Weston Playhouse presents Broadway Boot Camp for teens

Offering high school students an opportunity to learn what it takes to be a Broadway performer, Burr and Burton Academy is partnering with Vermont’s oldest professional theater company in presenting The Weston Playhouse Theatre Co.’s Broadway Boot Camp in Manchester from Monday, Aug. 3 to Friday, Aug. 21.

After working with the cast of Weston’s professional production of the legendary musical Guys and Dolls, music director Larry Pressgrove and choreographer Michael Raine will turn their teaching talents to the Broadway Boot Camp students. Joining them will be Weston producing director Tim Fort and Burr and Burton drama and dance director Jim Raposa.

Jim Raposa rehearsing with the Weston cast of “A Chorus Line” at BBA in 2014, with Michael Raine (left) and Larry Pressgrove (right). —Supplied Photo by Jacki Brown

Jim Raposa, center stage, with the Weston cast of “A Chorus Line” at BBA in 2014. Michael Raine, left and Larry Pressgrove, right. Photo by Jacki Brown

In a challenging yet supportive environment, students will have the opportunity to take their acting, singing and dancing skills to the next level with instruction in small groups. After morning sessions as a whole, the class will be split into three rotating groups to learn material from Guys and Dolls with individualized attention by each of the three instructors.

Pressgrove is the music director at La Guardia Arts High School in New York, the school made famous in the movie Fame. Raine is a faculty member at NYU’s graduate acting program and has taught and choreographed for CAP21 and Juilliard Drama. Fort has directed more than 65 of Weston’s summer productions, leads its Young Company program and teaches at Queens University in Canada.

Burr and Burton’s Jim Raposa, a Broadway veteran who has a role in the Weston production, will pull together the work of his colleagues during the third week and direct the students in a finale performance on Friday, Aug. 21 on the set and under the lights of Weston’s production of Guys and Dolls. 

Upon hearing of the camp, Leah M. Cunningham of Chester said, “I’ve had the great pleasure of learning from these professionals as an ensemble member of 2014’s A Chorus Line and 2013’s 42nd Street. All I can say is don’t miss this opportunity.”

The program is open to students entering Grade 9 to graduation. No auditions are required, but students are expected to have some experience in acting, dancing and singing. Classes are 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday. The cost is $750, plus $50 materials fee and includes three weeks of instruction, T-shirt, two guest tickets to the Aug. 21 student performance, which begins at 4 p.m., and two tickets to Weston’s 7:30 professional performance that evening.  Enrollment is limited. Registration is requested by May 1.

For more information, go to www.westonplayhouse.org/education or contact Jacki Brown at the Weston Playhouse Theatre Co. at jbrown@westonplayhouse.org or 802-824-8167 x104.

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About the Author: This item was edited from one or more press releases submitted to The Chester Telegraph.

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