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.
Cultural Arts Playhouse has been fostering the development of up-and-coming actors for more than 15 years. At its Musical Theatre and Acting Academy, students from 1st–12th grade hone their on-stage skills by taking classes on singing, acting, and improvisation under the tutelage of an experienced teacher. Kids get to show off these skills in full theatrical productions, with main-stage shows opening up auditions to the entire community so people can see their neighbors' acting chops and dusted-off fake skulls. Cultural Arts Playhouse alumni have found success in New York and throughout the country, appearing in HBO's The Sopranos, and such Broadway productions as Les Miserables and Aladdin.
For more than 25 years, Kings Park Dance Center has taught hip-hop, ballet, tap, jazz, modern, and musical-theater classes to dancers of all ages. In addition to dance instruction, the studio offers voice lessons, drama classes, Zumba, and acrobatics classes that emphasize gymnastics floor skills. On occasion, dancers can attend studio-hosted masters classes taught by professional dancers and choreographers including Tyce Diorio, Stephen “Twitch” Boss, and Wade Robson.
Ballet Long Island, a nonprofit professional ballet company that focuses on bringing affordable ballet performances to its community, has been doing just that since 1985. The consummate dancers, many of whom have studied in the organization’s training and education programs, unleash performances throughout the year across several stages, from Disney-themed shows such as Snow White and Sleeping Beauty to original numbers.
Music Theatre of Connecticut delights droves of drama fans with musicals and song-free plays featuring world-class actors and entertainers. Produced around the globe since its debut more than 20 years ago, the Pulitzer Prize–nominated Love Letters weaves a half-century of correspondence between childhood friends into one amusing, emotional, and ardently romantic evening. Broadway vet Jodi Stevens and Emmy-nominated actor Scott Bryce declaim the hills and valleys of two separate yet intrinsically-affixed confidants moving through life with their deepest bond sealed in an envelope. The night ends with complimentary wine and cheese accompanied by commingling with the cast and crew.