Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Add drama to your Halloween costume with our make-up workshop

Want to add some ghoulish effects to your Halloween costume this year? Join us for a fiendishly fun theater workshop at the Patel Conservatory:

Stab Wounds, Scars and Scares! Oh, My!

Sat., Oct. 24
10:30 a.m. to noon
Cost: $20

In this hands-on workshop, students are introduced to the basic materials and skills needed to create a horror make-up look using household items.

This fun workshop includes a basic introduction to make-up and design, an application demonstration of wounds, scars and painting, and, students will have the opportunity to apply learned skills to create a simple wound.

Students will be provided with all materials to create in-class applications as well as how-to and material guides to take home for reference.

This workshop is designed for anyone in grade five through adult. The cost is $20.

For more information, or to register, call 813.222.1002.

Spotlight on Tatiana Tipton

Tatiana Tipton quickly ran from TECO Theater’s backstage through the Straz Center halls to Ferguson Hall’s backstage.

She had just performed in the Patel Conservatory’s end of summer music concert, and had just a few minutes to change costumes and go on stage in the summer’s Popular Dance Intensive Showcase.

Such is life for this eighth grader from Williams Middle School. Between academics, dance, theater and music classes, rehearsals and performances, her schedule is a complex balancing act. And that’s the way she likes it.

“I love performing on stage and becoming another character. I’m always wanting to do more,” said Tatiana, who will be performing in the Conservatory’s fall productions of Schoolhouse Rock Live!, Jr., and The Nutcracker.

Tatiana began taking dance classes at the Patel Conservatory when she was about three years old. She took classes elsewhere for a while until her mom, Jeanette, realized she was developing some bad habits and brought her back to the Conservatory.

“Within a year of being back at the Conservatory, I saw a difference in her ballet technique and ability,” said Jeanette.

That was the first year Tatiana performed in The Nutcracker.

“I was so surprised when I got a role as a Party Girl. It was so much fun to be in a role that required me to act and dance, and part of what got me into acting,...the whole experience of the beautiful sets and costumes, it was amazing,” said Tatiana.

The following summer, she jumped into musical theater with the Conservatory’s production of The Little Mermaid, Jr.

“The Little Mermaid was a whole new experience. Watching the design and building of the sets and the costumes, and seeing it all come together, I thought it was the coolest thing. I just wanted to do everything.”

She has since performed in several Conservatory theater productions, and added voice and acting classes to her already busy dance schedule. She’s currently enrolled in several dance, theater and music classes, as well as private voice and flute lessons at the Conservatory. She’s working towards a theater certification and hopes to one day perform on Broadway.

“Being able to take singing, acting and dance is a great experience. I like putting in the work. I like to challenge myself,” she said.

Jeanette appreciates that Tatiana can get all of her performing arts training under one roof with such a professional staff.

“Every show they produce, whether it’s musical theater or dance, is so amazing that it’s hard to believe sometimes that the kids are just students and not professional performers,” said Jeanette.

“I like that she has the ability to dabble in everything. I see how much it has made her blossom as an individual. I think it’s made her more well-rounded and much more self-confident.”

In addition to Tatiana’s busy performance schedule, she plays flute in her school band and maintains almost excellent grades in Williams’ challenging IB program.

“I try very hard to stick to my schedule. I work to get a lot done on the weekends, I can’t get too sidetracked by my phone or TV. I’ve always been pretty much a straight A student, and I try to keep that up,” said Tatiana.

Whether memorizing scripts, practicing flute, or working on dance choreography, Tatiana feels most at home at the Conservatory.

“I enjoy coming here so much. All the teachers here are great. It’s like family,” she said.

Don’t miss Tatiana and a cast of more the 30 students in the musical version of the popular television show, SchoolhouseRock Live!, Jr., Nov. 5 through 8, 2015 in TECO Theater.

For tickets or more information, click here or call 813.229.7827.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Aspiring musician works with seasoned pro in Rock School

Nadine Ramadan dreams of making it in a rock band. The 16-year-old junior from Steinbrenner High School is laying the groundwork and building her performance experience in the Patel Conservatory’s Rock School program.

“I really wanted to be in a band when I was about 13 years old,” said Nadine, who began singing when she was nine.

