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, 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!