Raue Center School For The Arts presents youth production of “Magic Tree House: A Ghost Tale for Mr. Dickens Jr.”

Crystal Lake, IL | November 1, 2022 

 

Raue Center School For The Arts is thrilled to announce the cast of RCSA Presents’ upcoming production of “Magic Tree House: A Ghost Tale for Mr. Dickens Jr.” Adapted from book #44 of Mary Pope Osborne’s award-winning fantasy adventure series, “Ghost Tale” follows Jack and Annie as they journey back in time to the foggy streets of London to meet Charles Dickens, world famous writer, who has a severe case of writer’s block. Through a series of fateful interactions and situations, Jack and Annie help Mr. Dickens face his inner demons and ultimately write one of the greatest holiday stories of all time! 

 

At the helm of this production are Director of Education & Cultural Partnerships Robin Irwin as Director, Institutional Advancement Associate Billy Seger as Associate Director & Choreographer, and YMTE Instructor Alayna DeVar as Music Director. Recurring RCSA production members Jessica Urban, Savannah Thomas, and Patty Halajin return as Producer, Teaching Assistant, and Costume Designer respectively. Rounding out the production staff are RCSA newcomers Anna Walker (Production Stage Manager), Adam Milne (Assistant Stage Manager), Trevor Dotson (Scenic Designer & Scenic Artist), Emma Linnea (Lighting Designer), and Chris Tumblin (Technical Manager).

 

“The Magic Tree House series is very near and dear to my heart,“ said Director Robin Irwin. “I’ve read all the books to my daughter, so it’s an honor to bring book #44 to life on the Raue Center stage.”

 

“The talent in this cast is absolutely outstanding,” said Associate Director & Choreographer Billy Seger. “Our students really stepped it up at auditions, making this casting process one of the most difficult during my time with RCSA.”

 

“Magic Tree House: A Ghost Tale for Mr. Dickens” runs December 2, 2022 at 7pm, December 3, 2022 at 3pm & 7pm, and December 4, 2022 at 3pm. Tickets are $25 for Adults and $10 for Students. RaueNOW Members receive a 30% discount on tickets. Some restrictions may apply. For more information, please visit rauecenter.org.

 

Details:

  • “Magic Tree House: A Ghost Tale for Mr. Dickens Jr.” presented by RCSA Presents, December 2, 2022 @ 7pm, December 3, 2022 @ 3pm & 7pm, &  December 4, 2022 @ 3pm

 

“Magic Tree House: A Ghost Tale for Mr. Dickens Jr.” Cast:

Josh Annen – Mr. Dickens

Caleigh Banks – Restaurant Patron #1

Elizabeth Barton – School Girl #1

Serenity Bell – Orphan Soloist

Miranda Bokuniewicz – Henrietta

Liam Burke – Police Officer

Andriana Castle – School Girl #2

Benjamin Chase – Tiny Tim

Mia Clifford – Miss Twigby

Ellie Coughlin – Mary Dickens

Adelaide Daczewitz – Lady-in-Waiting

David Daskalov – Mr. Pinch

Ayla Dempsey – School Girl #4

Charlotte Genegels – Dishwasher

Elizabeth Hannen – Morgan Le Fay

Emma Hartwig – Mrs. Pinch

Bobby Hull – Newsies 

Nico Jensen – Young Dickens

Bennett Jones – Bootblack

Izzabella Jorenby-Behling – Hawker

Nicholas Kasperek – Barber

Elin Kennedy Kaye – Baker

Hazel Kroster – Black Ghost

Maddox Lovick – Oliver Twist

Fiona Miceli – Olive

Maisie Miceli – Queen Victoria

Audrey Molter – Annie

Brad Molter – Merlin

Kara Molter – School Girl #3 

Paige Montanye – Dressmaker 

Brooklyn Morey – White Ghost 

Adeline Morson – Emma 

Averie O’Keeffe – Green Ghost

Maddie Olszewski – Carriage Driver

Kennedy Onopa – Collin

Easton Paulson – Harry

Nolan Paulson – Newsie

Faye Radeni – Caroler #1

Noah Rea – Pickwick

Marybeth Reckamp – Mrs. Tibbs

Margaret Reckamp – Restaurant Patron #2

Ava Richer – Restaurant Patron #3

Veda Rosch – Sara

Courtney Schaal – Butcher

Bobby Schaeffer – Jack

Knox Rose Schneider – Restaurant Patron #4

Anna Snow – Mrs. Dickens

Tyler Sullivan – Francois the Chef 

Charlotte Thompson – Waitress 

Frank Truscott – Newsie 

Maggie Vallicelli – Roberta

Blakely Voight – Caroler #3

Derek Walker – Nickleby

Allie Wightman – Young Caroler

Aubrey Williams – Caroler #2

Caroline Zimmerman – Bookseller

 

