SPARTA, NJ- Drama Geek Studios, Sparta’s newest center for theatrical instruction, is a place to cultivate a young artist’s desire for creative expression. The light, airy and large performance space located near White Lake is not only conveys professionalism but fun as well. Bright colors, four classrooms, a dance studio and a performance space create an efficient and welcoming environment for any type of performer.
It is apparent that arts education has become essential for any child looking for a dynamic, interesting, and ultimately successful learning experience. According to The College Board’s annual Profile of College-Bound Seniors National Report for 2001, 2002, and 2004, "Students who have had arts education have higher SAT scores than other students."
“Don’t be fooled by the moniker Geek: the originality and creativity in the studio’s name is simply to encourage students to embrace their own unique qualities,” says Victoria Reed one of the studios owners. She points to the trend of the past few years with the term “Geek” having been reclaimed, as in popular shows like Glee. Reed continues, “Geeks are now confident, triumphant and unique individuals. These are all qualities that can be gained by participating in theatre classes.”
Drama Geek Studios offers several classes and performance opportunities for children of all ages. Classes, grouped by age, include Improvisation, Monologue and Scene Study. There is also Musical Theater, which includes vocal and dance training, Acting for Television and Film and Stagecraft, which includes instruction in set, costume, and props design and construction. Private lessons and coaching sessions are available for voice, dance and acting, as well as college and professional audition preparation. Master classes and Guest Artist workshops will also be available throughout the year, that will provide opportunities to work with industry professionals such as casting directors.
Following the owners’ philosophy that theatre should be available for everyone, Drama Geek Studios offers reasonably priced classes, with discounts for those taking multiple classes. Each trimester Musical Theatre students will be able to put on a full-scale production for the community.
Drama Geek Studios accommodates performers of all different skill levels, from first-time actors to aspiring professionals. Those looking for a fun introduction to acting can learn to build confidence, poise and public speaking skills in a beginner’s acting class. Children looking to advance their skills and perhaps even build a foundation for a career can benefit from making industry contacts and learning tricks of the trade. The studio will also offer Mommy/Daddy and Me style classes.
“We hope by creating comfortable, interactive and an imaginative learning environment, Drama Geek Studios will become a place that brings lovers of performing arts together to form a nurturing and welcoming community of artists,” said co-owner Josh Reed.
Vicky Reed has been directing plays and musicals professionally for over 25 years and is a certified English and Drama Teacher. She has been professionally performing in the industry for over 35 years and has enjoyed bringing these experiences into the classroom. Vicky has been involved in theater in Sparta since she became the drama teacher in 2007. Since then she has successfully revived the musical theatre program at Sparta Middle School and has started and award-winning drama club at the high school. Her business partner and husband Josh has over 20 years of technical theatre and producing experience, and produced and initiated Sparta High’s first-ever student-run production this past year,Blithe Spirit. Josh is CPR-certified and will be on premises at the studio at all times.
“I have been a student of the Reeds for three years and in that short time they have taught me so much. I have improved colossally as a performer. Mr. and Mrs. Reed have managed to form the perfect combination of making you feel totally comfortable while treating you like a professional. I can’t wait for them to utilize that essential skill at Drama Geek Studios,” says Aimee Buchanan, one of Mrs. Reed’s drama students at Sparta High.
Other Drama Geek Studios teachers include a wide range of highly trained staff with performance skills that they are ready to share with their new students. All the staff members share a passion for teaching.
The Studio will kick off its inaugural season with a cabaret, featuring musical theatre numbers from 26 shows. The cabaret will include community and professional artists from around the area and will be held on August 22 at 8 p.m. in the Sparta High Auditorium. All proceeds will go towards purchasing pianos for the studio.