The Junior Art Park Players (JAPP) Dramatic and Musical Theatre School was created in 1981, as Sue Fenley Meyers became Artistic and Managing Director of Deer Park’s own Community Theatre. Theatrical training for children has long been a major focus of the Art Park Players. The Junior Art Park Player program has grown from the original 6 students in 1981 to well over 250 today. Training in musical theatre and drama are offered to children and teenagers between the ages of 4-18. This innovative award-winning youth company performs at minimum of five shows a year. Members of the group are given the opportunity to audition for one or more of our Premiere Junior Art Park Player Companies: REACTION (top performing group) and COMPANY (focuses strictly on intensifying and bettering the craft of Stage Acting); or our year-round performing JUNIOR ART PARK SINGERS. Our performing groups have traveled to many wonderful places, including: Los Angeles, Florida, London, Pigeon Forge and New York. Audiences from Branson, Missouri to Disney’s Big Red Boat and Carnival Cruise Line’s “Fun Ship” Ecstasy have been thrilled to be entertained by the acting and musical talents of these youngsters.
The course of instruction encompasses virtually every aspect of theatre: acting, enunciation, vocal performance, development of creative imagination, stage direction, facial and vocal expression, choreography, vocal projection, body language, team work, active listening skills, theatre discipline and etiquette, technical theatre, commercial training, public speaking and modeling. In addition to classroom activities and performances in and out of class, students also have the opportunity to audition for The Art Park Players Main Stage dinner theatre productions. Our goal is not only to teach the students the basics of theatre, but also to help instill in them self esteem and confidence and the joy of performing.
Class assignments are made according to the age, experience and ability of each student in order to ensure an environment most conducive to learning and personal growth.
The theatre school is under the direction of Art Park Player Artistic Director, Susan McBee-Mele who has been involved with the community theatre since 1981. Susan has enlisted a great group of talented acting, singing, dancing and technical theatre specialists to assist.