Production & Design Team: 

Director: Robin Irwin

Associate Director & Choreographer: Billy Seger 

Musical Director: Alayna DeVar

Teaching Assistant: Savannah Thomas 

Lighting Designer: Emma Linnea

Costume Designer: Patty Halajian 

Scenic Designer: Trevor Dotson 

Production Stage Manager: Anna Walker

Assistant Stage Manager: Adam Milne 

Technical Manager: Chris Tumblin

Producer: Jessica Urban

Artistic Director: Richard Kuranda

 

Ticket Prices:

Standard Adult: $25

Standard Student: $10

*RaueNOW Membership Adult: $17.50

*RaueNOW Membership Student: $7

 

Individual RaueNOW and RaueNOW Family Memberships start at just $60. Each membership tier comes with a unique set of benefits, but all members enjoy the following:

 

  • 30% off two single tickets to most Raue Center events
  • Exclusive access to our member lounge, 26N
  • Early access to newly announced events
  • Behind-the-scenes access
  • The membership fee is tax-deductible
  • RaueNOW Family also includes 25% discount on RCSA classes

 

For more information, contact James Knight at 815.356.9010 x 14 or email jknight@rauecenter.org.

 

*Certain fees & exclusions may apply. Ticket prices may vary according to zone and membership status.

 

Location: Raue Center For The Arts

26 N. Williams Street

Crystal Lake, IL 60014

rauecenter.org

 

Box Office: 815.356.9212 | 2 pm to 4 pm, Tuesdays – Fridays | Closed Saturday, Sunday, and Monday | Open 1 hour 

prior to scheduled performances.

 

About Raue Center For The Arts

Raue Center is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to enriching the lives of all through the arts. For 20 years, they have provided quality programming – striving to make it pertinent, available, and affordable to all. As a painstakingly restored, 1920s regional showcase theatre named for its benefactor—Lucile Raue—Raue Center has attracted the finest stars, Broadway shows, musicians and artists. Named on the League of Historic American Theatres, Raue Center is one of the finest examples of restored art and decor in the nation. The 750-seat theatre, located in historic downtown Crystal Lake, Illinois, is a gathering place for our region’s citizens and has become a true destination. 

 

For additional information, visit rauecenter.org, facebook.com/RaueCenter, and twitter.com/RaueCenter. 

 

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This program is made possible through the generous support of

RCSA’S NEW MASTERCLASS SERIES LAUNCHES WITH GREAT SUCCESS!

<Crystal Lake>, IL – October 25, 2022 – Raue Center School For The Arts is proud to announce its newest community engagement initiative: The Masterclass Series!

“Masterclasses offer our patrons and the entire community remarkable opportunities,” says Director of Education and Cultural Partnerships Robin Irwin. “We thrive and grow when we are exposed to the unique and varied approaches and ways of thinking expressed by artists at the top of their craft. Masterclasses like these in the city can run as much as $200 per session. So it’s a great value, too.”

Each installment of the RCSA Masterclass Series will be taught by professional artists from across the country, focusing on different arts disciplines and specialties throughout the year. Attendees are welcome to join as either a participant or spectator. Participants may be asked to join our experts on stage for exercises or practice modules in the class discipline. Spectators are encouraged to observe the process and welcome to participate in the question-and-answer sessions following the workshop.

The new program successfully launched on Monday, October 3rd at Raue Center For The Arts – conveniently located in downtown Crystal Lake, IL – when Broadway veterans Joy Hermalyn and David Benoit, cast members of the highly lauded production of “Fiddler On The Roof” at The Lyric Opera of Chicago, hosted an audition workshop on the historic Raue Center stage. Participants in the masterclass were not only given feedback on their audition selections and technique, but also treated to an exclusive question and answer session with Hermalyn and Benoit. RCSA alum Estella McCarthy Schultz, understudy for both Shprintze and Bielke in the aforementioned Lyric Opera production of “Fiddler,” also made a special appearance during the Q&A session, much to the delight of student participants who have previously worked with Schultz in classes and productions produced by RCSA.

“I was so honored to have had the chance to sing for Joy, David, and Estella,” said participant Angie Kells. “They were so present and provided suggestions that made my piece feel relevant to me. I also appreciated how they helped me infuse dynamics into my selection not only vocally and physically, but mindfully as well.”

