Inspired by New York City's The Actors Studio, thespians Erica and Shane Peterman established The Acting Studio as a place for youngsters and adults with acting aspirations to focus on their craft. Along with experienced dancer Kellie Carroll, the Petermans train students on musical-theater fundamentals in classes that range from jazz dance to private voice lessons. The advanced Triple Threat program places pupils intending to pursue a performing-arts career under the tutelage of industry pros who prep them for performances. Kids more interested in dabbling, meanwhile, can meet industry bigwigs at workshops, and several full-scale productions each year grant children the chance to act alongside their peers and improvise dance numbers.
The six-headed hydra of spontaneous comedy known as Four Day Weekend has been wreaking havoc on North Texas doldrums since 1997. Critically adored by the metroplex’s most prominent presses, the group squelches laughter droughts with their weekend bouts of unscripted hilarity. The professional troupe of cut-ups, many with film and Second City Conservatory of Chicago credentials, happily share the tricks of the trade in their four-level training center. Emphasizing “truth in comedy,” the curriculum covers fundamentals such as characterization and long-form improv, giving students the tools they need to extract their inner hilarity or survive an hour in a prop closet with Greg Proops.
Founded in 1991 by Sara Akers, Plano Children’s Theatre exists to help children ages 5 to 18 find out who they are. For more than 19 years, the theatre has been a place where kids could be the star and a place where they could gain an appreciation and love for live theatre.
When Angi Ullrich was looking for a children's theater class for her daughter, she was ruffled at how inconvenient the class times and locations were. It got her thinking, "What if the classes took place where the kids already were?" So she founded Broadway Bound School of Performing Arts in 2007 as a way to bring drama classes to schools, daycares, and wherever else kids wanted to learn. With classes covering everything from puppetry to musical theater, the experienced teachers help students from 3 years old through high school tap into their imaginations.