Thursday, August 18, 2011

Patel Conservatory student productions rival professionals

Don’t you just love that feeling when you come out of a play or movie, or any live theater event, thinking, That was sooo good! ...And so much better than I expected!
It’s the feeling many parents get when they attend one of our Patel Conservatory productions for the first time. Whether it’s music, theater or dance, they walk in thinking, recital, and come out feeling dazzled, entertained and just blown away.
Tallulah Nouss in Seussical the Musical, Jr.
It’s what Debbie Nouss experienced at the Patel Conservatory Youth Theater’s recent production of Seussical the Musical, Jr.
“It was the most professional performance. It was Broadway quality,” said Nouss.
A veteran television actor herself, and a veteran audience member of her kids’ dance recitals, community theater performances and band concerts, she was deeply impressed by the level of professionalism garnered from a group of kids in second to fourth grade.
“The talent that Patel [Conservatory] was able to cultivate was amazing,” said Nouss. “Even if the kids weren’t professional actors and singers, the show was put together so that no one looked amateurish.”
Nouss’ daughter certainly had her part in surprising and dazzling the audience. Playing the role of Mayzie, Tallulah Nouss made a stunning Patel Conservatory debut.
“My character was very sassy, it was fun playing a character like that,” said Tallulah. “All the dances that I did were really fun, and I was able to use all my talents, singing, dancing and acting.”
Tallulah has been taking dance lessons since she was two years old. Now, at only nine years old, she competes with five dance teams at All American Dance Factory (tap, jazz, lyrical, acro and musical theater), taking classes five days a week. She also competes as a soloist and participates frequently in master classes and workshops, where she recently caught the attention of New York choreographer Andy Pellick who offered to choreograph a solo for her.
She’s auditioned for Billy Elliot in New York City, and recently won a scholarship for workshops from West Coast Dance.
In addition to dance, Tallulah participates in community theater and takes private voice lessons as her schedule permits. She’s well on her way to becoming what the entertainment industry calls a triple threat: someone who can dance, act and sing.
“When I saw Alice in Wonderland, Jr. I really wanted to be in a production [at the Patel Conservatory],” said Tallulah. “They looked like they were really all together.”
Tallulah wasn’t disappointed. With instructors who are professional artists in the industry, the Patel Conservatory is able to draw from a pool of talent for their productions. Seussical was choreographed by Susan Downey, a veteran Broadway dancer, and directed by Emilia Sargent, a local actor with extensive experience in the entertainment industry. Musica director was Deborah Lynch, an accomplished accompanist, vocal coach and performer.
Our students frequently get to work with top talent, from our own staff to guest instructors and visiting artists at the Straz. In addition, they get the advantage of performing on one our Straz stages with exceptional production staff, giving them professional stage experience.
“It was much better than being in a community theater play,” said Tallulah. “I’d love to come back for other plays.”
With her busy dance schedule, Tallulah will probably have to wait until next summer to join one of our youth theater productions, but her brother is interested in joining our Rock School program.
“I’d love for [Tallulah] to one day get into Tisch,” said Debbie. (Two of our alumni did! Click here to read more!) “It’s important for kids who want to do this to learn dancing, singing and acting, and you guys have it all there.”

With extensive classes in dance, music and theater, the Patel Conservatory is a premier training ground for the performing arts. Our alumni are being accepted in prestigious acting, dance and music programs nationally and internationally.

Fall classes start soon! For more information on classes and schedules, click here

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