jr. Aislin also snagged the role of Molly in Parkway Playhouse’s production of Annie which runs June 25 through July 10.

Spring Break Success!

Our very own Jayna Gerber and, Academy student, Josh Koon took part in a commercial over spring break! Both students auditioned at the WNC Unified auditions and were cast by Black Pearl Productions. They performed highlights from the book Gone Away Into the Land by Jeffrey B. Allen to be shown in London and New York to promote the book to publishing companies at different book festivals. Great job, guys!

April 20, 2010 at 12:43 pm Leave a comment

Happy Spring Break!

Ceili and Aislin in the Pool on Spring Break

I was just sitting here poolside with Eliza watching Ceili and Aislin play. They hadn’t been in the pool very long before they started an impromptu show for us! They performed dances and songs they had learned at the Arts Center. They’ve never had a better audience!

And it made me think of all of our other wonderful students at the Arts Center – and how proud I am of all of them and how happy it makes me to have them as part of our family.

Aislin and Ceili perform

I hope that all of you are having a wonderful Spring Break surrounded by friends and family – I look forward to seeing all of you again soon!

Also, I apologize for the craziness at the Arts Center before Spring Break, too. It was a madhouse in there! With the Early Registration Discount and the opening of Summer Camps, the phones were ringing off the hook.

Ceili and Aislin work out stages right and left

Well, right now, the office is awfully quiet. The Early Registration Discount may be over, but there are still some spaces left in our awesome Summer Camps! We’ve got Summer Camps for just about every age and area of interest. Feel free to call us now and you’ll get our undivided attention. Or you can always register online – just click here.

Again, thank you for being part the Asheville Arts Center family. I am excited each and every day that I get to help spread a love for the arts with such wonderful people. See you soon!

For the love of music, drama, and dance in your life,

Heather Taft

Founder and Instructor

Asheville Arts Center

p.s. There are some spaces left, but they’re filling up fast. Register NOW for some real, lasting Summer Camp memories!

April 7, 2010 at 4:04 pm Leave a comment

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