The next installment of the Masterclass Series, “Dancing Through Life,” is scheduled for Monday November 14, 2022 and welcomes cast members from the current national tour of “Wicked,” now playing at the Nederlander Theater in Chicago. Broadway and television veteran John Bolton (The Wizard),  known for his work in the original Broadway casts of “Anastasia” (Vlad) and “A Christmas Story” (The Old Man), and Marina Lazzaretto (Swing), “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” “Schmigidoon,” as well as “American In Paris,” and “West Side Story” on Broadway, will lead a dance workshop in the style of “Wicked.” All attendees are welcome to join us on stage for the dance portion of the workshop. If you are interested in participating in a  one-on-one coaching demonstration during the workshop, please email rcsaeduation@rauecenter.org directly to reserve your spot.

Tickets for the Masterclass on November 14th are $10 per participant for current RCSA (or RaueNOW) families and $15 for the general public. You can register on Sawyer and pay in cash or card at the door! Doors will open at 6:00pm and the class will run from 6:30 – 8:30 pm.

“It’s really about helping foster artist-citizens that are better prepared for real-world experiences when they learn from a variety of Master Teachers with the most current experiences at the highest levels,” says Irwin. “There is also a direct benefit to the area as it becomes known as being a community that welcomes artists and champions the arts in all of its forms – encouraging tourism which results in increased foot traffic in the downtown area. This encourages entertainment dollars being spent locally rather than consumers taking those funds to the Chicagoland area.”

For more information visit rauecenter.org/education. For questions, please contact our Box Office at at boxoffice@rauecenter.org or 815-356-9212.

 

About Raue Center For The Arts

Raue Center is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to enriching the lives of all through the arts. For 20 years, they have provided quality programming – striving to make it pertinent, available, and affordable to all. As a painstakingly restored, 1920s regional showcase theatre named for its benefactor—Lucile Raue—Raue Center has attracted the finest stars, Broadway shows, musicians and artists. Named on the League of Historic American Theatres, Raue Center is one of the finest examples of restored art and decor in the nation. The 750-seat theatre, located in historic downtown Crystal Lake, Illinois, is a gathering place for our region’s citizens and has become a true destination. 

For additional information, visit rauecenter.org, facebook.com/RaueCenter, and twitter.com/RaueCenter. 

RCSA MASTERCLASS – DANCING THROUGH LIFE with John Bolton and Marina Lazzaretto

@Raue Center For The Arts
26 N Williams Street, Crystal Lake, IL 60014
Monday, November 14 | 6:30 to 8:30p
Registration Fee: $15
Reservations required. Limited Availability. Reserve your spot today!

RCSA’s Masterclass Series, “Dancing Through Life,” welcomes cast members from the current national tour of “Wicked,” now playing at the Nederlander Theater in Chicago. Broadway and television veteran John Bolton (The Wizard), known for his work in the original Broadway casts of “Anastasia” (Vlad) and “A Christmas Story” (The Old Man), and Marina Lazzaretto (Swing), “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” “Schmigidoon,” as well as “American In Paris,” and “West Side Story” on Broadway, will lead a dance workshop in the style of “Wicked.”

The masterclass will begin with an open dance instruction on stage for all participants featuring choreography inspired by the musical “Wicked” followed by one-on-one demonstrations and a Q&A. All attendees are welcome to join us on stage for the dance portion of the workshop.

If you are interested in receiving one-on-one audition coaching during the workshop, please email rcsaeducation@rauecenter.org directly to reserve your spot. Spots are limited.

Doors will open at 6:00 pm
The masterclass will run from 6:30 – 8:30 pm.

Each installment of the RCSA Masterclass Series is taught by professional artists from across the country, focusing on different arts disciplines and specialties throughout the year. Attendees are welcome to join as either a participant or spectators. Participants may be asked to join our experts on stage for exercises or practice modules in the class discipline. Spectators are encouraged to observe the process and are welcome to participate in the question-and-answer sessions following the workshop.

