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.
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.
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.
At Vocal Boot Camp, daily Vocal Bootcamp sessions put larynxes through their paces with a technique called vocal aerobics. Coaches also take extra care to develop solutions to colds, fatigue, stage fright, and accidental helium ingestion. Fast-paced exercises have students zipping up to high notes, harmonizing on the fly, and building endurance to stave off hoarseness.
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Founded by philosopher, playwright, and actor Johannes Galli, the Galli Theater celebrates childhood and strives to help its actors and audiences reveal their true selves with modern adaptations of fairy tales. Each year the nonprofit organization produces more than eight family-friendly productions designed to "help participants gain self-confidence, learn new languages and cultures, improve acting skills, and increase health and wellness," according to its website. With performances of well-known and widely loved titles such as Aladdin, The Princess and the Pea, and Snow White, both audiences and actors leave each show having learned valuable life lessons and different clapping styles.