It is uncertain when theater companies will be able to open their doors to the public and an audience will be able to see the curtain go up for a live show. Arts organizations remain, however, committed to community enrichment. In response to social distancing and out of concern for public health, The Phoenix Theatre Company is creating online programming which includes launching a new, online-only theater education experience: Next Stages.
Next Stages launched before summer officially starts to provide an arts supplement for parents providing in-home education for their children. The program will continue throughout the summer, giving kids a much-needed space to express themselves, all from the comfort and safety of their own homes.
“We’re still committed to providing inclusive learning opportunities to our community, even if we can’t physically gather,” says Michael Barnard, producing artistic director. “These programs let our young artists express themselves and find their voice, all in a space that is welcoming to families of all backgrounds. Especially now, we need to nurture the next generation of artists in our community.”
Next Stages addresses the impact social distancing has on the mental and social development of kids by creating a virtual environment for kids to continue their arts education and have fun.
“We want to make sure all our campers have a creative outlet this summer to complement their amazing online learning,” says Hanna Spence-Schehr, camp director.“Whether you’re a teen looking to blow off steam in a dance class, a budding storyteller who’s ready to show off your amazing skills, or an experienced actor, we have something for you.”
Beloved artists in the local theater community will teach classes of subjects ranging from storytelling to vocal technique to puppetry. Classes are open to kids ages 4 through 17 of all experience levels. Families will be provided a private class link after purchase and will be able to access online sessions at class start times. During class, students can expect one-on-one time with their instructor as well as group activities with 10 to 15 other campers.
Next Stages classes run hourly from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday now through July with plans to continue through the summer. Classes start at just $15. To learn more and to purchase a class visit phoenixtheatre.com/nextstages.