JOHN BOLTON
John Bolton starred on Broadway as Vlad in Anastasia (Outer Critics Circle, Rivera Awards nominations), The Captain in Dames at Sea (Astaire Award nomination), The Old Man in Christmas Story the Musical (Drama Desk nomination), as both Grady and Cioffi in Curtains, King Arthur in Spamalot, Michael in Contact, Charles Lightoller in Titanic, and J Pierrepont Finch in How to Succeed… He made his Broadway debut alongside Jerry Lewis in Damn Yankees. On tour, he was Horace Vandergelder in Hello, Dolly! and is currently playing The Wizard of Oz in Wicked. He headlined 4 sold-out concerts at Carnegie Hall and has been a soloist with the NY Philharmonic at Lincoln Center. On TV, Mr Bolton had recurring roles on The Blacklist, Madam Secretary, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Gossip Girl and All My Children and has guest-starred on Evil, FBI, Elementary, Blue Bloods, Boardwalk Empire, The Good Wife and Law and Order. He is featured in the film Mapplethorpe.
MARINA LAZZARETTO
Originally from Alberta, Canada, Marina Lazzaretto is a New York City-based Dancer, Singer, and Actress. Marina is currently in the national touring company of the hit Broadway show Wicked. She has performed all over the US and Internationally in productions such as The Broadway and First National Touring companies of An American In Paris, the First National Tours of Cats (revival), and Twyla Tharp’s Come Fly Away, The New Yorkers at City Center Encores, the Off-Broadway Companies of Trip of Love and Doctor Faustus and the Broadway Company of West Side Story. Most recently Marina has just finished filming Season 2 of the new Apple TV Musical Series “Schmigadoon”. She has also been seen on television in “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”, “Fosse/Verdon”, “The Tonight Show”, “SNL”, “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert”, and “Best Time Ever with Neil Patrick Harris”. Marina has also been fortunate enough to work with the Verdon Fosse Legacy since 2013 honoring the work of the legendary Bob Fosse. For more info visit marinalazzaretto.com Instagram @marinalazz
John Bolton as The Wizard in Wicked. photo by Joan Marcus

Made possible through the generous support of the Jonny Carson Foundation

RAUE CENTER SCHOOL FOR THE ARTS ANNOUNCES FALL 2022 SEMESTER CLASSES

[Crystal Lake, IL] – August 31, 2022 – Raue Center School For The Arts creates a welcoming place where students of all ages can let their creativity soar. Now offering classes for students of all ages—from 18 months to 18 years. Adults too!

Raue Center School For The Arts (RCSA) announces Broadway Baby running September 5 through December 12, 2022 (off the week of Thanksgiving) on Tuesdays from 10:00 am-10:45 am. Broadway Baby is a fun discovery class for your little mover (ages 18 to 36 months) to explore music, storytelling, and movement. Sign up for the full 14 weeks ($210) or drop in per class ($15/class).

Tiny Tunes (ages 3 & 4) is a new 45-minute class full of songs, rhymes, rhythm, coordination, imagination, and FUN. Bring your dance and music-loving kid in for their first taste of theatre. Each class will have time for music, dancing, and storytelling. The class runs September 5 through December 12, 2022 (off the week of Thanksgiving), Tuesdays or Wednesdays from 1:00 pm-1:45 pm. Sign up for the full 14 weeks ($210) or drop in per class ($15/class).

The littlest stars get to shine in Little Stage Stars (ages 5 to 7). This six-week class is full of fun theatrical play, creative movement, and skill-building theatre games to help students explore their own creativity and talents. This class culminates in an open class where parents and families can observe the students at play, and even be treated to a “mini-showcase”! Class runs September 13 through October 18, Tuesdays from 4:00 pm-4:45 pm. Tuition is $150 per student (RaueNOWFamily Price: $112.50).

Our popular intro to acting series, Ready, Set, Act! (ages 7 to 12), uses theatre games and creative play techniques to help bring students out of their shells and teach them the basics of theatre. In classes tailored to the unique needs of each age group, our staff of working theatre professionals offers individualized attention and encouragement as students hone their skills and learn tips and tricks from the best. Each class section runs for six weeks and culminates in a showcase on the Raue Center stage! Tuition is $200 per student (RaueNOWFamily Price: $150).

In addition to introductory classes, RCSA is proud to offer several pre-professional classes as well. Acting II: Scene Study (ages 13 & up) is a new class for those actors who are ready to advance their skills and build stronger connections to text and character. Using the techniques of Uta Hagen, students will take a deeper dive into character relationships and learn to use their impulses to create dynamic scenes. The class culminates in a showcase on the Raue Center stage on the last day of class! Class runs September 12 through October 20, Mondays & Wednesdays from 4:00 pm-5:30 pm. Tuition is $250 per student (RaueNOW Family Price: $187.50).

