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Piedmont Players adding theater education program at Norvell

Piedmont Players Theatre (PPT) is launching its new theater education program at the Norvell Theater. Directed by Rowan County theater instructor Alex Reynolds, the program is designed around students who have a passion for theater and a desire to improve their skills and techniques.
Reynolds, the 2013-2014 Rowan-Salisbury School System Teacher of the Year, along with instructor Bristol Glass, will guide students through a structured curriculum spanning 20 weeks, beginning in September. Students will develop their craft and learn how to take their theater performance to the next level.
“Theater education is about much more than just improving a student’s skills on the stage,” says PPT Marketing Director Josh Wainright. “Theater students tend to have higher test averages, as well as higher levels of self-confidence and greater comfort speaking in public, working with others and adapting to new situations. PPT has been discussing offering an ongoing curriculum for several years, it was just a matter of having the right person in charge. The moment Alex agreed to oversee the program and its development, it was a no-brainer. There is no one better.”
PPT’s program is designed to be the most exciting extracurricular activity a young student can experience while building a foundation of confidence and poise that will serve the students into adulthood. The program will begin Sept. 16, with a break in December and resuming in January. Students in the program will have opportunities to showcase their skills at the end of week 10 and again following week 20. The program will launch with two classes Sept. 16.
Level I – Tuesdays, 6-7 p.m.
As an introduction to theater arts, students will explore a variety of performance techniques and concepts. Students will have the opportunity to experience, create and explore theater in an ensemble as well as an individual capacity. Focused on performance, this course allows students to develop onstage performance skills, create characters, rehearse theatrical pieces and discover multiple styles of theater.
Recommended experience level: Grades four and up. No previous theater experience required. Students who have attended workshops, camps and limited production experiences will gain valuable training towards becoming a triple threat. Tuition, $375 per year
Level II – Tuesdays, 7:15–8:30 p.m.
Students with prior training and moderate to substantial performance experience will go to the next level in theater arts. Students will explore a variety of performance techniques and concepts through different applications. Building on their experiences, Level II students will have the opportunity to experience, create and explore theater in an ensemble and as an individual. Focused on developing self-confidence through performance, this course allows students to create characters, rehearse theatrical pieces and investigate different styles of theater.
Recommended experience level: Grades five and up. Students who have previous coursework and moderate to extensive stage experience will benefit from this class by expanding their existing knowledge base and expanding their skills on stage. Tuition, $395 per year.
With a limited number of spots available this fall, registration is available by calling 704-633-5471 or by stopping by the PPT offices on the second floor of the Meroney Theater, 213 S. Main St. in downtown Salisbury. For complete details about the program and the inaugural classes, visit PiedmontPlayers.com
Alex Reynolds (director/instructor) holds a BFA in theater education (K-12) from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and has worked at Jesse C. Carson High School since 2007. He has directed more than a dozen plays and six musicals including this year’s “Annie,” which sold more than 2,600 tickets and included a cast of more than 100 students. Reynolds was named Rowan-Salisbury Teacher of the Year for 2013-2014 and named the Region 7 North Carolina Teacher of the Year. He lives in China Grove with his wife Kelly and two sons.
Bristol Glass (instructor) is a Catawba College graduate with a BA in theater education (K-12). She will be an addition to the faculty at Jesse C. Carson High School starting in the fall, after teaching theater arts and English at Northern Guilford High School in Greensboro, this past spring. She is passionate about continuing to spread the joy of theater to others. She lives in Salisbury.

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