Jul 29, 2016 10:41AM
By Bryan Scott
There is a brand new act in town. Project Drama is a new acting studio for youth; located at 2477 E Fort Union Boulevard, in Cottonwood Heights. This is the place for young budding artists to explore their acting, singing, and performance skills.
Directors and business partners Dana Pearson and Rebecca Hess are advocates of the arts and the creative process. They have been teaching acting and musical theatre for children, tweens, and teens for over 25 years across the Wasatch front.
Pearson and Hess first met while attending Weber State University; both were majoring in Theatre Arts and Communication. While finishing up their degrees, they were asked to develop a youth theatre program for Utah Musical Theatre at the university. “The classes took off,” said Pearson, “The first summer we had over eighty young and eager students participating. There was an obvious need.”
“Unfortunately the arts have taken a hit with budget restraints and curriculum demands in the school systems”, said Hess, “Less time exploring the arts has left a void in the learning process.” Hess has been teaching in Utah’s public school system for over 16 years. She has served as a Theatre Specialist in several local schools as a part of the Beverly Taylor Sorenson Arts Learning Program (BTSALP) where her focus is integrating the core curriculum with the arts. She also has organized and directed five elementary school choirs. She has had the opportunity to observe the positive effect of the arts in children’s development.
Pearson, a Utah native, has been involved in all aspects of theatre; including directing, costume design, playwriting, producing, acting and teaching. Former Artistic Director at the Egyptian Theatre Company in Park City, she developed their youth theatre education program and served as director and instructor for over a decade before moving last year to Cottonwood Heights.
The two former colleagues and friends reunited last fall with a common goal. “Our community could benefit from a children’s theatre company, and we can make this happen,” said Hess. Pearson, life-long educator and theatre arts guru agreed. “Watching young performers gain self-esteem, confidence, and develop new skills is so rewarding,” said Hess.
“Skills for theatre, but more importantly, skills for life,” said Pearson. “I had the opportunity as a youth to be involved in community and school productions, along with choir and acting classes. These experiences had such a positive impact on my life. Whether I was acting on stage or helping backstage, I learned valuable lessons of collaboration, teamwork, commitment and self-confidence! We are excited to be teaching in our community the magic of live theatre, acting, singing, and performing. If all the world’s a stage, then let’s not forget the youngest players.”
Project Drama offers classes for the beginner and more experienced students, ages 4 through 17. Curriculum includes acting, musical theatre, stage movement, voice, improvisation, pantomime, and character development. This fall, Project Drama is launching Project Sing Show Choir, ages 6-14. Private coaching for auditions also available.
Fall registration begins the first of August with classes starting September 6. For more information about Project Drama and their summer and fall class schedules, visit their website at www.projectdrama.com
Last opportunity for Summer Acting Camp is August 8 through 12, ages 7-11.
Follow Project Drama on Facebook for special offers and performance schedules. 2477 E Fort Union Blvd, Cottonwood Heights #106 at Promenade Plaza.
This October, Project Drama will produce a spooky fall production, Wiley and the Hairy Man, by Suzan Zeder, perfect for young audience members.
Project Drama…where character grows.