Quality arts education programs for children abound in North Texas.
Increasing this bounty is the addition of the Musical Theater Conservatory, under the skilled direction of Doug Miller, to the Dallas Children’s Theater Academy.
BROADWAY Miller’s roots with the DCT began in the mid-1990s, as an actor.
He then spent several years directing shows on their main stage as well as their acclaimed national tours.
Making its debut in August 2014, the conservatory’s immediate success suggests that it fulfilled a need in the community.
There are currently 120 students attending weekly Musical Theater classes.
The curriculum is organized by age and experience. It is a rigorous training program that includes improvisation, scene study, ear training, musical theater history, choreography, and audition techniques.
In addition to offering professional tools for aspiring actors, the classes include life skills, such as vocal projection, leadership skills,
BROADWAY and confidence building. “It is an intense program that builds on itself every year,” Miller says.
It also provides young actors the opportunity to continue honing their craft through high school.
“The ultimate goal,” Miller says, “is for the students to have a taste of what the world of musical theater is really like.”
The Musical Theater Conservatory enhances the Dallas Children’s Theater Academy, which offers a variety of performance classes for younger children as well as a Teen Conservatory for middle
and high school students. Sensoryfriendly classes for special-needs students are also available.
“There was a need for this in our community, and we’re glad to be doing this at the Children’s Theater,” Miller says.
Named one of the best children’s theaters in the country by TIME magazine, DCT distinguishes itself in a variety of ways.
In addition to providing professional theater to its young audiences,
DCT also caters to groups that might not otherwise be exposed to theater.
Every run offers one performance accompanied by American Sign Language and one sensoryfriendly performance.
For the latter, accommodations such as turning the sound levels down and keeping the house lights on a little brighter make theater accessible to a larger population.
Miller says these audiences are especially appreciative for the experience. Now in its 32nd season, DCT continually innovates.
This year’s holiday line-up includes A Charlie Brown Christmas on its main stage, the Baker Theater. DCT is presenting the Southwest premiere of the show, complete with a new script.
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