5 Reasons To Take An Online Theater Class This Fall with Timothy Maureen Cole, Director of Musical Theater Arts
The past six months have been a journey for all of us. If you asked me in September 2019 if I thought I would ever teach 100% virtually, I would have said, “that’s not possible!” Yet here we are. Theater and music have traditionally been art forms that we practice in person, but I am a firm believer that life only offers us tasks that we can accomplish. That’s exactly what has happened with our theater classes at the Performing Arts School.
First of all, why should you sign up for a virtual class? Here are 5 Reasons to Take an Online Theater Class this Fall:
- Arts Education enriches students’ lives, and can even help reduce stress. This is a stressful time for all of us. Even if your student is back in the physical classroom, they are wearing masks for hours each day, their social time is limited, and their schedules are constantly in flux. Taking just an hour out of the week to focus on acting, singing, or dancing can bring a sense of normalcy. Many studies show that singing, in particular, can reduce stress, elevate your mood, and even help with self esteem.
- With performance opportunities limited, virtual classes keep your student engaged in the arts and honing their skills. Many students would be auditioning for community theater productions or singing in the choir at school every day. The pandemic has limited these types of opportunities for our students. PAS virtual classes provide an opportunity for your student to keep performing while improving their skills at the same time.
- Virtual classes are helping students build new skills that will be important in the future of the performing arts. Covid-19 has changed the way we look at the performing arts. Right now we must use online platforms, but many of these changes are likely to become commonplace. Online or pre-recorded auditions in particular were already on the rise before March 2020. Students that are interested in auditioning for community, regional, or even off-Broadway & Broadway casts will likely be asked to submit online auditions in the future.
- Theater classes build a sense of community. Even with activities opening up more this fall, students are still fairly limited in who they can see and how they can interact with others. Virtual theater classes offer a safe environment for students to interact with one another and connect through a mutual passion/interest.
- PAS classes are for everyone! Whether in person or online, PAS theater classes are accessible and fun for every student. We take great care in providing compassionate and skilled instructors, and truly believe that there is a place for everyone. Our instructor-to-student ratio is low to ensure that each student is an important part of our classes and performances. You will not be lost in the crowd!
Wharton Arts is happy to offer several of our mainstay classes this fall (with a few modifications, of course!), but I am most excited to share some of our brand NEW offerings that were created specifically with virtual learning in mind:
- Acting for the Camera (WED at 5:30) starting on 9/30: Performing online is very different than performing on a stage. Actors need to be aware of their lighting, angles, facial expressions, backgrounds, and so much more. Virtual learning is a perfect platform for learning this skill which can be applied to all online performances, and also utilized for any filmed performances in the future. Students will work with our instructor, Ms. Sara, for 8 weeks on scenes and monologues from the theater and TV/film. The class culminates with an online showcase for friends & family.
- Vocal Ensemble Project (THUR at 5:00) starting on 10/1: Singing in groups is very difficult right now. Many school choirs are not working on music in their classes. The Vocal Ensemble Project allows students to experience singing together virtually. Over the course of 8 weeks Ms. Ema will work with the class on some fun vocal repertoire. Students will learn together, and then record their individual voices, which will be edited together to create an amazing ensemble performance for the last day of class.
- How to Audition Virtually (MON at 4:30) starting on 10/5: Before the pandemic, many theater companies and even schools were requesting online auditions from prospective cast members. The future is sure to be full of even more of this! Learn how to audition virtually over the course of 8 weeks with Ms. Mariah. Students will choose and prepare an appropriate song and monologue to present at a mock audition. The class will also include movement and dance to prepare students for audition combinations. Take the material and knowledge with you to audition with in the future!
Timothy Maureen Cole holds a Master of Music degree in Voice Performance and Pedagogy from Westminster Choir College and a Bachelor of Music degree in Voice Performance from Ithaca College, and has been teaching voice, music theater, and piano since 2007. She holds certification in Early Childhood Music Education from Kindermusik International, and is a member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing. In addition to private and group instruction, Cole has collegiate teaching experience at Horry Georgetown Technical College and James Madison University.