Raue Center For The Arts is excited to offer a new all-encompassing class aptly named Musical Theater T³: Triple Threat for Teens with instructor Robin Irwin! Musical Theater combines singing, acting, and dancing to create a uniquely American form of stage magic. Musical Theater T³ will consist of 3 classes a week: an acting class, a song interpretation class, and a fully staged/choreographed number. The class will conclude with a showcase of the student’s work. These sessions provide individual training for each student in a variety of musical theatre styles and acting techniques all presented in a supportive and collaborative atmosphere. Class runs Mondays, Tuesdays & Thursdays from 6:00 pm-7:30 pm, September 12-26. Tuition is $375 per student (RaueNOW Family Price: $281.25).

Youth Musical Theatre Ensemble is back by popular demand! YMTE focuses on a vocal technique that expands beyond solo singing into small and large group ensemble singing. The group will work on multiple songs that will feature all members in some way, with a final performance at the end of the session. Students in this class will also join Jane Lynch, Kate Flannery, Tim Davis, and the Tony Guerrero Quintet in “A Swingin’ Christmas” for special performances on Raue Center’s stage at 8 pm on Saturday, December 10th and 1 pm on Sunday, December 11th! YMTE rehearses October 10 through December 6, Tuesdays from 6:30 pm-8:00 pm. Tuition is $350 per student (RaueNOW Family Price: $262.50).

RCSA is proud to introduce Song and Story: An Adult Musical Theatre Intensive for our adults! This fun-filled course will allow adult students to experience the joys of storytelling through song. We believe that growing in the arts and growing as a human being are synonymous and this intensive allows adult students to explore that magical moment when a scene becomes a song. The class will culminate in a cabaret-style showcase where you can strut your stuff. Why should the kids have all the fun? Class runs Mondays from 7:30 pm-9:00 pm, September 12-26. Tuition is $100 per student (RaueNOW Family Price: $75).

 

Risk. Explore. Create. Visit https://www.rauecenter.org/education/.

Become a RaueNOW Family Member and get early access and 25% off all classes and workshops! For more information on enrollment, discounts, and financial aid visit rauecenter.org/education or email rcsaeducation@rauecenter.org.

About Raue Center For The Arts

Raue Center is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to enriching the lives of all through the arts. For 20 years, they have provided quality programming – striving to make it pertinent, available, and affordable. As a painstakingly restored, 1920s regional showcase theatre named for its benefactor—Lucile Raue—Raue Center has attracted the finest stars, Broadway shows, musicians and artists. Named on the League of Historic American Theatres, Raue Center is one of the nation’s finest examples of restored art and decor. The 750-seat theatre, located in historic downtown Crystal Lake, Illinois, is a gathering place for our region’s citizens and has become a true destination.

More information and tickets are available by visiting www.rauecenter.org or by calling the box office at (815) 356-9212. For additional information, visit rauecenter.org, facebook.com/RaueCenter, and twitter.com/RaueCenter.

STUDENTS TAKE THE STAGE FOR NEW MUSICAL ENSEMBLE!

[Crystal Lake, IL] – March 29, 2022 – On March 22nd, Raue Center School For The Arts students took the stage at Raue Center to perform their first showcase as members of the newly formed Youth Musical Theatre Ensemble (YMTE)!

A small but mighty team, the six YMTE students performed selected songs from beloved stage musicals such as Smokey Joe’s Cafe, Shrek, The Secret Garden, Next To Normal, and Mean Girls, with each student featured several times throughout the showcase. Additional lights and sound were provided by Jarrod Bainter, Technical Director, and supported by staff members Jessica Urban and Billy Seger to help elevate the aesthetic of the performance.

“The beauty of this class is that every session will be different, with material that gives everyone a moment in the spotlight while learning how to be a good ensemble member as well,” says class instructor Alayna DeVar, Education Coordinator/Lead Instructor for Raue Center. “The performance was highly regarded and the kids quite literally wouldn’t leave the theatre. We will be running this class again and I look forward to seeing how this class grows and evolves over time.”

The Youth Musical Theatre Ensemble, geared toward students aged 14-18, focuses on vocal technique that expands beyond solo singing into small and large group ensembles. Students enrolled in the class can look forward to musical theatre songs they’ve always wanted to sing, but have not had the back up vocals to bring them fully to life . The collaborative atmosphere, paired with DeVar’s rich background in vocal instruction and pedagogy, makes for the ultimate experience in group singing.

Risk. Explore. Create. Raue Center School For The Arts looks forward to bringing this class back in the Fall of 2022. Until then, be sure to check out rauecenter.org/education or visit facebook.com/rcschoolforthearts for updates on more exciting opportunities, including a brand new Summer Camp experience aptly called “Camp RCSA.” Those looking to enroll students in RCSA programs should be reminded that the institution’s RaueNOW Family Membership offers a 25% discount on enrollment fees for all RCSA classes and workshops as well as an additional 30% discount on select Raue Center programming throughout the year. Scholarship opportunities are also available by contacting rcsaeducation@rauecenter.org.