She had taken some voice lessons, but wanted the experience of singing with a real band. She joined a local rock band program and was hooked.

She took piano lessons off and on for a few years before joining Patel Conservatory’s Rock School last year, performing vocals and keyboard.

Led by renowned UK musician, Dean Tidey, the Conservatory’s Rock School program gives students the experience of working with a seasoned professional in the industry. Tidey has toured the world as guitarist for the acclaimed UK band Feeder, and has played on support tours with The Rolling Stones, U2, Coldplay and REM.

“Dean takes time to perfect all the songs and make sure they’re the best they can be. He’s a really good teacher,” said Nadine.

Now in her third session, she’s even taken up bass guitar.

“Being here made me want to play bass. Seeing all the different students, and even Dean, play bass, I thought it was so cool.”

She's also started picking up her guitar at home more and enjoys writing lyrics. She likes heavy rock music with strong lead female vocalists, like Paramore. Through Rock School, she gets to perform the type of music she loves and is learning valuable skills along the way.

Since Nadine has enough credits to graduate a year early, she’s looking at college options for next year. But mostly she just wants to get a band together and perform. In the meantime, she looks forward to performing in the Conservatory’s Rock School Blowout in December at one of Tampa’s most popular music venues.

“The shows are cool because they’re at Skipper’s,” said Nadine. “I definitely want to be in a rock band. It’s a tough industry, but that’s what I love to do.”

For more information on joining Patel Conservatory’s Rock School, click here or call 813.222.1002.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Adult acting classes help students gain personal and professional skills

As a Straz Center employee for almost eight years, Leilani Smith had served in a variety of roles, from Ticket Sales agent to mailroom coordinator.

Over the course of her time at the Straz, she was familiar with our performing arts classes at the Patel Conservatory, but it wasn’t until last year that she finally mustered the courage to finally take the plunge and try one.

“I’ve always wanted to break out of my shell and tap into that part of me,” said Leilani. “I took drama class my freshman year in high school, but I got stage fright. It was a horrible experience. I knew I could do it, but it wasn’t the right time.”

As a professional adult, the thought of trying an acting class was daunting. So she enlisted a co-worker to join her in Eugenie Bondurant’s On-Camera Acting class.

“The first time I walked into class, I was petrified. But Eugenie’s words and her positivity makes you think you can conquer the world... With each class, I felt more and more confident.”

Bondurant, who has taught on-camera classes at the Conservatory for more than 10 years, plays Tigris in the upcoming blockbuster film The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2, due in theaters in November. Her longtime experience in the film and television industry helped Leilani get a glimpse of the business of show business.

She found this especially helpful as she recently finished up a bachelor’s degree in music management from Full Sail University. She’s currently pursuing a graduate program in entertainment and hopes to one day be a music manager for bands and tours. She works full-time at Coca-Cola, and is interning with Euguenie to learn more about film and television.

Leilani has since also taken the Conservatory’s Adult Improv class twice, with local improv guru Tobi Martini. In addition to helping her tap into her creative side, the classes gave her more confidence in her personal and professional life as well.

“Even if you’re not trying to get into the acting world, it gives you a boost to go into meetings and talk in front of others...if you feel shy talking in front of people, it helps you get over that. I honestly wish I would have taken these classes earlier,” said Leilani.

“Just give it a try, even if you’re scared, come back the next week, and you’ll be a totally different person. Take a leap of faith and just do it.”

To check out our adult acting classes, click here, or call 813.222.1002.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Open dance classes at the Patel Conservatory

We’re excited to start the new season of Open Dance classes at the Patel Conservatory!

The Open Dance program is geared towards adults and teens, both newcomers and experienced. Whether you want to get back into the studio, increase your fitness level, or try something new, Open Dance classes offer students the opportunity to tap into their creative side in a fun and welcoming environment.

Students in the Open Dance program will also enjoy a performance opportunity on one of our Straz Center stages in the spring.

With our dance card payment options, students can attend when it’s convenient for them. Pick one, or try them all!

Check out our fall schedule below and come join us for some fun!

