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MISSION & VISION
Studio Americana’s mission is to develop talent, inspire creativity, and prepare students to activate their dreams. We offer premiere training in the area of theatre and musical theatre for students at an affordable cost.
Prepare students to engage in the world of the arts encouraging them to be life-long learners and to harness the power of the arts to build community.
Offer training from active professionals. Our instructors will have a BFA, or MFA in Theatre or Musical Theatre or professional experience that serves as the equivalent.
Offer personal mentorship to students who demonstrate exemplary discipline and desire.
Encouraged students to thoughtfully engage the arts and use their gifts to serve others.
Director of Education
Erin is thrilled to serve on Americana Theatre Company's production team as the Director of Education. In 2002, Erin acquired a degree in elementary Education with a focus on Fine and Theatre Arts from Stonehill College. She has performed with companies such as The Round Barn Theatre, The Comtra Theatre, McKeesport Little Theatre, Gemini Children's Theater and others. Erin has been a board member with Americana Theatre Company since it's opening in 2011.
David is a full time company member and Managing Director of the Americana Theatre Company. A graduate of Point Park University in Pittsburg, David has been rather nomadiic, living and performing on stage, television, radio and film in NYC, Indiana, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania. Most recently he served as the Technical Director for The Company of Pittsburg and has appeared in productions of Oklahoma! and Man of LaMancha, and can be seen in the film "Love the Coopers" in 2015.
Ricardo Foster, Jr.
Guest Choreographer - Legally Blonde Jr. - Summer 2018
Born and raised in Boston, Ricardo has been involved with the entertainment industry for over 20 years. Using his special talents as a dancer, choreographer, performer, actor, comedian, and model, he has single-handedly made a name for himself amongst many of today’s popular artists. Working and performing with artists ranging from Jay-Z, Usher, Britney Spears, NSYNC, En-vogue, Uncle Cracker, and Beyoncé to old school classics like Naughty by Nature, Wu-Tang clan and RUN DMC, he has seen it all. From having his choreography featured on Sesame Street to appearing in television advertisements for TJX Corporation and McDonald's, his vast experience in the industry makes him a valuable resource to those he now teaches and mentors.
Ricardo is proud to be one of the main choreographers and developers for the Xbox Kinect video game franchise “Dance Central”. Ricardo’s choreography has also been featured in other video games including Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel. Due to his involvement with these projects and his works being showcased on different platforms of entertainment, Ricardo is now a world renowned choreographer while continuing to be a devoted Hip Hop teacher at Dean College, as well as leading workshops, master classes, and lectures on the performing arts.
Guest Music Director - Summer 2018
Allyson Lynch received her Bachelors of Music from The Hartt School, Summa Cum Laude, in classical voice performance in 2015. While at Hartt, she performed such roles as First Lady in Mozart’s Magic Flute, andAnna Maurrant in Kurt Weill’s Street Scene. She appeared in Connecticut Concert Opera’s production of Thomas Pasatieri’s Signor Deluso as Clara. Coming from musical theater roots, Allyson has performed in the Shubert Theater in Boston with Fiddlehead Theatre Company in their production of Show Boat. She has also been in many productions with The Company Theatre, Mary Poppins and Music Man being two of her favorites. Some of her past musical theater roles include Jo March in Little Women, Cinderella in Into the Woods, and Sister Robert Anne in Nunsense. She joined the faculty of SSC in 2015.
Guest Director - Summer 2018-2019
Beside the fact that it's FUN!
Here are 14 ways theatre education in childhood can be beneficial in preparing children for adulthood.
Credit: Maritsa Patrinos, BuzzFeed.com, Feb. 23, 2016
1. It improves your public speaking skills.
Forcing yourself to speak in front of people will help you get better at it! Volume, enunciation, pitch, inflection – they come in handy in a professional setting. And it can teach you how to recover when you’ve screwed up.
2. You learn the value of teamwork.
In school they try to teach this skill with group projects, but it isn’t nearly as effective. In theater, you learn to compromise and collaborate with many different kinds of people, or there’s no show. Theater people know — every individual is valuable, not just the stars.
3. It teaches you empathy.
Studying a character in-depth over the months it takes to put on a show is a unique experience you don’t usually have the time to explore. When you immerse yourself in a story the way you do in theater, you walk away with a deeper understanding of people who can be very different from you.
