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.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Students Direct "Annie Jr." at "The Point"!

Rehearsals gear up for a totally student-directed, student-designed, student-produced (and, of course, student-performed) production of "Annie Jr."

Shows are January 16th and 17th at 7 PM with a special community matinee on Saturday January 19th at 2 PM. Hope you can join us! Check out our new home-away-from-home: The Point -- www.thepoint.org

The Orphans reheasrse

Ensemble members take a break to pose for the camera


Perfecting choreography for "You're Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile"


Breanna and Imani mug

Orphan bonding!

Stage Manager Allison keeps her cast in line

The cast of Annie Jr. presents a "sneak peek" at "The Point"

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Director Allison Logan Reflects on The One Act Festival

Leadership Academy has literally been the best experience of my life. I have come to truly love each and every one of the students I have gotten to work with.

Some days I wake up and have thoughts about not attending school, but then I remember Academy. I have a responsibility to my students. They are counting on me. I look forward to being with them and helping them. So I get up and get ready.

Working on the One Acts with Jada and Nikisha was so amazing. We all worked so hard to help our actors develop and grow. They are incredible kids with such pure talent, but they needed guidance to truly bring the piece to life. Being a part of that process made me feel so proud.

I am also much more aware of what is riding on my academic work at school. Knowing that if I fail a class it could ruin my chance of staying involved with Academy really shocked me into taking more responsibility for myself. I’ve never worked so hard in my life to keep my grades on point.

Allison and Jada coach their actors

Friday, November 30, 2012

Director Shaquasia Harvey: The One Acts, In Her Own Words

Being a director was a great experience for me. Not only did I meet new people, but I also learned a lot about myself.

Before directing “Oscar and the Lady in Pink,” I had passed my cast members Rachel and Kelvin in the halls many times without conversation because were in different grades and I thought we wouldn’t be able to connect. Now I see that I actually do have a lot in common with the two. We all share a love for acting, voicing our opinions, and solving creative problems. If I hadn’t directed this play I wouldn’t have met these amazing people, who I can now call friends--or even my family.

While directing this play I also learned a lot about myself. I learned that I should engage in more activities that I wouldn’t usually do, because I really enjoyed being a director. I got to see something that I created come to life and that made me feel really proud. Another thing that I learned is that the person in charge is not the only person who can contribute ideas. During this process Rachel and Kelvin had great ideas that were used, and the play wouldn’t have been such a success had they not voiced these suggestions.

I look forward to being a director again. I can’t wait to meet more new people, work together with others to see a project through from beginning to end, and hopefully learn more about myself in the process.

The Cast of the One Acts Celebrates Their First Rehearsal at "The Point"

Thursday, November 29, 2012

One Act Director Clementina Nyarko: "What I Learned About Time Management"

Directing the “Superheroes” poetry performance in the One Act Festival was an experience I will never forget. It taught me a lot about the importance of time management and communication. 

I loved my cast of “superheroes” from the first day I met them. I had always wanted a little sister... and now I had six! They were all so hyper and energetic so I couldn’t help but form bonds with them. When I saw my girls yelling out all their great ideas and sharing their excitement with each other I began to envision the final performance and I felt a big thrill.

That said, I soon began to realize that regardless of how much I wanted to be there to direct my cast every day and get them ready for the festival, I had too much on my plate. Being a part of the Academy meant dedicating my Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays to coaching my performers. However, Mondays were already set aside for student council meetings, Wednesdays were dedicated to college classes on 42nd street and on Fridays I had youth meetings at my church. I had no idea how I was going to manage all of my commitments.

I managed to find coverage so that I could fulfill my other responsibilities, but this was taking a toll on my actors. Two weeks into rehearsals my Superheroes had gone through four different directors. I recall seeing Alexia and Marlin one Thursday while transitioning to class and being bombarded with questions about why I'd quit the Academy, why I didn’t want to coach them anymore, and what was going to happen to the show. My heart immediately sank. I did not want my cast to think I did not want to be with them. I decided that if I really wanted to be there for my cast I would find a way. At first I was very stressed out about this. What I did not realize is that it would actually be much more simple than I’d thought.

I communicated with the student council mentors and they allowed me to be excused from meetings until the One Act Festivals were over. Once I got that out of the way I cleared my Fridays by communicating with my parents. I managed my Wednesdays so that I could spend two hours with my cast before I left to go to my classes. Managing my time allowed me to feel less stressed and at ease with everything that was going on in my life because I knew I had some control over it all.

I’m glad I was able to learn such a valuable skill while giving back to the Arts Program at Bronx Prep by coaching the middle school. It’s an experience I will always keep with me for reference when life hands me too challenges and I find myself feeling overwhelmed. I know now that by prioritizing activities and communicating clearly, I can find the right balance.

The "Superheroes" Rehearse at "The Point"

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Day One Reflections from Student Directors of the One Act Festival

11th Grade Leader Allison Logan, “Boy Meets Girl”:

By the end of William and Sharai’s performance yesterday I couldn’t have been more amazed. The way they connected on stage and memorized movements and lines made me feel so proud.
Allison and Jada with the cast of "Boy Meets Girl"
Actors William & Sharai rehearsing lines.
12th Grade Leader Letishia Dhanpaul, “Miss Mannerly”:

Yesterday was an excellent day. At first I was expecting the students to be rude, but they were actually good and respectful. Theater is a great place to be and I got to meet wonderful little kids. Matthew showed that he is well-behaved and can listen to directions. I thought he would be running around, but when I asked him to sit down he listened to me. He’s a helpful person. Tiffany may be naturally shy but after practicing more she got into her comfort zone. Jilanda and the rest of my group made me proud yesterday.
Yamslee coaches Jilanda
Francelys and Matt share a moment
Yamslee, Francelys and Letishia look on with pride as their group performs

