May 11, 2005
INFORMATION: John McElwain or John Green, (661) 362-3494 or 3684
New Theatre Academy to be Offered this Summer
College of the Canyons is offering a unique, intensive Theatre Academy as part of its largest summer school in 35 years. The program is developed and taught by working professional producers, directors, actors and designers that comprise the colleges theatre department. The Vital Express Center for the Performing Arts will be used as both an instructional facility and as a performance venue for the program. Students will have the opportunity to learn many aspects of the actors craft in this state-of-the-art, high-tech facility featuring both a 926-seat theater with a proscenium stage and an exciting black box venue.
The objective of the Theatre Academy is to provide intensive training for levels of experience ranging from college freshman, to working professional. Classes are available in musical theatre, classical acting, improvisation and acting fundamentals.
Participants will enjoy a unique, hands-on training experience through this program and those who choose to register for all of the academys classes will begin their days at 9:30 a.m. and finish up at 9:50 p.m. Monday through Thursday, June 11 through Aug. 4.
The productions at the conclusion of the academy provide an opportunity for participants to showcase their talents to agents, casting associates and other college theatre programs.
This program is considered part of the College of the Canyons for-credit curriculum, and the four classes that comprise the program range from 1 to 4 credits and are subject to the colleges $26-per-unit fees.
For more information, contact Theatre Department Chair Susan Hinshaw at (661) 362-3991 or Theatre Department instructor Andrea Slominski at (661) 263-9377, or go on-line at www.canyons.edu.
The Theatre Academy instructors are.
With 15 years of professional theatre experience, Mark Salyer has been associated with more than thirty productions as an actor, director, producer and teacher. As a professor at College of the Canyons, most recently he directed Big River the gala opening production for the Vital Express Center for the Performing Arts. In June of 2004 Salyer was invited to perform at the International Symposium on Greek Drama in Delphi, Greece. He has served as Guest director at the University of Virginia's College at Wise on several occasions since 1992. In addition, he worked with the Roundabout Theatre Company in New York for the Broadway Musical, Cabaret.
With an emphasis in Opera and Musical Theatre, Salyer has directed in Los Angeles, Washington D.C. and Virginia. His productions include Madame Butterfly, for Santa Monica Civic Opera, Mennotti's The Medium for the Los Angeles Opera Theatre Company and Tennessee Williams' Suddenly Last Summer, which performed at the Asylum Theatre in Los Angeles. For the University of Virginia's College at Wise, he directed Schwartz' Pippin and Godspell, Churchill's Cloud Nine and Sondheim's Into the Woods. He is currently collaborating with Carmen Tejada on a new music theatre piece for the operatic voice to be performed in Los Angeles next year
With more than 24 years of professional experience, Slominski received two degrees from the University of Rhode Island, one in fine art and one in theatre, directing and acting. Immediately after her graduation, Slominski became artistic director of the Astors Beechwood Theatre in Newport R.I. Following two successful seasons, she opened Risky Business, a musical cabaret theatre in Houston Texas where she co-wrote, directed and produced 11 shows in three years.
Since moving to California, Slomnski has been involved in music production including three albums of folk, jazz and spiritual music as well as private development and promotion of songwriters through the publishing arm of her production company. As a music publisher and songwriter, Slominski is a member of ASCAP. She is also an adjunct professor at College of the Canyons in the Theatre Department, where she recently was an assistant director for Big River. She is a founding director of a new professional theatre company in the Santa Clarita Valley in partnership with Mark Salyer.
Levy-Heath holds both bachelor's and master's degrees in theater arts with a dance emphasis from California State University Fullerton and California State University, Los Angeles respectively. She has trained extensively in ballet, modern dance, jazz, tap and dance for the musical theatre, studying with such notables as the San Francisco Ballet School, Bill Evans, Viola Farber, Roland Dupree, Joe Tremaine, and the American Dance Machine.
Levy-Heaths professional experience ranges from jazz to modern dance to musical theatre. Her dance company, High Flight, was contracted by the Los Angeles Unified School Distinct to bring dance to students of all ages. From 1985 to 1996, she was a member of the dance faculty at California State University, Los Angeles. Levy-Heath joined the dance faculty at College of the Canyons in January of 2000. She teaches jazz, tap, yoga, modern dance, and dance appreciation. In addition to her teaching responsibilities, she choreographs for the department's concerts and is currently co-producing the Fall 2005 concert "Rebuild: Look to the Future.
Classical Acting Studio
David Stears is an actor, director and producer originally from New York. He has been involved in live theatre for the past twenty years. He is a founding member of the highly acclaimed Actor's Project in Long Island and trained at HB Studios in New York. Stears is a graduate of California Institute of the Arts School of Theatre. He has produced and directed more than thirty productions and has been involved in more than sixty as an actor.
Upon graduating from CalArts, Stears founded The Santa Clarita Repertory Theatre and was the companys producing/artistic director until July 2001. Stears developed the companys educational outreach program, fostering relationships with school districts and working with teachers and professional theatre artists. The SCRTs Educational Outreach Program reached more than 20,000 students each year, developed nine original scripts, five bilingual plays, dozens of in-school workshops and garnered the support of the Henry Mayo Newhall Foundation, The Ahmanson Foundation. The SCRT was the winner of the Los Angeles Times Community Partnership Award (1994) and the Citibank Education award (1994).
Stears was the consultant and producer of four curricular based plays for children as part of the Spotlight Project with the Sulphur Springs School District. Stears also initiated the Summer Theatre Festival/ Shakespeare in the Parks series & Apprentice Programs and designed and opened the new facility for SCRT located in Downtown Newhall. He is one of the Founding Members of the Arts Alliance in Santa Clarita and has a certificate in Fund Raising from U.C.L.A. He works as an independent producer/director and fund raising consultant, running Stears & Associates, a producing & event management and fundraising consulting company.
Nancy Kissam is from New York where she received her master's degree in educational theatre from New York University. While in New York, she produced and directed four of her original plays, Shall We Try the Licorice?, Lizzy, Singin' Inside the Hurricane and Fig and Gator. She is currently working on a fifth piece, Kill. A comedienne, Kissam has worked with sketch comedy groups in New York and Los Angeles. She is producing and directing her first film short with a working title of The Gay Short.
Whalen grew up in Huntington Beach. He received his bachelors degree in theatre arts with an emphasis in acting and directing at Cal State University, Long Beach. Stephen participated in workshops conducted by John Houseman and the Acting Company from Julliard, Patrick Stewart and the Royal Shakespeare Company, and Stella Adler. He received a broad range of exposure to classical, modern and experimental plays. Upon graduation, he studied with Michael Holmes at the Chandler Studio in Los Angeles where he assisted in teaching Uta Hagen-style technique classes and played Shakespeares Macbeth and the dual roles of Posthumous/Cloten in Shakespeares Cymbeline.
After teaching and directing for two years at the Orange County High School of the Arts, Whelan worked for the film director/producer Martin Brest and on such feature films as Scent of a Woman and Meet Joe Black. After almost eight years in the film industry he returned to teaching at the Orange County High School of the Arts for one year. For the past five years has been the sole theatre arts instructor and director at Valencia High School. Having a passion for Shakespeare, Whalen has directed three separate Shakespearean plays over the past five years in addition to winning several awards in Shakespearean high school competitions throughout the southland. He also holds a Teacher's Certificate and Master of Education from the University of La Verne.