Three from CATA experience the Blumenthal

Apr. 09, 2013 @ 04:17 PM

Three seniors from Central Academy of Technology and Arts participated in the Blumenthal Experience through the Blumenthal Performing Arts Center with 26 other students from the area. 

Theater Teacher Larry Robinson nominated seniors Kara Janes, DJ Williams and Kelsey Ward to attend the educational experience. 

"They were individuals that I knew that had a strong interest in the performing arts," Robinson said. 

He said the students had limited time in New York City and wanted to pursue some sort of performing arts career. 

The participants toured the six Blumenthal theaters, met and spoke with Blumenthal staff and attended a workshop with two actors from the Broadway musical, "Wicked." They also got to see a performance of the award-winning musical, a prequel to "The Wizard of Oz." 

Many of the activities the students were asked to do during the workshop were things they perform in class, Robinson said. 

"It was a reinforcement that what we do in class here is what you are seeing professionals doing," he said. 

After the performance, students met the two actors from the workshop by the stage door to further discuss the performance and what they saw. The students had the chance to meet other actors by the stage door. 

"I think that one of (the students) really enjoyed the whole experience with the tours," Robinson said. "One of them thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to work with the actors...I think some of them walked away with a greater appreciation for the professional actor."

"Each one of them came away with completely different things that meant a lot to them," Robinson said. 

For Robinson, touring the theaters was his best experience. 

"What I really enjoyed the most...getting a much more in-depth look at the spaces from the professionals," Robinson said. "Getting their perspective on how these spaces work was very informative for me." 

The Blumenthal Experience is sponsored by the Doctor Family Foundation and is open to students who were nominated for the Broadway Experience, but not chosen to visit New York City. Last year, two students from Cuthbertson High School participated in the Broadway Experience.

Six other Union County schools participated in the Experience.

Hannah Owns, Katie Sepanyuk and Miranda Lammers from Porter Ridge High School attended with their teacher Jessica Briggs. Juan Gomez from Sun Valley High School attended with teacher Lisa Stafford. Caroline Bailey and Evan Chronis from Weddington High School attended with teacher Maria Moore. Micha Bunn, Harrison Taylor and Connor Hamilton from Cuthbertson High School attended with teacher Joy Hamilton. Marianna Norwood, Julia Ridenhour and Sarah Jirgal from Piedmont High School attended with teacher Alli Sanderson. Union Academy students David Cothron and Milissia Koncelik attended with teacher Todd Ford.