From the Maplewood Division of Arts & Culture:
Progressive Theater in collaboration with the Maplewood Division of Arts & Culture launches MAPStarz, a new theater program starting September 8, 2020. Working alongside theater professionals and rising teaching-artists, MAPStarz encourages students to think critically and creatively by offering a well-rounded introduction to theater. Students will be given the opportunity to train in areas of dance, acting, and theater production.
Ana De Archuleta, Director of Arts & Culture says, “MAPStarz seeks to inspire and nurture Maplewood’s youth through Arts and Education.” The 8-week MAPStarz program will meet twice a week and will culminate in a live-stream original production on October 30, 2020, where students will showcase their talent and newly acquired skills.
Melissa Mancuso, Director, Community Services Department is set on expanding youth programming. By sponsoring the program, the Community Services Department will keep the price to $240 for the 16 sessions and will make scholarships available for families who need more help covering the costs. Classes will be limited to 15 students per session, which will be divided into smaller groups of 5 students each, for more individualized instruction, as well as to meet strict safety and social distancing guidelines. The program will take place at the spacious Woodland with rigorous cleaning and disinfecting between sessions. Mask wearing will be required. Mancuso wants, “Our young actors and performers to explore, learn and have fun with the MAPStarz experience, while at the same time we have a responsibility to ensure a safe and encouraging environment for them to find their groove and grow.”
Gregory Omar Osborne, Founder and Artistic Director of Progressive Theater aims to provide opportunities for our youth, especially those who are underserved and at-risk. Osborne, known for giving back and bringing attention to issues and inequities of our time, believes, “Progress is about giving way to the youths, they are the voices of tomorrow! With MAPStarz we want to empower them to take this world by storm and know that they can do anything they put their minds to. Someone did it for me; Now it’s time for Progressive Theater to do the same.”
MAPStarz Program Details
Cost to students: $240 for 16 seventy-five minute sessions
Dates: Tuesdays & Thursdays 9/8/20 – 10/29/20 with live-stream performance October 30th
Session 1: 4:00 pm – 5:15 pm — Middle School*
Session 2: 5:45 pm – 7:00 pm — High School
Location: The Woodland — 60 Woodland Road, Maplewood NJ
Registration: Under the “Youth” tab at https://maplewood.recdesk.com/Community/Program Registration and Scholarship Questions: Call 973-763- 4202
MAPStarz Dance: Theatre Dance Classes will focus on all forms of dance; Jazz, Tap, Hip-hop, and Ballet, dance combinations inspired by Broadway hit shows and Billboard Top 40’s. Students will work under the direction of teaching artists to create a cohesive show while exercising their choreographic muscles!
MAPStarz Acting: Actors will focus on breathing life into scripts, using critical thinking and imagination. Students will be guided on writing their own scenes and stepping into the role of directors.
MAPStarz Theater Production: Without a production crew, stagehands, and scenic designer, the world of theater would be a blank canvas. Geared towards visual artists, Theater Production allows students to learn the basics of set design. Students will work with teaching artists to create a unique set for the production.
*MAPStarz Study Hall: Supervised study hall sessions for middle school participants starting at 3:30pm until MAPStarz classes begin at 4pm.
COVID-19 Considerations: All participants and teachers will be required to wear masks, maintain 6 feet distance and work in small groups limited to 5 student participants.