What is the Springer Theatre Academy?
Teaching Life Skills through Stage Skills since 1996
It’s not just about acting.
It’s about BEING.
The Springer Theatre Academy, an intense young-actor training program open for pre-kindergarten through high school students, celebrates 20 years in 2016.
Academy classes take place throughout the year. School year Academy classes are offered on Saturdays and teach elective style subjects in 4-6 week long sessions. Summer Academy focuses on core acting and production subjects and is the foundation of the Springer Theatre Academy.
Over 600 students attend Summer Theatre Academy for 2-week, 3-week, or 4-week sessions. Students from across the Southeast study stage skills at the Springer, where they rotate through a series of classes including Improvisation, Musical Theatre, Devised Theatre, Scene Study, Stage Movement, and more. This year, the Academy is excited to announce the addition of Acting for the Camera to our main program.
All Academy classes focus on process, not product. By participating in the Academy, students will gain confidence, boldness and expressiveness. At the end of a class session, Academy students share their work in an “open-class” style presentation for family and friends.
Be Fearless. Be Creative. Be Encouraging.
Be Yourself at the Springer.
Contact the Academy office for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org or 706.324.1100.
Teaching Life Skills through Stage Skills
Students need a safe place to imagine and express themselves. At the Academy, the subjects we teach such as Improvisation, Movement, and Scene Study naturally provide an opportunity for students to develop skills such as cooperation, resilience, confidence, and self discipline. The skills needed to be successful onstage nurture the skills needed to be successful in life.
Our staff of professional actors, directors, theatre teachers and technicians are skilled at what they do, offering students the best training available in the Southeast. But they are also people who care deeply about young people and are passionately committed to sharing with them the joy and craft of theatre.
Sally Vander Gheynst Baker was named Academy and Children’s Theatre Director in 2015. Sally has a long history with the Springer, having done her first production on the Springer’s stage in 1984. She has been a teacher at the Academy for several years and has worked as a guest director with the Springer Children’s Theatre where she directed Charlotte’s Web and Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse in 2007. She returned to the Springer from Winder where she taught drama and journalism at Winder-Barrow High and directed such shows as Wiley and the Hairy Man, Once on This Island, The Rose of Treason and Little Shop of Horrors. She has performed in over 25 Springer shows including Annie as Annie in 1989. She was Education Coordinator at California Theatre Center (San Francisco area) and Nashville Children’s Theatre and Theatre Academy Director at Mad River Theatre Works in Ohio. Sally holds a Masters of Fine Arts in Drama and Theatre for Youth and Communities from UT-Austin and a BSEd from UGA in Secondary English Education. She lives in Columbus with her husband, Brad and their daughter, Evie.
Since the founding of the Springer Theatre Academy in 1996, the training program of the State Theatre of Georgia has grown from 200 students to over 700. The Springer Theatre Academy’s success has been the catalyst for the performing arts boom in the Columbus area, providing well-trained, highly-motivated young artists and valuable educational resources to boost theatre and music programs in schools, colleges and theatre companies throughout the region.
Ron Anderson, the founder of the Springer Theatre Academy, was a professional actor, director and theatre teacher for nearly four decades. As the Springer’s Artistic Associate and Academy Director, Ron performed in and directed many Springer productions and wrote a number of children’s theatre plays. His legacy lives on at the Springer in the hearts of his students and colleagues and in the enduring impact of his spirit and vision.
Dorothy W. “Dot” McClure, long-time theatre educator and namesake of the Dorothy W. McClure Springer Theatre Academy, is part of the heroic group of local arts patrons who saved the Springer from the wrecking ball in the 1960s. Dot and her co-visionaries restored the Springer to Edwardian splendor and propelled it forward to become the State Theatre of Georgia, a National Historic Landmark and a regional theatre known for the excellence of its production, as a spawning ground for new plays and a teaching theatre with the largest theatre academy in the Southeast.