Ballet: Beginning
Mondays, 7:15 to 8:45 p.m.
Saturdays, 10 to 11:30 a.m.
Ballet Intermediate
Thursdays, 7:15 to 8:45 p.m.
Ballet Barre

Thursdays, 11 to 11:45 a.m.
Flamenco Dance
Fridays, 6:30 to 8 p.m.
Jazz Dance
Tuesdays, 7:15 to 8:45 p.m.
Tap Dance 1: Introduction
Thursdays, 6 to 7 p.m.
Tap Dance 2: Beginning
Tuesdays, 5:45 to 7:15 p.m.
Tap Dance 3: Intermediate
Thursdays, 7 to 8:30 p.m.

Dance cards are $145 for 10 classes, or $270 for 20 classes.

For questions or to purchase a dance card, call our Registration office at 813.222.1002.

Friday, August 28, 2015

New singing opportunities at the Patel Conservatory

The Patel Conservatory has added new Vocal Arts classes to our 2015/2016 music schedule.

We’ve added more options to give students the best experience for their age and experience level. With a variety of choirs and ensembles, beginner through advanced students can experience the joys of singing while working with master teachers to improve their skills.

“This is going to be a new and exciting year of music-making! With the recent changes to our program, we are able to raise the quality of all of our ensembles and add variety to the music that we are singing. I can’t wait to get started!” said Kavanaugh Gillespie, director of Patel Conservatory’s Vocal Arts program.

Students in our Vocal Arts classes enjoy performance opportunities throughout the year, including two concerts on our Straz Center stages, and community events. They’ll also enjoy the camaraderie of social events such as our Fall Vocal Arts Kick Off Retreat, which will be Sept. 13 and includes food, fun and Frisbee, and, a trip to see the group Straight No Chaser at the Straz Center.

Check out our new Vocal Arts classes: 

Grades 5 to 8
Fridays, 5 to 6:30 p.m.
For boys and girls with unchanged voices, this class helps students build their music reading skills and develop good singing technique through classic choral and popular repertoire. This class would be a great fit for our musical theater students who want to build their vocal skills and gain large-group choral and performance experience. No audition required.

Women’s Ensemble NEW!
Grades 7 to CollegeTuesdays, 5:30 to 7 p.m.
Men’s Ensemble NEW!
Grades 7 to College
Thursdays, 5:30 to 7 p.m.
Students in these ensembles will explore challenging and fun, gender-specific repertoire for performance opportunities throughout the year. Our holiday performance will include “Mr. Santa (a play on “Mr. Sandman”) by the women, and the men’s group will perform “The Twelve Days After Christmas,” a humorous piece detailing the horror that ensues once all the fabled gifts arrived. Audition is required for both ensembles.

Mixed Choir NEW!
Grades 7 to College
Tuesdays and Thursdays, 7 to 8:30 p.m.
Exceptional male and female vocalists are selected for this advanced choir. The group will study exciting and challenging choral literature for performance opportunities. Repertoire will include a piece commissioned for the Straz Center’s 2015 Broadway Season and written by Jamey Ray, of Liberty Voices, a renowned a cappella group that performs around the world. The group visited our recent Summer Voice Intensive and performed at the Straz Center's President’s Luncheon. (Check them out here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QQ0CZB_DUzE)Audition is required for Mixed Choir. Students in Mixed Choir are also strongly encouraged to enroll in Men's Ensemble or Women's Ensemble.

To schedule an audition for advanced ensembles, contact Kavanaugh Gillespie at kavanaugh.gillespie@strazcenter.org.

For more information or to register, call 813.222.1002 or email patelconservatory@strazcenter.org.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Open House for Patel Conservatory's 2015/2016 Season

If you've ever thought about performing on stage, you're invited to attend an upcoming open house at the Patel Conservatory at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Tampa!

The Patel Conservatory offers classes in dancetheater and music for preschoolers through adults.

No matter your age or experience level, we’ve got something for everyone.

Our fall session begins on Aug. 24, 2015. From adult acting classes to preschool dance, come learn more about all of our programs, tour the Conservatory and ask questions.

Classes include danceadult acting, musical theater, group guitar and Rock School, voice classes and much more! All classes include performance opportunities ranging from open classrooms to fully ticketed productions on one of our Straz Center stages.

