ATG’s musical theatre program at Cypress Hills Local Development Corporation’s Community Learning Center is entering its ninth year, providing Brooklyn middle school students with a full year of theatre training leading up to the full-scale adaptation of a Broadway musical each spring. In his fourth year at the helm, Teaching Artist Taylor Valentine is continually looking for ways to strengthen the program, building on the successes of his previous years to create something even greater the next time around.
This year, Taylor and his students put together a values statement that encapsulates the program’s principles. Explaining the purpose behind the statement, Taylor said, “I really feel this could be a great opportunity to establish something exciting at the school and give students a chance to be a part of a higher-standard drama program. Not only can they add it to their high school applications, but my hope is it will it give them a head start to succeeding at higher educational and professional levels.”
With this new values statement our musical theatre students are setting the bar even higher, starting off this semester ready and excited to make our ninth year at CHLDC our best one yet.
The Cypress Hills Musical Theatre Program…
…Is a group created for students who have even the smallest desire to perform in plays and musicals.
…Accepts its members on an interview basis, using the determining factors of a student’s academic history, their willingness to commit to attend and participate, and their desire to be a part of the theatrical process.
…Will use the performance principles of Be Seen, Be Heard and Believe as its foundation for learning and doing. Through this approach, students will ultimately be more prepared physically, vocally and imaginatively for the theatrical process while also acquiring confidence and communication skills that can be integrated into their personal and, eventually, professional lives.
…Promotes professionalism, commitment and discipline. While establishing a playful working environment, all members are expected to attend all meetings, participate fully and contribute to the creative process through supportive actions and dialogue.
…Intends to create interesting and relevant theatre by writing and performing an original performance based on a known story from literature or mythology. Contemporary perspectives will be used to shape a classic story, and in doing so, students will have the opportunity to take ownership of the creative process while making their original voices heard.
Hear Taylor speak about the musical theatre program at an ATG event in April 2015 and learn about the values he aims to instill in his students in the video below: