The North Valley Arts Academy Theatre program provides students with rigorous academic classes combined with a college-intensive theatre arts emphasis. Accelerated movement, voice, acting, directing, and playwriting courses are offered to motivated students through application and audition.
Students can begin to pursue their interest in theatre at the 5th-grade level at Desert Cove Elementary and continue through the program at Shea Middle School. Courses at the high school level are offered at Shadow Mountain High School.
Current course offerings at Shadow Mountain for 2022-2023 school year:
Performance Track: Movement & Voice for the Actor: This course develops students’ vocal and physical performance skills. Students will learn to use their entire physical instruments in the creation, interpretation, and performance of a character. Skills will be developed through the study of dramatic literature and its historical context. Techniques covered include, but are not limited to Laban, Viewpoints, and Linklater. This is a full year course and may require some after school and weekend projects.
Technical Track – Set Design and Construction: This course will focus on the art of set design. By the end of the course, designers will have created several set designs and will have a basic to intermediate understanding of set construction. Students will gain skills in design sketches and models, drafting, and woodworking. This is a full year course and may require some after school or weekend projects. Completed work will be added to the young designers’ portfolios.
Performance Track – Musical Theatre and Film Acting: This course provides students with the unique technical skills for musical theatre and film. Young actors will acquire the techniques for creating an engaging musical theatre and film performances through group and solo work. It will also cover the business of a professional actor, including working with agents, unions, and casting directors. This is a full year course and may require some after school and weekend projects.
Technical Track – Costume and Makeup Design: This course will provide students with the opportunity to design and construct costumes. In addition, young designers develop a plethora of makeup application techniques and uses. Students will get the opportunity to learn from professionals around the U.S. This is a full year course and may require some after school and weekend projects. Completed work will be added to the young designers’ portfolios.
Performance Track – Shakespeare and American Realism: This advanced acting course is an in-depth exploration of acting methods most frequently used by professional actors. In the first semester, actors will learn how to read, interpret, and perform Shakespeare through group and solo acting projects. The second semester is a study of Meisner and Chubbuck’s American realism acting techniques as students work collaboratively with Theatre 8 directors in the public performance of an original show. This is a year-long class and may require some after school or weekend projects.
Technical Track – Lighting and Sound Design and Operation: This course will provide students with the techniques, terminology and technology for both design and operation for lighting, sound, and rigging. This is a year-long class and may require some after school or weekend projects. Completed work will be added to the young designers’ portfolios.
Performance Track – Directing and Exit Portfolio: This course covers the creation of a class “theatre company.” Students work collaboratively to establish a mock artistic company structure of their choosing, and then learn how to lead and direct actors onstage through practical application. The class culminates in the public performance of the play, and the creation of a college-ready theatrical portfolio. Students who successfully complete the requirements obtain an Arizona Arts Seal and North Valley Arts Academy Seal for their high school diploma. This is a year long course and will require after-school and weekend rehearsals.
Technical Track – Stage Management and Exit Portfolio: This course will provide students with the advanced skills needed to effectively work as a leader in the technical areas of stage management and technical direction. Students will be expected to take major roles in the design, construction, and running of the school’s main stage performances. Students who successfully complete the requirements obtain an Arizona Arts Seal and North Valley Arts Academy Seal for their high school diploma. This course is a year long, and will require after-school and weekend rehearsals.
Current course offerings at Shea Middle School:
BEGINNING TO INTERMEDIATE THEATRE: In this course, young actors will be introduced to acting techniques using the methods of both Stanislavski and Boleskavski. Students will focus on characterization and analysis through monologues and scenes. Young actors will also learn about the different types of stages and will have the opportunity to perform in those spaces. They will analyse, interpret, and explore theatre history. Students will also continue their study of playwrighting and learn the basics of stage directing.
Theatre director Joe Flowers is a professional actor, director, and theatre educator. Originally from Prescott, Arizona, he received his undergraduate theatre degree from Arizona State University where he studied acting with Tony Award-winning director Marshal W. Mason. He received his Masters in Fine Arts in Acting from Illinois State University where he studied advanced acting, movement, and voice techniques. Joe has appeared onstage in over fifty productions with theatre companies across the country, including two seasons with the acclaimed Illinois Shakespeare Festival in Macbeth, Julius Caesar, Twelfth Night, and Comedy of Errors. He has acted with many companies in the Phoenix area, such as Childsplay Theatre Company, Stray Cat Theatre, The Shakespeare Theatre, Arizona Jewish Theatre Company, and Theater Works. A longtime talent of the Leighton Agency, Joe has worked in commercials and industrials with clients such as Toyota, Goodwill, AAA, and KSLX. Film credits include lead roles in A Stray, The Nephila, Rupert’s Ship, and Crossroads of Fate. He wrote and directed the original television pilot The Drama which won multiple Best TV Pilot and Best Script awards at Moondance International Film Festival, Nevada Film Festival, Las Vegas Independent Film Festival, and the International Family Film Festival. He is a member of SAG/AFTRA. www.joeflowers.com
Technical director Keath Hall is originally from San Diego, California. Mr. Hall has a Bachelor of Arts in History from San Diego State University and a Masters in Literature from Northern Arizona University. He has worked around the country for the last twenty years as a teacher, actor, director, fight choreographer, stagehand, carpenter and Technical Director. Residing in Mesa with his wife and two children, he is happy to have found an amazing place to work like Shadow Mountain High School.
Theatre director Teresa Minarsich is a graduate of Arizona State University’s Theatre for Youth doctoral program. The American Alliance for Theatre & Education awarded her the 2015 Distinguished Dissertation Award. An educator, scholar, director, theatre artist, and puppeteer she is passionate about creating socially relevant theatre WITH young people. With over two decades of experience creating theatre in a variety of settings with youth from Pre-K to college, Dr. M. believes firmly in the power of theatre to inspire and transform youth as they explore what it means to be human through character and story. She received her BA in Theatre from Seattle University and her Masters in Education from Pepperdine University.
Shadow Mountain High School, Shea Middle School, and Desert Cove Elementary are located in sunny Phoenix, Arizona as a part of the Paradise Valley Unified School District #69.
Shadow Mountain High School
2902 E. Shea Boulevard
Phoenix, AZ 85028
Phone number: (602) 449-3000
School hours: 7:30 AM to 2:10 PM
Office hours: 7:00 AM to 3:30 PM
Shea Middle School
2728 E. Shea Boulevard
Phoenix, AZ 85028
Phone number: (602) 449-3500
School hours: 8:00 AM to 2:40 PM
Office hours: 7:30 AM to 3:30 PM
Desert Cove Elementary School
11020 N. 28th Street
Phoenix, AZ 85028
Phone number: (602) 449-3400
School hours: 8:15 AM to 2:45 PM
Office hours: 7:45 AM to 3:30 PM