The open house includes a brief presentation to provide an overview of our Straz Center education programs, and light refreshments will be served.

For your convenience, there are two open house dates from which to choose:

Upcoming open house dates:

Tues., Aug. 18

6 to 7:30 p.m.

Presentation at 6:30 p.m.

Sat., Aug. 2210 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Presentation at 10:30 a.m. and 12 p.m.

To RSVP, please click here.

For more information or questions, please contact our registration office at 813.222.1002 or patelconservatory@strazcenter.org.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Featured camp of the month: Popular Dance Intensive

Parker Espada in On the Edge
Many people recognize the Patel Conservatory for our exceptional ballet program. They may not know, however, that the Conservatory recently expanded our dance program by adding more classes and more flexibility for students wanting to study additional dance styles.

Led by Kelly King, a former Radio City Rockette for 12 years, the new Patel Conservatory Popular Dance program allows dancers to explore popular dance styles for opportunities such as Broadway, television, theme parks and more.

The growth of the program in the past year inspired a new camp this summer, the Popular Dance Intensive, which will be Aug. 10 through Aug. 14, 2015.

Parker Espada, 13, who joined the Conservatory’s ballet program last summer to work on her technique, also participated in the Popular Dance program.

“I liked it because it was different from what we were doing in my other classes [jazz and ballet]. It allowed me to work on contemporary and get the challenge that I needed to improve as a dancer,” she said.

The week-long intensive, led by King and Patel Conservatory dance faulty Susan Downey, will immerse dancers in multiple forms of commercial dance including tap, Broadway, contemporary and musical theater.

“I’m looking forward to taking different styles of dance, like tap. I normally don’t take tap,” said Parker.

Students will work with teaching artists who have years of professional experience on Broadway, on tour, and in television and film. The week will culminate in a ticketed performance in the Straz Center’s Ferguson Hall on Sat., Aug. 15 at 2:30 p.m.

Students will also be given the opportunity to audition a contemporary or jazz solo that may be included in the show.

Parker looks forward to the week-long intensive as part of her training. She hopes to one day be a professional dancer and feels the Conservatory has helped push her to the next level.

Being at the Conservatory, “has been a very, very good experience. As a dancer, it’s allowed me to grow.”

The Popular Dance Intensive is open to dancers in grades six through 12. For more information or to register, call 813.222.1040 or visit strazcenter.org.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Music auditions for Fall 2015

The Patel Conservatory Music Department will hold auditions for their 2015/2016 school year music ensembles.

Tues., Aug. 18 from 5 to 8 p.m.
Sat., Aug. 29 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Auditions will be held for the following ensembles:

  • Chamber Ensembles (Instrumental), Grade 7-College
  • Adult Chamber Ensembles (Instrumental), Adult
  • Vocal Arts Choirs and Ensembles, Grade 5-College
  • Jazz Ensemble, Jazz Combo and Advanced Jazz Improvisation, Grade 7-College; Adult
  • Rock School, Grade 4-Adult

Audition requirements:

  • Chamber Ensembles - prepare two short, contrasting pieces and scales. Students may be asked to sight-read.
  • Vocal Arts - prepare 16 bars of an art song, folk song, or musical theater song and provide sheet music. An accompanist will be provided. Students may be asked to sight-read.
  • Jazz - prepare one short piece that best represents you, and scales. Students may be asked to improvise and/or sight-read.
  • Rock School - prepare a piece that showcases your ability and aptitude to function in a Rock Band setting. Drums, keyboard and amps are provided, but student must bring a guitar or bass if auditioning on those instruments.
For more information, or to schedule an audition:

For chamber ensembles, jazz or Rock School, contact Allison Novak at allison.novak@strazcenter.org.

For vocal arts choirs and ensembles, contact Kavanaugh Gillespie at kavanaugh.gillespie@strazcenter.org.

Free audition prep workshop Sept. 3

The Patel Conservatory, at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Tampa, offers acting classes for students from preschool through adult.

Auditions are right around the corner for the Conservatory's 2015/2016 theater productions School House Rock Live! Jr.. (Grades 2 - 8) and Disney’s 101 Dalmatians Kids (Grades 2 - 4).

