Next Stage: Studio offers free classes to mark its grand openingWritten by Sarah Ottney | Editor in Chief | firstname.lastname@example.org
Next Stage Studios, a new performing arts studio in Perrysburg, is offering three free classes to celebrate its grand opening.
The studio, which provides a varied musical theater curriculum including acting, singing and dancing classes as well as private voice, acting and piano lessons for students of all ages, kicked off its first set of eight-week classes earlier this month.
The three free classes will be:
- 2-3 p.m. March 26: Musical Theatre Performance: Participants will learn a song and choreography to the song, while gaining an insider’s perspective to the performing arts.
- 2-3 p.m. April 30: How to Audition: This class will feature helpful tips and tricks for that next big audition — a perfect brush up for anyone planning to audition for community theater, school plays or professional endeavors.
- 2-3 p.m. May 28: Dance Basics: Students will learn the basic terminology of dance and how to execute the movements. A fun dance combination will be taught to end the class.
No prior experience is necessary, only a willingness to learn, said Next Stage Studios founder Clark Ausloos in an e-mail.
“I feel that there are some people who are timid when it comes to performing arts. We are excited to offer free classes for those people who would like to get their ‘feet wet,’ but haven’t had much experience,” Ausloos said. “Some people believe either you are ‘born to be on the stage’ or you aren’t, but I feel that even a little training in the arts can bring out hidden talents. My mother used to tell me ‘If you can walk, you can dance; if you can talk, you can sing.’”
The free classes are the studio’s way of giving back to the community, said Michael Kadin Craig, a guest instructor and Perrysburg native who met Ausloos in New York City. Craig has appeared in numerous New York and regional shows, including a starring role in an Off-Broadway production of “Altar Boyz.”
Ausloos, also a Broadway veteran, has choreographed and danced for shows including “Hairspray,” “Crazy For You,” “Footloose” and “Aida” and taught acting, singing, piano, dance and leadership at camps across the country. He most recently performed in “Hello Dolly” and the national tour of “Seussical the Musical.”
The studio also plans to bring industry professionals, including Broadway stars, to the area in order to expose residents to performers they might not otherwise get to see, Craig said.
“We wanted to introduce people in the Toledo area to professional artists who are working on stage right now. That’s the only way to stay current in theater,” Craig said. “It will just be a fun process where you can learn about theater as a whole with people who have basically lived and worked theater for years. We’re really excited.”
Artists with Broadway credits planning to come this year include Bailey Hanks, star of “Legally Blonde: The Musical” and actress on “Guiding Light” and “Step Up 3D”; Neil Haskell of “So You Think You Can Dance”; Diana DeGarmo of “American Idol”; and Laura Osnes, winner of NBC’s “Grease: You’re the One that I Want!”
As extracurricular activities continue to be cut from schools, Ausloos also envisions the studio as a place where students can expand their training.
“All of the staff members at Next Stage hold degrees in the field of performing arts, music, dance and acting. Many are working professionals, including recent work on Broadway and Broadway National Tours,” Ausloos said. “Our goal is to provide our students with private sessions and group classes led by these young, energetic professionals who are currently making it on Broadway. With the level of talent being brought in from NYC and LA, it really would be a unique experience for kids and adults of all ages.”
Although the studio officially opened this month, Ausloos has already been offering private lessons and hosted a summer theater workshop last summer, which Hanks attended, Craig said. In December, the studio brought male singing group The Broadway Boys to Perrysburg for a concert.
Next Stage Studios is located at 25581 Fort Meigs Road, Suite G, in Perrysburg. The studio will also host Broadway Bound, its summer theater workshop, Aug. 1-12 in Perrysburg.
For information or to register for a class, visit www.nextstagestudios.com, e-mail NextStageStudios@gmail.com or call (419) 873-5838.