11th Grade Leader Dianeiris Vasquez, “School of the Americas”:

I love to share emotion with the audience. Yesterday, through every piece we shared a feeling—joy, sadness, or compassion. There was this one moment specifically where Syeanne showed us the diva she had within. She jumped up saying, "I can speak for myself! Cee Cee is dead and I’m alive!" Here the audience broke out in a gasp and we looked around after this reaction, sharing the connection we had just felt from the performance. It's these moments that bring about a vibe of unity and confidence. With my performers specifically, this vibe of togetherness was shared on a more personal level. When Manuela and Kurtis, for example, had trouble with the transitions, I told them that we should do something consistent during every transition, and they elaborated on my ideas. The end result was better than what I had imagined. That moment of mutual respect changed the relationship I had with my performers as a leader, for I was not only teaching but learning as well.
Dianeiris and Josh with the cast of "School of the Americas"

Manuela and Kurtis create powerful drama as Josh side coaches 

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Kicking Off the 2012-2013 Academy Season With Rehearsals for the Student-Directed One Act Festival

After an intense audition process, we want to welcome (and welcome back) all new and returning members of the Bronx Prep Performing Arts Academy!

Students watch snippets of scenes on the first day of rehearsal
The Second Annual Student-Directed One Act Festival is off to a great start, with 11th and 12th grade directors mentoring a phenomenal group of 5th-8th grade actors. The talent is amazing!

Below, student directors reflect on the first day of rehearsals:

12th Grade Leader Ashley Lancaster, "Mona Vs. The People":  Although my kids were eager to start working on our piece, they all understood that academics are just as important. I was happy when they all obediently got down to business doing their homework, but I soon became ecstatic when they were finally able to showcase their amazing talents at our practice.

Ashley and Bintou with the cast of "Mona"
11th Grade Leader, Bintou Kabba, "Mona Vs. The People"

During the rehearsal session yesterday we had Imani play the role of the judge. She got on the high stool and embodied her role with the withering glare she gave to the rest of the cast. I couldn’t believe how naturally it came to her for her first time.

Aminata gets homework help from her director Bintou
Ashley and Imani hit the books

11th Grade Leader Ashli Barnes, "The Big Over Easy":

Watching Nita and Mavelyn work hard and practice makes me feel very happy. As a director, you crave that feeling of accomplishment, that feeling that makes you think, “I’m doing exactly what I’m supposed to be doing, which is to inspire my actors.” Working with these two amazing students is a great experience for me. Just seeing them ready to work and trying their best with memorizing lines makes me feel proud. Nita and Mavelyn always have something they want to add on and share, like an idea or a thought about their characters. As directors and actors we learn from one another.

Nita and Mavelyn rehearse for their directors Ashli and Edison

11th Grade Leader Edison Hines, "The Big Over Easy":

I really liked the two straight hours of progress with my group. At the beginning we barely had lines memorized, and at the end we had top-quality work that everyone had contributed to.

12th Grade Leader Miguel Cruz, "Alex and the Warrior": 

Yesterday was so amazing. I have to give praise to my kids for their work on their introduction. They did exactly what I had asked, by being louder and having better facial expressions that gave off clearer emotions. They even did well with the jump, when Enmanuel has to leap over the reporter, which I was a little scared of because it's kind of 
Directors Miguel and Norberto with the cast of "Alex"
dangerous. For Emmanuel and his scene partners to have enough trust in each other to allow this to take place is amazing. Mind you, this was just the first day of practice. For them to show so much talent is fantastic. I was also really impressed that Enmanuel could be jumping and running around one minute, so excited to be his character (the Sharg, the scary monster from the video game that is going to kill the warrior) and then the next minute come right back in and know that its time to work.

12th graders Miguel and Norberto give their actors feedback

Directors and cast of Superheroes
11th Grade Leader Clementina Nyarko, "Superheroes":

Simone and I came up to practice really late on Wednesday due to other commitments, but when we walked through the door we were greeted with huge smiles, giggles, screams and an abundance of hugs. It was very heart-warming to see our girls excited to get to work on our amazing scene.

Jamej and the Superheroes
11th Grade Leader Simone Johnson, "Superheroes":

I was in my soccer uniform, about ready to leave for the game, but I wanted to check on our girls before we headed out. When Clementina and I saw that the girls were with Jamej. I wasn’t nervous about having to leave them anymore; I trust Jamej. When they saw us, they smiled and a few of them bold enough to risk disrespecting Jamej’s authority ran towards Clementina and me. We enjoyed a sloppy, affectionate group hug, their little heads barely reaching my chest. I’m short, but they make me feel tall, and not just physically. When I’m around my actors, I feel so proud, so appreciated. And it’s only Day 1!

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Love. Uprising. Redemption. "Les Mis" brings audiences to tears at Bronx Prep...

The convicts enter... "Look Down!"

The bishop intercedes and shows Valjean mercy

Valjean makes his fateful choice

"At the End of the Day"

Fantine remembers her former life in "I Dreamed a Dream"

Lovely Ladies lure Fantine to her doom

Little Cosette dreams of a better life

"Master of the House, isn't worth my spit..."

Everybody raise a glass to the "Master of the House!"

Gavroche struts his (her) stuff...

The students lament the passing of General LaMarque

Javert demands order

Cosette and Marius fall in love

The students prepare for battle

"On My Own"

Red: The blood of angry men!

Eponine's death

"Bring Him Home"

Javert wrestles with his fate

Javert's suicide

Madame Thenardier shows her husband who's boss

Jean Valjean writes his last confession

"Do You Hear the People Sing?"

The audience is on its feet

The musicians take a bow!