The Actors Conservatory Theater (ACT) has developed a loyal and dedicated following of audience members, performers and behind-the-scenes participants; And it’s a good thing.
In the 18 years since it was founded by Joe Ann Brooks, ACT has changed its name and has at least seven different locations. Programs have also been added, including the ACT Music Summer and Vacation Camps, the ACT Performing Choir, Academy of the Performing Arts classes, and the Actor Conservatory Element’s teenage group activities. (ACE).
Originally founded as Flower Mound Children’s Theater in 1999 by “Miss Joe Ann”, its mission was simple: to introduce children to history, classic novels and classic authors, to develop their knowledge of the world and their understanding of the world. instill a love of reading, throughout the opportunity to learn and experience the performing and visual arts.
The first productions in 1999 were performed outdoors in the Samuel Lusk Amphitheater at Leonard Johns Community Park in Flower Mound. The sound and lighting were difficult, the summer weather was not always there and the dirt and splinters were sometimes too much to bear; but, the group persevered and continued to grow.
After several venue changes, the Flower Mound Children’s Theater moved to Lewisville in 2004, merged with the Flower Mound Community Theater and became The Actors Conservatory Theater.
Brooks’ retirement in 2015 also coincided with the move of ACT to its current home at 359 Lake Park Road in northwest Lewisville.
“When I moved here 12 years ago I kept seeing ads for ACT and loved it [Brook’s] mission, ”said Amy Coates, ACT’s current resident artistic and musical director. “As a child, I studied the piano for 17 years, I did musical theater and I loved it; so I took my children.
She said that while ACT provides good instruction in singing and dancing – as well as other areas related to theater – the best thing participants learn is to be part of a team.
“Not everyone is an athlete,” Coates said. “The idea that we need all our talent behind the scenes – in costumes or make-up or in the stand in technique [lights and sound], or manufacture [set-building, painting, props] zones – in addition to performers to produce a show is a true example of teamwork. Do not be afraid, you will see a smile and you will make a friend.
She added that while some children may have “the performance bug,” others do not; but that doesn’t mean they won’t enjoy being exposed to the team experience in the theater.
“Children are taught a lesson in confidence,” Coates said. “They learn to stretch and grow in a safe environment… explore themselves and come out of this experience as a new person.”
She clarified that parents can also participate.
“ACT can be a bonding experience for the whole family,” Coates said, “I got to see my different strengths and interests collide in all different areas – from costumes to board attendance. [of Directors] and working with the interpreters.
The upcoming theater program is: James and the giant peach, (auditions – August 26) performances October 13-22; The three Musketeers, (auditions – Sept. 21) performances Nov 10-12; Nutcracker, (auditions October 17) performances from December 15 to 17; Mary Poppins (Broadway Musical), (auditions – January 2, 2018) performances from February 23 to March 4, 2018; Stuart Little, (auditions – March 6, 2018) performances April 13-15, 2018; and, Horn, (auditions March 6, 2018) performances April 27-29.
The 2017-18 season will culminate with the 8e Annual Toady Awards on May 19, 2018 at the MCL Grand Theater (Medical City Lewisville), 100 N. Charles St., Lewisville.
For more information visit: getintotheact.org for registration information. Register before September 1 to save $ 20 on tuition (the early registration deadline for the ACT Show Choir is August 15).