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UA Little Rock Will Provide Free Summer Enrichment Program in Musical Theatre for Junior High School Students with ADE Grant

The UA Little Rock Jodie Mahony Center for Gifted Education will host a week-long summer enrichment program for Arkansas junior high school students who want to learn more about musical theater and stage performance. The program is provided at no cost to students who are selected to participate.

MT Stage: Expressions! is designed to nurture young, aspiring performers while building self-confidence through teamwork and talent exploration. The new summer enrichment program is funded by a $15,000 Academic Enrichment for the Gifted in Summer (AEGIS) grant from the Arkansas Department of Education.

The Jodie Mahony Center is accepting applications for current students in 7th, 8th, and 9th grades. Those selected will participate in the week-long summer program that takes place from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. June 13-17 at UA Little Rock.

“I am particularly excited about Expressions! The program is designed to nurture stage presence and speaking confidence in young talent,” said Dr. Christine Deitz, associate director of the Jodie Mahony Center. “Amazing, talented adults, who are skilled at supporting budding talent, will use contemporary and classic lyrics and poetry to inspire youthful expression. MT Stage: Expressions! is a program that will truly be enjoyed by children who find themselves humming a catchy tune, thinking about lyrics, and who would like to gain confidence in working with others in a performance-based program.”

During this five-day program, participants will partner with Expressions! coaches for team-building exercises and engage in workshops focused on lyric performance, stage performance, photography, and song expression. The program concludes with a cast and ensemble showcase performance featuring “Sprechgesang” (speaking lyrics), singing, rapping, and student-photographic works on June 17.

From 2017 to 2019, the Jodie Mahony Center held the popular “MT Stage: The Hamilton Experience” summer program, where students produced and performed songs based on “Hamilton,” the popular hip hop Broadway musical. The musical theater summer program is now back with a new program after a two-year absence due to COVID-19.

“The Mahony Center has a long history in providing programs to children and adolescents,” said Dr. Ann Robinson, director of the Jodie Mahony Center. “We aim to encourage creativity, develop talents, and provide a place where our young people can try out new performance ideas together with caring adults. MT Stage: Expressions! continues our campus and community service. We are delighted to be back to face-to-face programs in 2022!”

Participants may fill out an application via this link. Applications are due May 13.