Look out New York. Village Theatre is growing the next crop of Broadway hopefuls. The regional musical theatre company has always offered camps and classes for children interested in acting. But with recent expansions at its locations in Everett and Issaquah, the organization has introduced Village Theatre Institute, an advanced program for students from grade five to age 20 who have advanced performance skills or wish to seek a career in theatre.
“The idea is that there are students who are ready to work on developing their acting, singing and dancing skills in a more rigorous environment with a little bit higher expectations for their work,” explains Kati Nickerson, Village Theatre’s director of youth education.
The program is a year-long commitment, with weekly classes where students improve their performing skills and learn about theatre production from skilled, high-caliber professionals in the field. Given Village Theatre’s growing reputation around the country (the Tony-award winning musical Next to Normal, written by Brian Yorkey, was originally workshopped at VT), Nickerson says, attending Village Theatre Institute is a real resume booster. But the intensive program isn’t just for future thespians.
“Anytime a student can focus on building skills in an environment that is artistic, asks for consistency from them and requires them to work directly with adults, they come out with composure, creativity and problem-solving skills,” Nickerson says. “We say that theatre skills are skills for life.”