Ask The Pro: Stage School in Shanghai

By 2018-12-20 23:26:08

We explore the positive effects of performing arts

We speak to the international bilingual performing arts school in the heart of Lujiazui, iStage Academy.

How is iStage Academy different from other programs?

The iStage Academy differs from other extracurricular programs because of the emphasis on working towards an all-around Musical Theatre experience. We cater to group or individual classes in music, drama and dance, geared towards our Musical Theatre course linking all three disciplines.

How long has iStage Academy been in Shanghai?

iStage Academy was formed in April 2016. Founder Penny Jin is a mother of two, and believes that choosing a quality Performing Arts Program will positively influence children with their development, career and path in life. She still remembers the day she saw her daughter’s first stage appearance. She was excited, confident and smiling. Her takeaway was that an enriched Performing Arts program can truly develop a student’s confidence, social skills, cognitive development, empathy, self-discipline and creativity among other positive traits.

How old must students be to participate?

iStage Academy has students from two and a half years old through all levels of primary, middle and high school as well as adult participants. We include all age groups and abilities, making performing part of a student’s development from a very early age.

Who are your instructors?

Our instructors form the basis of our pro- gram at the Academy. Ian Dickens as Performance Director not only teaches Drama and Musical Theatre but has also developed in-house and outside projects together with an overall eye on quality at the Academy. Our music and dance specialists are all professionals with relevant education and/or music or dance backgrounds.

Can families try some of the programs before signing up?

We try and let all new pupils come to a dis- counted trial lesson to see if they like the experience and fit in with the group.

Do you also offer workshops for adults?

We have begun our first Adult Drama Class and are following this with an Adult Latin Dance Class. We are also arranging Parent evenings, self run in conjunction with the academy to promote and perform extracurricular events. In addition, iStage Connection Committee, with parents on the board, has played an important role establishing close links between parents and the academy.

What do you have coming up?

In June we have the Day at the Zoo, a musical play which sees every single child at the Academy involved. Through July and August our popular summer school returns with two-week courses culminating in performances of Into the Woods and The Wiz- ard of Oz. In October and November, we have “Simply Shakespeare” – an interactive drama project which is customer tailored for schools, gearing Shakespeare’s classic productions to whatever age range, followed by a Q&A session with the cast of professional actors and the Director. Our first show will be Twelfth Night. It’ll run at the Academy for a limited number of open performances. Then in December, the students will present a Winter Spectacular GALA, showing all their skills learned at iStage.