To help students get ready, the Conservatory is offering a free audition prep workshop.

Audition Prep Workshop
Grades 2 to 12
Thurs., Sept. 3, 2015
5 to 7 p.m.
Parent workshop from 5 to 6 p.m.
Cost: FREE

Whether you're a beginning or experienced actor, auditions can be intimidating. But if you’re prepared, it’s a lot easier and can be a lot of fun. Every audition offers a chance to perform, learn, gain experience and connect with other actors.

For young actors who'd like to sharpen their audition skills, this free audition prep workshop will help students in grades two through 12 learn how to prepare for an audition and what to expect.

Participants will work through the audition process, requirements and expectations, and discover how to exit the audition with their head held high.

Topics will include selecting material, memorization, creating resumes, slating, headshots and much more. Students will participate in lecture as well as coaching to gain knowledge and understanding of how to be successful and confident in auditions.

The workshops includes a separate seminar for parents to learn how to support and aid their student through the process.

The workshop is free, but RSVP is required. For more information or to RSVP, please contact Audrey at audrey.siegler@strazcenter.org.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Who keeps track of all those props in Shrek?

From a spraying skunk to a buck with horns that are torn off by Fiona, the prop masters for the Patel Conservatory’s production of Shrek the Musical have certainly had their work cut out for them. The many little details that went into this show have helped make it such a huge success.

Avery Coonts, a summer theater intern, shares his experience working on the show…

"As I pass the half-way mark in my internship here at the Patel Conservatory, I am amazed at the amount of work that has been done in such a short amount of time. It has been an awesome experience with all the challenges one might expect from the theater.

During this summer’s production of Shrek the Musical, fellow intern Collin and I took on the challenge of prop mastering the show. Although some of the props were rented from a local theater, most had to be built.

Some people may think the job of the prop master is generally easy, but it can become difficult when you have to match the design styles of the props that were rented. Every prop should have some cohesive sense. They must all look and feel as if they come from the same place and time.

Many hours were spent in the workshop creating rats, a stuffed goose, a fire, a big head and much more. Collin and I were also tasked with prepping dragon and creating the special effects for the puppet. A healthy amount of dry ice and CO2 were used to bring the big girl to life.

The big joke that has circulated around theater has been that prop masters put hours of work into a prop that is seen for maybe five seconds on stage. However, we do all this work for the audience and the performers involved in the production.

Overall this experience as one of the prop masters for Shrek has been amazing. I would really like to thank Suzanne Livesay, Brian Frey, Scott Daniel and Josh Young for their constant support of our work.”

Shrek the Musical continues through this weekend. For tickets, click here.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Get fit with our new Ballet Barre class

When a ballerina leaps and pirouettes across the stage, the audience is taken by her grace and elegance.
Nestor Garcia

Yet, what the audience doesn’t see is the hard work in the studio that goes into gaining the strength, balance and fortitude to perfect those leaps and turns.

Want to know what it takes to get a ballet body? Learn how to improve your strength and flexibility, and get fit with the Patel Conservatory’s new Ballet Barre class, led by Conservatory ballet instructor Nestor Garcia.

Using ballet techniques and exercises, students will work on building and elongating their muscles in this low-impact, high-results class. Mold your body by engaging your core, which also helps improve your posture and balance.

Quickly and effectively get in shape in this fun 45-minute class.

Never taken a dance class before? No worries! There is no dance experience necessary.

Ballet Barre will be Thursdays from 11 to 11:45 a.m., starting on Aug. 27, 2015.

The cost is $145 for a 10-class card, or $270 for a 20-class card, or $20 for a drop in rate.

This is the perfect class for moms with students enrolled in the Thursday morning homeschool classes!

For registration information, click here, or call 813.222.1002.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Spotlight on Christian Meany as Shrek

For Christian Meany, the best part about being an actor is the opportunity to become someone new and different with every show.

“I get to completely change who I am every time, to be someone else and do something new,” said Christian.

That’s more true than ever with the current character he’s playing.

Christian takes on the larger than life and ever so green role of Shrek in Patel Conservatory Theater’s production of Shrek the Musical.

