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Developing stage skills

Young musical theatre enthusiasts are invited to take part in a program to develop their skills this summer at Surrey Arts Centre.

Young people with a passion to sing, dance and act are invited to learn from industry professionals at the two-week Musical Theatre Intensive summer program at Surrey Arts Centre.

Led by well-known Vancouver performer, choreographer and director Peter Jorgensen (who established the program in partnership with the Arts Club Theatre Company in 2002) the intensive is designed not only to provide experience for young performers aged 12 to 16, but also to help them gain the skills, confidence and contacts necessary to continue their musical theatre education.

The Surrey program, which this year runs July 4-15 (10 a.m.-4 p.m., Monday to Friday), has provided a springboard for graduates who are now working professionally or continuing studies at some of the best theatre schools across North America.

Jorgensen said the classes are designed to develop effective triple-threat performers – strong dancers who sing a little and great actors with two left feet can be turned into actors, dancers and singers.

“We don’t just teach the notes of the song and the steps of the dance,” Jorgensen said. “We give our students the skills to understand, interpret and communicate the story.”

Applicants for the program must have any two of the following five qualifications: two years dance training; one year private voice training, one year singing with a school or community choir, one year of acting/drama classes and/or experience performing in a school or community musical.

Participants will receive one-on-one coaching with industry professionals to develop voice, dance and acting skills, and will learn audition techniques.

They will also perform solo and as part of the ensemble in a concluding showcase for family and friends on the last day of the program.

Spin-off benefits, organizers say, are gaining an insight into Vancouver’s musical theatre community and the opportunity to meet friends with similar ambitions and interests.

Fee per student is $495, and the application deadline is June 1. For application and registration details, visit

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