4. You become a master of stress management.
If you can learn how to put on a great show when seemingly everything goes wrong, you’ll be able to handle any college all-nighter or insane work presentation. You’ll be way more collected because you already know the payoff is worth the stress.
5. You’ll gain confidence.
The theater environment is unique in that it supports and encourages participants to be weird and try new things, even if you make a fool of yourself. Learning to shed your ego is a skill few people are willing to commit to in the real world. You will find more success when you are conditioned to embarrass yourself a little to find it.
6. But you’ll also learn some humility.
There often isn’t time for sugarcoating in theater. The spirit of theater is supportive, but you better believe you will get some honest, critical feedback that you must meet with an open mind. You’ll learn how to have your weaknesses pointed out to you and how to work on them without taking it personally.
7. It teaches you how to deal with rejection.
Anyone who hasn’t gotten the part they wanted in a play knows the feeling of heartbreak. Being an adult is also full of ups and downs – you may not always get that dream job or apartment. But when you’ve learned how to bounce back, you already know that the next big thing is out there waiting for you.
8. You’ll know how to work on a deadline.
In school there are make-up tests and project extensions, but in theater the show must always go on, whether or not you’re ready. Being in a play teaches you (forces you, actually) to find creative ways of meeting your deadline and coming up with effective shortcuts in your work.
9. It is a surefire way of gaining reading skills.
The great thing about theater is that one piece of text can be interpreted in infinite ways. You will find new ways to approach analysis because you get to act it out instead of just reading it at a desk. Not to mention, there’s nothing like “have this memorized by next week” that will force you to improve your reading skills fast.
10. You’ll gain a higher appreciation of the written (and spoken) word.
Theater has informed culture all over the world throughout history. Studying it exposes you to many great works of literature and ideas you may not otherwise encounter. Even if you don’t end up pursuing it for the rest of your life, there are few directions in life you can take that haven’t been influenced by the artform.
11. It makes you more charismatic.
Rehearsing lines and conversational speech (and watching your peers do it) can benefit the way you socialize. But besides just acting, much of working in theater is about communication. So many people need to work together for such a massive project, that you’ll be forced to master those skills in order for it to work.
12. Your memorization skills will be on point.
It’s a lot more than just remembering words and lighting cues. The memorization tricks you teach yourself, and the way you learn to multitask on stage can inform the ways you study, work, and organize your mind later on in life.
13. It gets you in the habit of staying physically active.
For a lot of kids who aren’t drawn to the sports scene, it can be hard to find a good outlet for physical activity. But whether it’s dance choreography, building sets, or changing scenery, theater is very physically demanding. The difference is that you’re having so much fun, you don’t notice how you’re staying in shape.
14. It teaches you some real-world professionalism.
For many kids, theater is their first exposure to behaving professionally. You have to make a good impression, show enthusiasm, work hard, compromise, keep your emotions in check, support your peers, and treat your superiors with respect. All skills you have to master if you want to be taken seriously in your professional life.
Studio Americana is amazing!!! The productions are top notch! It's a wonderful organization that teaches children about theater and the arts. We are lucky to have them as a part of our community...and even luckier to be able to enrich our children's love of theater and acting through such hands on and gifted instruction. My son has been part of several productions and summer camp. He loves them and the instruction he receives and skills he is building are invaluable. Let your imagination roll Studio Americana!!
My kids have absolutely loved this summer camp experience! What a wonderful group and great opportunity so close to home!
My daughters, age 14 and 11, have been involved with Studio Americana the last two years and the experiences have been invaluable. They have taken part in elementary and Middle/High School performances. The instructors guide them in all aspects of a stage production. They feel ownership of the whole production as a result, regardless of the role they may have. They have participated in the summer camp program which is very intensive but thoroughly engaging. They have also done classes in musical theater and creating a musical. No matter they are doing, my girls have always enjoyed every minute of the experience. They have gained confidence and broadened their scope of speaking skills as well. Erin and David encourage my girls to work on areas of weakness and help their strengths shine. The resulting productions and showcases never fail to impress. I highly recommend any class Studio Americana offers.
My daughter age 9 has been involved in Studio Americana and has loved the experience. From summer camp, Page to Stage, to Wizard of Oz, she enjoys working with the Fridays, the other kids, and learning about the theatre process.
The kids are encouraged to work together and help each other build confidence in themselves. My daughter can't wait until the fall program begins.