“When I was a kid, I saw Shrek, and now I’m getting to be Shrek,” he said. “It’s one of my favorite shows that I’ve ever done. It’s really high energy. You can do whatever you want with  your character.”

Christian, 15, of Valrico, played Donkey in Shrek the Musical with Music Showcase in Brandon. A student at Tampa Catholic High School, he’s performed with Music Showcase since he was eight years old, including as Horton in Seussical the Musical Jr., Aladdin in Aladdin Jr., Gaston in Beauty and the Beast, Jr. and as Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof Jr. He also sings with his church choir.
Christian in Fiddler on the Roof

This will be his first show with the Patel Conservatory. He had seen a couple of shows here in the past and enjoyed them. So when looking for new opportunities this summer, he decided to audition for Shrek. He was surprised when he found out he’d been cast as the lead.

“There’s a lot of talented kids here."

Certainly a script like Shrek helps cast members bond pretty quickly. From have a burping contest with Fiona to sharing jokes with Donkey, "I've really gotten to know everyone," he said.

In addition to the light-hearted humor, Christian said director Suzanne Livesay has helped the cast delve deeper into their characters for the more tender moments.

"I definitely think it’s going to be a really good show. It has a lot of emotion, unlike the movie, but it’s still really funny.”

Don’t miss Christian as everyone’s favorite ogre in Shrek The Musical, July 16-26, 2015 at the Patel Conservatory’s TECO Theater.

Mamma Mia cast visits Shrek students

The cast of Mamma Mia!, front row, with students in PCT's Shrek the Musical
Special thanks to the cast of Mamma Mia! for visiting our students this week.

The cast of our Patel Conservatory Theater production of Shrek the Musical got to participate in a Q & A with members of the cast of Mamma Mia!, running this week at the Straz Center in Carol Morsani Hall.

Cast members chatted about everything from the business of acting (getting an agent vs. not getting an agent) to bloopers from the show (sneezing at inappropriate moments, and a high heel breaking on stage).

While their stories and backgrounds varied, they all agreed that training is important to becoming a successful performer.

“Focus on your weaknesses,” said Danny Lopez. “If you’re a singer, take some acting classes. If you’re a dancer, take some voice lessons. You have to try to balance them equally.”

In addition to musical theater training, many in the cast have had classical theater training.

“Classics like Ibsen, Shaw or Shakespeare are more challenging and will help you build a different set of skills,” said Beth Ann Wipprecht.

Regardless of your training or background, hard work is the key to success, they said.
Going on lots of auditions, making connections and being nice to others helps lead to jobs, which lead to more jobs.

Eric Presnall shared his story of how, for three years, he flew to New York again and again and kept auditioning for his favorite musical American Idiot. He finally got cast in the tour in the ensemble and as the understudy for his favorite character Tunny.

A fond memory for him, he said, was when he finally got the chance to go on as Tunny. There was a moment in the show when he saw his own reflection in his sunglasses with the audience behind him, and he thought, “Dreams do come true.”

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Featured Camps of the Month: Showstoppers and Showstoppers, Jr.

This month, we highlight our Patel Conservatory Theater intensive, Showstoppers and, new this year, Showstoppers, Jr.

Showstoppers is a musical revue of popular Broadway favorites performed by advanced level theater students in our summer theater intensive of the same name. It’s been so well received the past couple of years that we’ve added even more fun to this summer’s line-up.

Due to the popularity of Showstoppers, we added Showstoppers, Jr. This two week camp for students in grades five through eight allows younger students to work on their vocal and musical theater skills. There is no audition required for this level.

Directed by Matt Belopavlovich, Showstoppers Jr. gives students the opportunity to hone their solo and ensemble skills through rehearsal and performance of songs from popular musicals including 42nd Street, High School Musical and Fame.

In addition, this year’s Showstoppers revue promises to be just as exciting as ever!

“We’re going even bigger this year with the show, including an eight-piece orchestra,” said Showstoppers director Scott Daniel.

“A major difference this year is that we’ve gone from a two-week intensive to three weeks to expand the show. That extra week gives us more time to put together a full 90-minute production.”

