Students shine at the Straz Center
Many HCPS students were part of the amazing cast of Showstoppers, a musical theatrical production celebrating a collection of Broadway hits such as Chicago, Cabaret, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, and Phantom of the Opera. Students from Coleman and Franklin Middle Schools as well as Plant and Blake High Schools spent three intensive weeks honing their solo and ensemble musical theater skills at The Patel Conservatory at the Straz Center for Performing Arts. These advanced level performers developed solo, ensemble, singing and acting skills through rigorous rehearsals culminating in an outstanding performance.
Behind the scenes on premiere day of Showstoppers cast members waited patiently in the wings for their cue. On stage the performers sang and danced, interrupted sporadically by the director’s shouts over the recorded music as he fine-tuned the choreography. The entire cast and production team, including the director, musical technician and lighting manager were key players to the success of this production!
The Patel Conservatory partners with Patricia J. Sullivan Partnership School where ballet is part of the physical education curriculum. The students perform at the Straz Center as part of their end-of-year production. Some students have been awarded scholarships to Patel classes. They have also partnered with Steinbrenner High School’s Culinary Arts Program to cater events. As a result, some culinary students have been offered employment opportunities through this initiative.
The Patel Conservatory provides high-quality arts enhancement programs to the community. They partner with schools, agencies, community organizations or after-school program in order to develop performing arts and educational experiences. Leslie Farrell, Straz Center’s Publicist and Board Chair for OASIS (Outreach Assisting Students in Schools) said, “studying the arts help students achieve academically. Discipline, confidence, and teamwork are noted qualities developed though the pursuit of the arts.”
For more information about The Patel Conservatory at the Straz Center for Performing Arts call 813-222-1002 or visit www.patelconservatory.org
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