Raue Center currently requires masks for all patrons 2+. For more information, visit rauecenter.org/covid/. For questions or concerns, please contact our Box Office at 815-356-9212.

About Raue Center For The Arts

Raue Center is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to enriching the lives of all through the arts. For 20 years, they have provided quality programming – striving to make it pertinent, available, and affordable to all. As a painstakingly restored, 1920s regional showcase theatre named for its benefactor—Lucile Raue—Raue Center has attracted the finest stars, Broadway shows, musicians and artists. Named on the League of Historic American Theatres, Raue Center is one of the finest examples of restored art and decor in the nation. The 750-seat theatre, located in historic downtown Crystal Lake, Illinois, is a gathering place for our region’s citizens and has become a true destination. 

More information and tickets are available by visiting www.rauecenter.org or by calling the box office at (815) 356-9212. For additional information, visit rauecenter.org, facebook.com/RaueCenter, and twitter.com/RaueCenter.

.

Teaching is an Art

Amanda Flahive takes a traditional selfie with students after a showcase performance on Raue Center’s stage. 

Teaching artist Amanda Flahive shares why performing arts education is so important to her.

As a kid growing up in rural Kankakee County, IL, I always knew I loved performing…but didn’t have quite the right place to do that.  I sang “The Sound of Music” into my Fisher-Price tape deck for an audience of stuffed animals, I danced through the living room and entertained everyone who would listen with dramatic interpretations of my favorite Little Golden Books—so it was pretty clear early on that I was headed for the stage!

In spite of my performing ambitions, my small community didn’t offer much in the realm of arts opportunities—it was during my time at college studying for my career as a performer that I discovered my love of sharing the magic of theatre with kids like me.  I love teaching all ages of kids about the joy of theatre and how it can make a difference in their lives, or even become their career.  While I am fortunate enough to call myself a working actor, I often say that teaching is the other half of my “theatre soul.”  As much as I love getting on stage in front of an audience, belting a big number, and digging deep into a role, I also love teaching young performers how to harness that same energy that gets them singing into their hairbrushes in their bedroom mirrors and turn it into a compelling onstage moment. 

As we’ve built the RCSA program, I’ve been fortunate enough to witness many of our students grow from their first class as “dramatic personalities” into confident, vibrant young artists…some of whom have already started incredible professional careers.  While not everyone ends up on a Broadway stage, it’s what we learn along the way that shapes us as human beings—and it is such a gift to meet these kids as they discover their path. Teaching them is my honor and privilege—and I look forward to being part of their journey, wherever it takes them!

Amanda Flahive is an actor and instructor with Raue Center School For The Arts. She will be teaching RCSA’s High School Musical Theatre Workshop June 6 – 17, 2022. For more information about this and Raue Center’s other education workshops and summer camps visit rauecenter.org/education.

RAUE CENTER SCHOOL FOR THE ARTS LAUNCHES NEW SUMMER CAMP SERIES

[Crystal Lake, IL] – February 23, 2022 – Raue Center School For The Arts is excited to announce a brand new summer camp series—aptly named Camp RCSA—for young performers looking to further (or even begin) their arts education in live performance.

“So proud of the team! The pandemic decimated our educational efforts—down from 25,000 students to 3,000 students during the pandemic. We look to bounce back with core standards of safety, inclusion, and a rigorous, intellectually challenging curriculum. We’ll have a lot of different programs this summer and the camps are a great entry for any student. Camp RCSA grows from our core belief of wanting to help families form young people who are well prepared for careers and who will be assets to their communities,” says Raue Center’s Executive Director, Richard Kuranda.

This exciting new summer program will focus on all aspects of live theatre (acting, movement, dance, and vocal technique), fostering students’ creativity and talent, and helping them develop as young performers. The counselors and staff hired by RCSA are professional Chicagoland actors and technicians. Students will learn performance fundamentals in the classroom then put those skills into practice for an audience with a wrap-up performance on Raue’s outdoor Arts On The Green space, located at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in Crystal Lake. To further the educational element of the program, Camp RCSA has adopted the “Page to Stage” theme for the summer, granting students the opportunity to perform songs and scenes inspired by musicals based on famous works of literature!

Camp RCSA will run four one-week camps throughout the summer: June 6-June 10; June 13-June 17; July 18-July 22; and July 25-29. These camps run 9am-3pm, Monday through Friday, and are recommended for Grades 2 through 8 (rising). All experience levels are welcome!