Daniel, in his second year of directing this production, brings a wealth of musical theater experience to the show. He has performed in national tours of Cirque Dreams and Footloose, and regional credits include The Wiz, Spring Awakening, Bright Lights Big City and many more. He's also performed with Royal Caribbean International and Holland America cruise lines.

In the intensive, advanced level students in grades seven through college will spend three weeks in rehearsals, which culminate in multiple performances which have traditionally sold out.

This year’s performance, Showstoppers: Words and Music, pays tribute to great American composers such as Andrew Lloyd Weber, Stephen Sondheim and Kander and Ebb. With selections from Chicago, Cabaret, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Phantom of the Opera, and many more, it’s sure to be truly showstopping!

Registration is still available to participate in the Showstoppers, Jr. camp. To register, click here or call 813.222.1002.

For tickets to Showstoppers: Words and Music, click here.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Welcome to our summer theater interns

From left: Virginia, Avery, Collin and Chelsea
Welcome to our summer theater interns, who have come from far and wide to work with us on our theater camps and productions!

Patel Conservatory theater faculty recently attended the Southeastern Theatre Conference in Chattanooga , Tenn. and interviewed more than 40 candidates for our summer internship program. Candidates had extensive experience in their schools and community theaters in various aspects of theater, from technical theater to costuming.

Four were chosen to work with us on our summer camps and productions including Aladdin Jr., Shrek the Musical and Showstoppers.

Check out their perspectives of their first week at the Patel Conservatory...

Avery Coonts, Arkansas Tech University
Teaching and Directing Intern
“Making the jump into an organization the size of Patel Conservatory was a bit daunting for me as I come from a much smaller program. But when I approached the beautiful campus, my mind was immediately put at ease knowing that I would be working in paradise.
The true beauty, though, lies with the staff of the Conservatory. They welcomed us immediately with warm greetings and gracious accommodations. It has made me really look forward to this summer.
Orientation has been amazing thus far and I have already learned so much. Throughout my career, I have had the pleasure to work with a variety of talented young artists and I cannot wait to continue that here at the Conservatory.
I strive to make every production I have worked on special for all involved. I’m excited to be here and get to work and share my creativity with the students!”

Collin Cagle, Louisiana Tech University
Stage Management and Arts Administration Intern
“The first thing I noticed when I got here was the beauty of the Patel Conservatory campus and the state-of-the-art facilities.
The week started with preparation for this summer’s fun activities. This included our participation in the new Apprentice Boot Camp. It was a weekend program that introduced the apprentices to the basics of all of aspects of theater. It was a great experience, even for someone who is in college.
I’ve worked with the American Shakespeare Center and The Russian National Ballet, and I already know that the knowledge gained from this summer will be equal or greater. I hope to offer students new insight into character development and stage management.
Fun fact about me: I am a huge fan of Superheroes and Science Fiction.”

Chelsea Walton, Emory University
Teaching and Directing Intern
“Week one at the Patel Conservatory was a flashback to my childhood summer theater camp days. We've met lots of exciting and talented people, played games and explored the city. The Conservatory staff are fun, generous and caring, and the students are thriving. Watching auditions and callbacks as well as attending the Apprentice Boot Camp was an exciting glimpse into the influence of this conservatory.
The interns have varied theater backgrounds and aspirations, all of which we’re excited to explore here. We instantly loved each other and our new jobs - and our clown boss.”

Virginia Hirsch, Arkansas State University
Arts Administration and Teaching Intern
“The Patel Conservatory summer internship program has already been an eye-opening experience. Though I have only been here for a short time, I feel totally immersed in the program, which stems from the rare balance of excellence and caring. The directors and staff are so knowledgeable that you automatically feel challenged and ready to try new things.
A sort of Jack-of-all-trades, I've had extensive experience in directing, acting, singing, stage management and design. I’m ready to bring and hone these skills during my very first internship.

It's been such a fun transition from fairly rural Arkansas to the hot metropolis of Tampa (aside from the traffic). We are staying in a house in historic Ybor City, which has been delightful to explore. The first full day I was here, we were sent on a scavenger hunt through Ybor City to help us learn the history of the city and become familiar with local treasures. I'm so excited to continue my exploration of Tampa as well as theater during my stay at the Patel Conservatory.”