At FieldCrest School of Performing Arts, students ascend through three levels of stardom—I'm a Star (for toddlers through preteens), Fashion Plate (for toddlers through preteens), and Camera Ready (for teens)—through bundles of acting, modeling, and dance classes that build a solid foundation of arts education. Acting classes build upon pantomime and improv before moving into performance and technique, and modeling sessions teach students how to prowl and pose like a pro on the catwalk. Ballet, jazz, tap, and hip-hop lessons give pupils the grace and moves they need to perform classical and contemporary routines.
Since its founding in 1977, FieldCrest has cultivated a motivational environment that encourages self-expression and poise. Besides the arts classes, it also offers etiquette courses that can convert even the most slovenly kids and adults into Miss Manners devotees.
The resumé of award-winning actress and comedian Kathy Griffin sparkles with performative gems. Across a decades-long career she has garnered two Emmys for her Bravo show My Life on the D List, four Grammy nominations for her comedy albums, countless standup specials, and performances on television shows such as Suddenly Susan. A longtime Los Angeles resident and alumna of famed improv group The Groundlings, Griffin perches on the edge of Hollywood in crowd, allowing her to skewer stars' foibles and excesses using firsthand observations and a scandalously wicked sense of humor. The tales unfold in the palatial Rialto Square Theatre, replete with a stunning columned façade, a domed rotunda modeled on Rome's Pantheon, and a 20-foot chandelier dubbed the "Duchess" for its regal air and haughty frigidity around untitled light bulbs.
Dennis and Marge Dennehy started the Dennehy School of Irish Dance more than 50 years ago. Since then, the school's instructors have taught Irish dances to countless kids—including Michael Flatley, who went on to star in shows such as Riverdance and Lord of the Dance. Additionally, their competitive group, The Dennehy Dancers, participates in regional, national, and international competitions.
In 1903, Hammond’s first mayor, Marcus M. Towle, opened the Towle Opera House to provide the city with a venue for theatrical productions. Times changed, and with them the theater: the opera house became a cinema, and eventually a string of fashion shops moved into the space. The building seemed destined for a future of holographic retail, but in 2003—a century since the stage first opened—it was reborn as the Towle Theater. Since then, its intimate brick-lined confines have hosted such crowd-pleasing productions as The Musical of Musicals, the Musical and A New Brain.
Bursting with two fully equipped dance studios and a philosophy of noncompetitive learning, Dance Center of LaGrange brings skilled teachers and a miscellany of dance types to the feet of dancers both young and old. Tykes can twirl toward the 45–60 minute summer-session classes to introduce tentative toes to preballet and creative movement (ages 3–4), learning new moves and gaining confidence while composing a rhythmic symphony with their 10-toed orchestra. The Storycise class (ages 3–5) combines storytelling and exercise to produce a hybrid fitness adventure filled with heart-pumping moves and poses that spell entire novel chapters. Teens can hit up the modern/jazz class for a medley of Broadway-style shimmying, and grown-up steppers can twist into adult tap, lacing up specialty shoes to conquer rapid routines and drum out grocery lists onto the hardwood floor.