Mission: The Drama Studio's mission is to enrich and validate the youth experience in our diverse community via excellence in a conservatory-style acting training program.
Results: The Drama Studio is in its 24th year. We currently offer over 27 theatre classes per week and have a student body of around 200 committed young actors. We also produce three mainstage productions and two festivals of student written work per year. Our most notable outreach program is our Springfield Touring Program which provides a free theatre experience for 3600+ students per year.
Target demographics: Youth aged 9 - 19 in the Greater Springfield area.
Direct beneficiaries per year: 250
Programs: Conservatory The Studio’s curriculum has evolved in response to faculty strengths, our enrollment growth, and our growing awareness of the needs of adolescent actors. In the early years, we envisioned that students would stay with us for 3 to 4 years. Now, however, many students study with us for 8 years or more. This exceptional duration of study forces us to continue challenging students with new courses to keep pace with their physical, emotional, technical and cognitive growth. After students complete Introduction to Acting, they become eligible for a wide range of courses, and advance sequentially depending on their maturity, skills, and a faculty assessment of their needs. Classes are offered after-school in the afternoon and evening, as well as on weekends. They are 1.5 to 2 hours long and many students take multiple classes per week. With the addition of production rehearsals, most students are at the Drama Studio at least 4 hours each week. These hours spent at the studio not only provide excellent training in the theatre arts, but also give students a safe space to develop character, discipline, and social skills. Performances The Studio also provides many opportunities for students to learn their craft by appearing in productions in our 63-seat black box theatre. Since 1987, the Drama Studio has produced more than 125 plays, 40 of which have been original works written by our playwriting students or commissioned specifically to uplift our mission. Vacation Camps and Intensives Drama Studio also offers camp-intensives in February, April, and the summer during school vacations. The material covered during vacation intensives is different from that in the conservatory program, which draws current DS students. Outreach Our primary outreach program is the Touring Program, which is in its fifth year of working with educators to bring 30-minute productions into Springfield Elementary schools and give scholarships for interested students. The Touring Program reaches 3600 students per year and has toured to most of the elementary schools in Springfield. In addition, the Drama Studio offers reading workshops and acting intensives in local middle schools, teacher-in-service workshops every year for Springfield teachers, free field trip opportunities for elementary and middle schools to see performances at the Studio, week-long intensives with the New Renaissance School, and has collaborated on multiple outreach productions with the Springfield Symphony Orchestra.