The Mon Valley Performing Arts Academy non-profit is a community outreach program providing year-round education in the areas of acting, voice, dance and musicianship for area youth. There are two branches of study with the Academy—the Summer Experience and the academic year.
The design of the summer program provides students from third through twelfth grade an intensive educational experience through the classes, as well as a simulated professional theatre experience through the rehearsal and performance of the production.
The academic year of study provides the student weekly study in various levels of acting, voice, and dance. Courses run from September through early May and culminate with a showcase providing family and friends of the MVPs the opportunity to see what has been learned during the year. What makes the Academy unique is that the education of the student is stressed, rather than attendance at competitions and the dance recitals.
What is the Mon Valley Performing Arts Academy?
What we offer
The Academy teaches the Cohen acting method (which is studied in colleges and universities across the country); utilizes Estill Voice Training in the study of the voice (which is internationally known and used by many Broadway performers due to its training in versatility and sustainability); and dance classes which focus on all genres of dance (ballet, jazz, tap, modern, and musical theatre).
While on campus reviewing the accreditation status of the Department of Music and Theatre, the National Association of Schools of Theatre (NAST) witnessed the work of the Academy and requested that Dr. Pagen submit materials further describing the Academy, its curriculum and staffing, as well as its place within the department and Cal U. Upon further review, the accrediting team put forth the Academy for its own accreditation from NAST, which was unconditionally granted in 2012. The MVPAA is only one of a handful of community youth outreach programs in the United States to earn this honor.