Welcome to the Stage.

The Bronx Prep Performing Arts Academy offers 5th-12th grade students an intensive Performance Studies experience spanning speech, theater, musical theater, stagecraft, directing and more.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Speech Team heads to Yale

The Speech Team kicked off their season with two quarter finalists at Yale University on the 26th.
To read all about it check out our latest Speech Team blog post:

Speech Team at Yale

Monday, September 20, 2010

Rehearsal Day 1:

Ilana G., BP Academy Blogger

After the first day of "Aladdin" auditions the actors that the Junior Leaders want to see more of come back to room 201 for callbacks. As a high school student, I am thrilled to see all of the students show off their talent.

As they anxiously come into the room, the actors' faces light up. They are excited to be back. When the auditions are over, the Junior Leaders announce that the cast list will be posted the next day. 

The following afternoon in the hallway outside of room 201 we hear the cast members yell out the parts they got. "I'm a townsperson!"..."I'm a narrator!" they shout. 

After the intense energy in the hallway calms down, the actors pile into room 201, ready for their first day of rehearsal. There is a lot of noise and excitement as the Junior Leaders ask the middle school performers to grab chairs and create a circle.

It is really interesting to see my peers take on the role of teachers for the first time; I had expected them to be exaggeratedly strict, but they are calm and understanding.

Today, they start to sing some of the most important songs in the play. Enmanuel, our "Aladdin," and the rest of the cast, go over the first big production number with Dr. Kiorpes, our school's piano teacher.

Enmanuel is a very talented young actor with a beautiful voice. It's amazing he's in 5th grade and taking on the lead role. But when he starts to go over the high notes, he starts to have some trouble. Dr. Kiorpes is very patient with Enmanuel. Enmanuel's face turns red in embarrassment as the other cast members begin to get impatient. But because of his detemination he is able to reach his notes with the help of Dr. Kiorpes. All the cast members are impressed with his persistance.      

The day comes to an end and the actors receive their scripts to go home, leaving the room in a good mood. It's going to be a wonderful musical from the looks of it.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Start Of The Magical Journey: AUDITIONS

Samantha F., BP Academy Blogger

In the deep heart of the Bronx a group of talented high school students are about to host auditions for Bronx Prep's first-ever middle school musical: "Aladdin." After school at 4 pm about 50 middle school students rush to room 201 to receive their audition sheets.

Warm-up Game before Auditions Get Started

The feeling in the room is intense. The 5th and 6th graders are pacing around with their scripts practicing. The Junior Leaders, a group of 10 high school students, sit in the back of the room with their clipboards. They are feeling nervous, too; it's their first time directing a musical.

Bronx Prep has been producing musical theater for five years, but this year marks an increased emphasis on student leadership. With the launch of the Bronx Prep Performing Arts Academy, juniors and seniors are mentoring younger students, coaching the speech team and directing/designing the first musical for middle school students our school has ever put on.

Singing Auditions

The 5th and 6th graders go up three by three to audition in front of the Junior Leaders for the role they want. They use the craziest faces they can make, the most expressive hand gestures they can think of and all the energy they can muster (and considering that they are nine and ten years old, that's a lot!) 

"That was awesome!" says Sahirah, one of the Junior Directors.

Wrapping up their first auditions in a great mood, the lower middle school kids head home to get ready for the next day when the callbacks will be announced. The Junior Leaders stay with their clipboards waiting for the next group to come in, turning the spotlight on the 7th and 8th graders.

The auditions resume in room 201 and the actors are all pumped up and ready. The 7th and 8th graders start off learning "One Jump Ahead," a song that Aladdin and the cast sing when Aladdin is accused of stealing a loaf of bread. After learning the song, selected students go up group by group to face the music and audition for some of the singing parts. Students with different voices go up to sing, some loud, some soft, some altos, and some sopranos.

“I am the greatest genie of them all!” says Owen M., an especially energetic 7th grader as he and his fellow students put away the music and picked up a script. 

Now the actors go up and act out parts they have been given by the Junior Leaders. Despite all their nerves, they’re still able to do their best, from the beginning all the way to the end of Day One of the auditions for"Aladdin."