By Michelle Poirier
A professional musical theatre training school for kids and teens aged 3 to 19 is coming to Georgina through First Act Youth Company (FAYC).
While the company has been around since 2014, it was forced to close its doors in Whitby due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
They are now reopening in Georgina after Nicole Strawbridge, Artistic Director of FAYC, and Colin Frotten, Executive Director of FAYC, moved here.
“A lengthy hiatus allowed us to think, plan, and dream of what the future could look like for First Act. This resulted in a shift for the business, now operating as a not-for-profit organization, serving youth throughout Georgina,” their website states.
Strawbridge said it feels good to be back, and now they are getting the word out about the school.
“We’re running as a non-profit organization within Georgina, which means better opportunities for everyone and more community events and programming,” Frotten said.
“This is a community we wanted to be part of in a bigger way.”
Classes are separated by age groups with two terms during the year, and they also have a yearlong audition program, culminating with a performance of Mean Girls at the Stephen Leacock Theater.
Strawbridge said they have their core teachers who have studied and worked in the industry, but they bring in different guest teachers.
“And the important part is that they’re people who are still working, they’re still performing. Any student who comes through our doors can say that they’ve worked with, you know, a music director who’s at Mirvish or a dancer who was on a cruise ship,” Frotten added.
“And it’s not about the showiness of it; it’s that they’re gaining practical industry experience at Udora Hall in Georgina.”
They are starting their year with a 36-hour musical theatre boot camp at the end of August.
The boot camp has students slated to show up at 8:00 a.m. on Saturday, August 26, where they will find out what show they will be doing and then perform it with a live band 36 hours later. Students sleep over and have meals provided.
“Even if you like theatre, but you don’t have kids involved, coming to see it is really cool; to see what young people can do in that amount of time is pretty crazy,” Strawbridge said.
Anyone is welcome to watch the show; it will take place at 8:00 p.m. on Sunday, August 27, at Udora Community Hall, 24 Victoria Road, Udora—entrance by donation.
“Tons of our students have gone to NYU and Julliard, and it’s awesome, and we talk about that, but we also have so many students who just learned so many skills through us and didn’t necessarily go into theatre afterwards but still use these skills day to day,” Strawbridge said.
“Musical theatre provides so much more than just singing, acting, and dancing.”
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