The summer fun doesn’t stop there! RCSA is also proud to announce an extension of their popular “Little Stage Stars” program with Camp RCSA Jr.—a half-day camp for Grades K-1 from 9am-12pm! The youngest RCSA stars will spend a half-day playing games, learning songs and dances, and experiencing theatre in a fun, summer camp environment. This camp runs for one week: July 11-July 15.

High school students can look forward to the return of High School Musical Theatre Workshop—a two-week intensive musical theatre program for students ages 15-18 (rising freshman through graduated seniors). Led by RCSA favorite Amanda Flahive, a professional actor and teaching artist who’s appeared in over 25 shows as an original ensemble member of Williams Street Repertory. This advanced, RCSA signature class, allows students to explore all aspects of classic and modern musical theatre, with a focus on the three core performance disciplines unique to the genre—acting, singing, and dance.

Risk. Explore. Create. Enrollment for these classes opened on February 22nd for RaueNOW Family Members and opens to the general public on February 25th. Visit rauecenter.org/education/ for more information on enrollment and financial aid. For specific questions regarding enrollment, email rcsaeducation@rauecenter.org.

Raue Center currently requires masks for all patrons 2+. For more information, visit rauecenter.org/covid/. For questions or concerns, please contact our Box Office at 815-356-9212.

RCSA ANNOUNCES INSTRUCTORS FOR INAUGURAL SEMESTER

On their 20th Anniversary, Raue Center looks to the next 20 years and beyond to create a welcoming place where students of all ages can let their creativity soar! Youth and adult classes! Private, semi-private, and group workshops! Masterclasses with industry professionals! Raue Center School For The Arts (RCSA) is poised to be your “one-stop-shop” in arts education!

Modeled as a conservatory program, Raue Cenyer School For The Arts encourages students to build a curriculum that plays to their specific strengths and interests within the ever-changing landscape of theatrical and instrumental arts. Meet the amazing roster of instructors lined up for the inaugural semester.

Meet Aldren Briones, Instructor for Raue Center School for the Arts in a number of disciplines! Aldren is a vital member of the Piano Trends staff and a talented musician in a variety of instruments. He studied Vocal Performance at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb. Aldren has worked as a children’s music director with Children’s Theatre of Elgin, Arts Center of St. Charles, and also works as an accompanist and worship leader for Fil-Am Baptist Church. He is also a frequent guest on “Lifting Spirits Through Music” on Facebook and YouTube. Come “lift your spirits through music” with Aldren as your Instructor through RCSA.

Meet Amy Nelson, our Brass Instructor for Raue Center School for the Arts! Amy graduated with her music degree from Northern Illinois University in Dekalb. Since then, Amy has toured with groups and orchestras both regionally and nationally, including a gig as a member of Adele’s backup orchestra when Adele performed at the United Center in Chicago. She also has a few Broadway tours under her belt, including “Fiddler On the Roof.”

Meet Ashley Beleny, a Piano Instructor for Raue Center School for the Arts!
Ashley has a passion for teaching piano and has been playing since the age of 5. She also grew up singing in professional children’s choirs and started playing the guitar when she went to college (much easier to transport than a piano). She is currently learning to play the cello… a true testament that it’s never too late to learn a new instrument! Ashley plays mostly classical music on piano but has taught a wide range of styles in both one-on-one and group settings for students aged pre-school through adult.
Meet Bruce Waters, our Guitar/Bass/Ukulele Instructor for Raue Center School for the Arts! Bruce is a lifelong resident of the area and a big part of the music scene locally. He has worked with major artists like Ricky Skaggs at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, he is or has been a member of Pirates On 40 and Sweetwater among other bands. Bruce teaches and works with children and adults alike on both acoustic and electric guitars, bass guitar, ukulele, and percussion. Learn from one of the best in the biz with Bruce as your Guitar/Bass/Ukulele Instructor through RCSA.
Education Coordinator and instructor Alayna DeVar is now offering Private Voice Instruction through RCSA, in addition to two exciting Musical Theatre Ensembles: Youth MTE & Adult MTE! Alayna holds a degree in Vocal Performance from Millikin University where she studied Vocal Pedagogy and received excellent ensemble training from her time in the internationally recognized University Choir. She has been teaching private lessons since 2013 and began music directing and conducting for musicals in 2014. She worked as Vocal Director for Celebrity Cruise Lines and occasionally visits Nashville for private coaching with industry professionals.
Realize your full vocal potential with Alayna as your Voice Instructor through RCSA.
Meet John Benedeck, one of our Piano Instructors for Raue Center School for the Arts!
John grew up in the Northwest suburbs of Chicago and has been a pianist since he was six. Since then, he has implemented music in everything he does. Whether he is leading a worship team for his church, accompanying the seventh-inning stretch at Wrigley Field, or creating original music for podcasts and short films, John seeks the joy in music without compromise. Experience that same joy in music firsthand with John as your Piano Instructor through RCSA.

