With directors, talent agents, and professional performers composing the faculty, it's no wonder the students at Class Act Studios spend much of their class time in front of the camera. With courses geared specifically toward kids, tweens, teens, and adults, the studio covers fields of study ranging from commercial work to film acting. Soap-opera and sitcom classes equip actors with genre-specific skills, such as how to expertly mimic the sound of a live studio audience. Improv and scene-study courses help students inhabit any scenario, with or without a script. Instructors even run private tutoring sessions and birthday parties that thrust invited friends in front of the camera.
The consortium of professional instructors at Fred Astaire Dance Studio, which was cofounded by the legendary dancer himself, shepherds students of all ages and skill levels through lessons that span the style spectrum. Low-pressure private sessions allow enthusiastic teachers to fine-tune individual students' techniques and form using their expert eyes. Patrons can learn how to cavort through classic waltz and fox-trot romps or swivel through the modern steps of salsa, swing, or samba. For dancers hoping to hoof it up in a social setting, the group practice parties provide a one-night extravaganza of instruction, demonstrations, and amateur firewalking.
Before taking the reins at Broadway Performing Arts, Elisa Heinsohn appeared on the TV series Fame, and Cleve Asbury acted in the Oscar-winning film Chicago. The duo also racked up an impressive set of Broadway credits—Asbury most recently played Mr. Ovington in the hit How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying—and starred in more television commercials than a dog who can talk. Nowadays, the two continue their performing-arts work while co-owning and co-directing their studio, leading their team as they teach students from 3-year-olds to adults. The studio’s eclectic curricula hone students’ skills in disciplines such as musical theater, dance, and guitar.
Rising Stars Performing Arts Company founder and artistic director Laura A. Rizzo knows firsthand the benefits of a fine-arts education. Wielding a master’s degree in educational theater and dance from New York University as well as experience on and off Broadway, she has helmed more than 130 children’s shows in which she's helped youngsters develop social skills, increase their community awareness, and spice up dinner conversation with iambic pentameter. Rizzo and her staff of instructors from diverse performance backgrounds lead students toward their artistic goals, whether they dream of dancing competitively or joining the cast of a Broadway musical.
For 40 years, the Children's Acting Academy bas been prepping students for stage, screen, and Broadway careers through individual and group instruction. CBS, after all, placed it in the Top 5 Broadway Schools for Kids in New York thanks to academy owner and director Mimi Stuart, who imparts voice, movement, and method acting techniques to her students. The pupils of Stuart’s tutelage have gone on to work on Broadway and tour nationally with leading roles in Matilda, Mary Poppins, Evita, Chaplin, as well as Les Misérables, Beauty and the Beast, The Music Man , and Billy Elliot. On television screens, they have captured roles on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Word World, and in a plethora of commercials. To prepare them for the stage and screen, Stuart combines Strasberg, Meisner, and Chekhov teaching techniques that bolster their craft. Parents who are eager to engage their children in the neon charms of an off-Broadway music productions should contact Children's Acting Academy.