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Summer Musical Theater Camp Will Help Iowa High School Students

June 30, 2014

Three established Broadway professionals will help Iowa high school students sharpen their performance skills and learn more about the performing arts industry during the STAGEright Broadway Experience, a weeklong summer musical theater camp presented by Des Moines Performing Arts. The STAGEright Broadway Experience will take place July 14-18, 2014 at the Des Moines Civic Center.

Meredith Akins (MAMMA MIA, FOOTLOOSE), Connor Gallagher (Disney’s BEAUTY AND THE BEAST), and Adam Wachter (ADDAMS FAMILY, PETER PAN) will coach students on the acting, dancing and singing skills necessary to become a “triple threat” in musical theater. The STAGEright Broadway Experience culminates with a showcase on Friday, July 18 at 7:30 p.m. for family and friends on the Civic Center stage.

There are a limited number of openings still available for interested high school students. The camp is open to students ages 14 to 19 (must be entering ninth grade in the fall of 2014) with a passion for performing. Auditions are not required, although previous theater training or experience is necessary. Registration is $385 and includes meals. Scholarships are available based on need.

To register for the STAGEright Broadway Experience, visit DesMoinesPerformingArts.org. For more information, email sarahb@DesMoinesPerformingArts.org or call (515) 246-2358.

About the 2014 STAGEright Broadway Experience Instructors

MEREDITH AKINS has been a professional dancer, singer and actor for the last eighteen years. She has performed in the Broadway productions of Mamma Mia (Original Cast/Assistant Dance Captain) and Footloose. Other credits include Wicked (Chicago and Original Cast 2nd National Tour), Aida (Kansas City Starlight), Legally Blonde (North Shore Music Theatre), Footloose (Original Cast 1st National Tour), Fame (Original Cast European Tour), Actor's Fund performances of Hair, Chess and A Wonderful Life, No Boundaries (New York Music Theatre Festival) and 101 Dalmatians (Radio City Music Hall). Meredith is an advocate of the arts and she often works as a Teaching Artist throughout the country and New York City. She created the program, I Can Do That!, which uses theatre to facilitate youths' development of setting goals and having full self-expression. Meredith received her B.A. in Sociology from the University of Virginia and attends City College of New York where she is completing her M.S. in Educational Theatre. No risk, no reward!

CONNOR GALLAGHER is a New York-based director, choreographer, and dance educator. Raised in Clifton Park, NY, he received a BFA from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. Immediately after graduating he was cast as the carpet in the final Broadway company of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. He also received a Carbonell nomination for the role of Bobby in The Boyfriend at The Maltz-Jupiter Theatre. Recent credits include the first national tour of Elf (Kennedy Center); The HIFA Opening Ceremony in Zimbabwe, Bunnicula (Off-Broadway and national tour); The Fabulous Lipitones (Goodspeed Musicals); as well as workshops for The Roundabout Theatre Company and Theatreworks USA. As an associate Connor most recently worked as Assistant Director and Choreographer for the 2012 Public Theatre production of Into the Woods in Central Park at the Delacorte Theatre starring Amy Adams, Donna Murphy and Denis O’Hare. Connor has worked as associate choreographer on the new national tour of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast since 2010 with original Broadway choreographer Matt West. Connor also teaches regularly at the world famous Broadway Dance Center in New York City.

ADAM WACHTER is a composer, lyricist, music director, orchestrator, and pianist based in New York City. He composed the scores to the film You Must Be Joking and the web series “The Battery’s Down” and “Submissions Only” as well as an original musical, Tarrytown, and orchestrated the PBS Great Performances documentary “Broadway Musicals: A Jewish Legacy.” He arranged and orchestrated the music in the Off-Broadway and Chicago smash hit Old Jews Telling Jokes and acted as Music Supervisor on those productions. Adam’s credits as Music Director include productions in New York (Yank!, Carrie, Unlock’d) and regionally (The Old Globe, Shakespeare Theatre Company, The O’Neill, Barrington Stage Company, Weston Playhouse). As a pianist, Adam has played on Broadway (The Addams Family, Peter Pan) and accompanied many artists in concert, including Trisha Yearwood, Lea Michele, Jonathan Groff, Melinda Doolittle, Norm Lewis, Karen Olivo, and Andrew and Celia Keenan-Bolger. Adam is a proud graduate of the University of Michigan and can be found online at adamwachter.com.

About Des Moines Performing Arts

Des Moines Performing Arts is a private not-for-profit organization celebrating 35 years of presenting the performing arts to Iowa and the surrounding states on three stages in Des Moines — the Civic Center, Stoner Theater and the Temple Theater. The organization also operates Cowles Commons (formerly Nollen Plaza), a longtime Des Moines landmark currently under redesign and renovation. Des Moines Performing Arts is a presenter of major Broadway and educational touring companies, performers and groups, and is home to many local and regional groups, including the Des Moines Symphony. All performances of the Broadway Series are supported by Willis Auto Campus. All performances at the Temple Theater are supported by Prairie Meadows. All performances of the Family Series are supported by Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield. For more information, visit DesMoinesPerformingArts.org.