Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Park Playhouse - Palace Theatre Expand Educational and Theatrical Partnership

ALBANY - Partners continue enhancing collaboration to host year-round workshops in newly renovated studio & classroom space, as well as an expanded slate of family-oriented productions on the Palace stage sponsored by Berkshire Bank. 

Albany, NY: Park Playhouse announced the next steps in its collaboration with the Palace Performing Arts Center today, including a series of year-round education initiatives housed in a renovated wing of the Palace’s nearly 100-year-old structure. Over 700 square feet of space, previously used for storage, has been converted into functional dance and acting studios, complete with high ceilings & professional-grade, Harlequin sprung flooring. The studios will be used to host arts education programming for students of the Capital Region and as rehearsal spaces for an expanded program of Park Playhouse’s scholastic productions (which reach upwards of 15,000 Capital Region students through free performances at The Palace and school tours). The Palace will also make this space available for rent to other arts groups in need of rehearsal, instructional or meeting space.  Details on upcoming programs & productions appear below:

Park Playhouse instructors will offer a variety of tuition-based theatre classes being offered in 10-week sessions. These classes are designed to cater to both beginner and advanced students between the ages of 8-18.

For students ages 8-12, Performing Artist’s Workshop is aimed at giving beginner and intermediate-level students a well-rounded musical theatre education. These classes provide fundamental skills with each student training in the basics of dance, acting, and voice technique during each weekly 90-minute class. Classes are held Wednesdays.

For students 12 and over, a series of Theatrical Dance Classes help build the fundamental abilities needed to excel as a dancer and artist on stage. Classes are technique-based, with the focus on building skills and not preparation for recital performances.

Finally, for students ages 15-18, Park Playhouse is introducing a new class focused exclusively on the art of acting. Advanced Scene Study will cover topics including rehearsal preparation, scoring of scenes, monologue presentation, audition preparation, in-depth scene analysis and improvisation. Classes are held Thursdays.

The Palace Theatre is presenting a new free Urban Arts Series, giving locals students a tuition free opportunity to learn to express themselves through a variety of performing arts styles.

Park Playhouse will partner with Broadway Connection to bring professional Broadway artists 
to the Palace in Albany for a series of diverse two-hour master classes.

Broadway Connection is a unique 7-session Master Class Series featuring teaching artists from the National Tour productions coming to Proctors during the 2015-2016 Season. The two-hour classes cover topics drawn from a wide variety of performance disciplines, based on the style of the show in which the visiting artists are featured. Classes will culminate in open question & answer sessions with Broadway Connection instructors, all of whom have significant experience performing on Broadway and in touring productions. Students can sign up for individual sessions or the full series of master classes.

Park Playhouse will present A Year with Frog and Toad, Freedom Train, and Freckleface Strawberry as free school-time shows – Sponsored by BERKSHIRE BANK – as well as performances available to the public at the Palace, and will bring touring versions of the shows to area schools.  Public performances feature free admission for children twelve years of age and under.

 A Year with Frog and Toad 
•    Public Performance: Nov. 8
•    FREE Palace Theatre School-Time Performance: Nov. 9
•    Local School Tour: Nov. 9-20
•    A hit on Broadway, A Year With Frog And Toad was nominated for 3 TONY Awards, including Best Musical. Based on Arnold Lobel's much-loved books, this whimsical show follows two great friends, the cheerful Frog and the grumpy Toad, through four, fun-filled seasons. A Year With Frog And Toad tells a story of friendship and loyalty that endures all obstacles. 

Freedom Train 
•    Public Performance: Feb. 7
•    FREE Palace Theatre School-Time Performance: Feb. 8
•    Local School Tour: Feb 1-12
•    Freedom Train tells the thrilling story of Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad in a fascinating series of highly theatrical scenes using the period’s rich musical tradition. It is a story of self-sacrifice, dedication and survival, laced with warmth and a sense of humor that celebrates the human spirit -- a universal story for all. 

Freckleface Strawberry 
•    Public Performance: May 15
•    FREE Palace Theatre School-Time Performance:  May 16
•    Local School Tour: May 9-20
•    Freckleface Strawberry The Musical, based on the beloved New York Times Best Selling book by celebrated actress Julianne Moore, is a fun and touching family musical where Freckleface must learn to love her freckles and love herself. With the help of her loveable schoolmates including an amazing ballerina, a cute jock, and a totally kooky teacher, Freckleface learns that everyone is different - and that's what makes everyone special. 

Park Playhouse students will, once again, present a stage version of the holiday classic 
A Charlie Brown Christmas live on stage at the Palace Theatre in December – Sponsored by KeyBank.

A Charlie Brown Christmas
•    Performances: Dec. 19 and Dec. 20
•    Park Playhouse is pleased to present the second annual production of this holiday classic live on stage at the Palace Theatre, through support from presenting sponsor KeyBank. Charlie Brown, Snoopy and the Peanuts gang grapple with the real meaning of Christmas in this delightful production, featuring the classic music of the Vince Guaraldi Trio and a host of other holiday favorites. Over 20 of Park Playhouse’s students, many returning following their summer productions of The Pajama Game and Cinderella will perform this second annual edition of a family classic, along with a trio of local musicians. 

NOTE: TICKETS FOR PUBLIC PERFORMANCES OF ALL THE ABOVE-LISTED PRODUCTIONS ARE ON SALE NOW. Adult tickets to each production are $20. KIDS 12 & UNDER ARE FREE AT ALL OF THESE PUBLIC PERFORMANCES. Tickets are available at the Palace box office, by calling the box office at (518) 465-4663, or by visiting Ticketmaster

More information about Arts Education Programming at Park Playhouse and The Palace Performing Arts Center is available atwww.parkplayhouse.com. Student or parent inquiries can be directed to Ashley-Simone Kirchner at akirchner@palacealbany.com or(518) 434-2035 x113

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