RCSA, your “one-stop-shop” in performing arts education! For enrollment information, please contact rcsa@rauecenter.org or visit our website for more details: https://www.rauecenter.org/education/

About Raue Center For The Arts

Raue Center is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to enriching the lives of all through the arts. For 20 years, they have provided quality programming – striving to make it pertinent, available, and affordable to all. As a painstakingly restored, 1920s regional showcase theatre named for its benefactor—Lucile Raue—Raue Center has attracted the finest stars, Broadway shows, musicians and artists. Named on the League of Historic American Theatres, Raue Center is one of the finest examples of restored art and decor in the nation. The 750-seat theatre, located in historic downtown Crystal Lake, Illinois, is a gathering place for our region’s citizens and has become a true destination. 

For additional information, visit rauecenter.org or call the Box Office at 815.356.9212.

Engage Dance Theatre: Building on Trust and Growing with Optimism

Written by Anne Dyson

Having heard from a few Crystal Lake dance families who were excited about the recent studio expansion of Engage Dance Academy, I decided to stop by 5186 Northwest Highway and check-in with co-owners, Courtney Kramer Petrocci and Marc Petrocci. It was sunny outside and even sunnier inside.

 

When asked to describe the new space, Marc’s enthusiasm was evident.

“It’s a dream come true for us. The new 1400 sq. foot studio space is huge and bright so our dancers can push themselves to greater heights with improved stamina. As professional ballet dancers and teachers, we knew it was paramount that we install a superior quality floor. Our industry-leading Harlequin floor helps the dancers reach lofty goals while being protected against injury. In addition to the new dance space, we now have two extra bathrooms and a cross-training area. This new studio is a dream dance space for any professional dancer or student.”

 

Courtney emphasized that it was important for Engage to grow but they wanted to do it in a space that really benefited their students and instructors. When COVID hit, they thought this dream would have to go on the back burner until the distant future. However, that future is now and, not only has the school remained open, it is flourishing and expanding. Courtney described this journey of hard work as – “building on trust and growing with optimism.”  Both Marc and Courtney agree Engage Dance Academy would not be the strong organization it is today without its tremendously talented, flexible, and respectful Staff. 

Piloting through COVID and Zoom classes last year, without canceling a single one, and now back in studio still traversing through the ever-changing environment had to be challenging. Staying up to date with the latest CDC guidelines and providing their dance families with complete transparency about Engage policies has been key to earning and keeping family support. I asked about feedback from their family group.  Marc replied “Our families have trusted us to continue to teach, nurture and inspire their dancers through such an uncertain time, and our whole staff has worked tirelessly to continue to earn that confidence each day. The comment we hear all the time from both dancers and parents are ‘thank you’ for the consistency we have provided. In a time of uncertainty, the dance world remained- regular classes, successful performance and progression in their technical growth and love of dance.” 

 

With new space comes new opportunities. Courtney explained “With four gorgeous studios Engage has the ability to increase class offerings and still hold strong to our belief of smaller class sizes for maximum one on one attention. We are able to run multiple classes at once starting with a Baby Ballet at 9 am on weekdays & weekends through our most advanced students ending at 9:30 pm seven days a week. We have dance class times that fit different family schedules making us a studio for everyone.”

Engage Dance Academy prides itself on being a triple-track studio focusing on the wants and needs of all lovers of dance. Engage Dance Theatre, their pre-professional dance company performs three dance concerts a year including their enchanting holiday tradition The Nutcracker and features partnering classes with professionals from Milwaukee Ballet. Engage Comp Crew is their award-winning competition team.  Their Open Division Program allows dancers, ages 18month – adults, to pick and choose from many unique offerings including K-Pop and Aerial Silks without a huge time commitment. 

 

Marc and Courtney expressed how Engage would not be expanding today without the love and support of the Engage Dance Families. It was great to hear about a local business growing with optimism through yet another wave of this pandemic.

 

Engage is currently taking fall enrollment and will be holding open auditions for their annual Nutcracker held at the Raue Center for the Arts in Crystal Lake. For more information go to engagedanceacademy.com or call (815)477-0033.