New Depot Theatre Academy gives area youth professional theater experience, on and off stage

Participants will have opportunity to become Equity Membership Candidates

Westport, N.Y. — Young thespians will have the opportunity to perform on the Depot Theatre main stage alongside professionals through the organization’s new education and outreach program, the Depot Theatre Academy.

The Depot Theatre Academy will encompass the existing junior program (formerly Boquet River Theatre Festival) for young artists ages 8-12, and an enhanced senior program for participants ages 13 and older who are enrolled in school, home school, or college.

The junior program, held at the Whallonsburg Grange Hall July 6-26, will include workshops led by Equity professionals in acting, voice, and dance, culminating in three performances of this year’s production, INTO THE WOODS, JR.

The senior Academy program will be held July 27-August 23 at the Depot Theatre, and will consist of professional instruction on the main stage, culminating in performances of a customized showcase featuring dance, music, scene work, and more. The seniors can also audition for a role in a Depot main stage musical.

“We are thrilled to announce that in addition to the workshops and cabaret, all of the senior participants will be able to audition for one of four parts in the Depot’s main stage production of BARNUM: THE MUSICAL, performing alongside the professional artists,” said Kenney Green, the Depot’s Producing Artistic Director.

As a benefit of the Depot’s status as an Equity theatre, senior Academy participants who perform in Depot main stage shows will also have the opportunity to join the Equity Membership Candidate Program (EMC). The national EMC program permits actors and stage managers in training to credit theatrical work in certain Equity theatres toward eventual membership in Actors’ Equity.

“Our intention is to provide a robust educational experience for all of our area youth and a pathway for those interested in pursuing a profession in theatre—whether that’s backstage or on stage,” said Green.

“We began the transition to this education model when we welcomed the former BRTF program in 2018; first by incorporating workshops in dance, voice, and acting, then by adding live musical direction and accompaniment in 2019,” said Kim Rielly, Depot Theatre Executive Director. “This year, we’re pleased that our participants will benefit from our Equity theatre status with this intensive intern program, and we’re very excited to infuse our main stage with their energy and talent!”

Auditions to determine parts for both the junior and senior Depot Theatre Academy programs will be held at the Depot Theatre on May 16, 2020. Depot Theatre Executive Director Kim Rielly will be happy to answer questions regarding the Academy via email at krielly@depottheatre.org or by calling 518.962.4449.

More information about the program, including registration, sponsorship opportunities, playbill advertisements, and downloadable participant guidelines is now available at www.depottheatre.org.

The Depot Theatre Academy is underwritten by The Brooks and Joan Fortune Family Foundation. The junior Academy program is sponsored by the Rogers-Carroll Foundation.

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ABOUT THE DEPOT THEATRE
The Depot Theatre is a non-profit, professional theatre located in a historic, functioning 1876 train station in Westport, N.Y., and is the only theatre in the Adirondacks that operates under an agreement with Actors’ Equity Association, the union of professional actors and stage managers in the United States. Committed to promoting and providing exposure to the performing arts in the Adirondacks, the Depot Theatre invites all to “Take a journey without leaving the station.” The Depot Theatre’s 2020 Season is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. The season productions are made possible, in part, by the Essex County Arts Council’s Cultural Assistance Program Grant with funding provided by Essex County. The Depot Theatre Academy is underwritten by The Brooks and Joan Fortune Family Foundation. The junior Academy program is sponsored by the Rogers-Carroll Foundation.

ABOUT ACTORS’ EQUITY ASSOCIATION
Actors’ Equity Association (AEA), founded in 1913, represents more than 51,000 professional Actors and Stage Managers nationwide. Equity seeks to foster the art of live theatre as an essential component of society and advances the careers of its members by negotiating wages, improving working conditions and providing a wide range of benefits, including health and pension plans. Similarly, the Depot is affiliated with Stage Directors and Choreographers Society (SDC).