The Maltz Jupiter Theatre
Paul and Sandra Goldner Conservatory of Performing Arts
Close your eyes and imagine a place where young dancers can fully experience what it’s like to perform on a professional theatre stage. A place where Broadway veterans and theatre professionals teach unique master classes of every style and discipline, and a place where student productions are performed with the same design elements (a professional orchestra, sound system, sets, lights and costumes) that audiences have come to expect from its award-winning regional theatre.
Welcome to a gem in the heart of Jupiter: the Maltz Jupiter Theatre Paul and Sandra Goldner Conservatory of Performing Arts.
Directly connected to the Maltz Jupiter Theatre (currently the largest award-winning regional theatre in the state), the Conservatory is a premiere professional Conservatory that offers a challenging, innovative and quality theatre experience to students of all ages and abilities. In addition to full-scale professional family shows and year-round classes with a dance curriculum, the Conservatory’s hands-on workshops and master classes offer students an opportunity to learn first-hand from nationally known directors, choreographers and dance captains, as well as Broadway performers, agents and local instructors. The Conservatory’s first-rate classroom facilities include three studios and access to a professional rehearsal hall and stage.
Over 600 students per year come from as far as Miami, Wellington and Fort Pierce to study at the Conservatory. The unique connection to the popular not-for-profit Theatre allows students the opportunity to perform on the Theatre’s stage and work alongside professionals both onstage and off. Rather than spending the semester preparing for a recital, students enrolled in the Conservatory’s Musical Theatre Production classes perform The Best of Broadway Revue on the Theatre’s stage each December, as well as two full-scale musicals each spring. The upcoming spring student musicals for 2016 are the iconic tap musical Anything Goes and the new musical Ever Happily After.
“We’re proud to offer students the unique opportunity to receive a complete professional theatre experience when they take part in our programs,” said Andrew Kato, the Theatre’s producing artistic director. “Our students train with Broadway professionals and then are able to experience professional production values: sets, costumes, lights and a full orchestra. Enrollment fees are all-inclusive, covering all costumes and performance-related costs.”
The Conservatory’s longtime students couldn’t agree more.
“Participating in the Conservatory’s programs is wonderful for students who appreciate having a live stage experience, versus strictly a classroom and recital setting,” said Palm Beach Gardens resident Emily Gough, 15, who recently performed the role of Charity in the spring musical Sweet Charity on the Theatre’s stage. “I love it when the orchestra joins in with live music and spotlights hit the stage. We work very hard on all of our productions, and it’s so rewarding to show audiences what we’ve accomplished.”
World-class training in Jupiter
The Conservatory’s dance classes include a wide range of ballet, jazz, tap, modern and hip hop dance classes, as well as courses in numerous other arts disciplines for all levels and ages: musical theatre, acting, voice, guitar, piano and audition techniques.
Recent dance-focused master classes included a master class with Callan Bergmann (currently portraying Lewis in the First National tour of Pippin), a tap master class with tap legend Debbi Dee and an audition workshop with Ian Coulter-Burford, seen this past season on the Theatre’s stage in the musical The Wiz. An exclusive dance program is the Conservatory’s “In the Style Of” series, which offers an extra-special opportunity for students to be selected for free, unique dance workshops with cast members from the Theatre’s musicals during their performance runs on Theatre’s stage. Attendees are selected via lottery, open to all currently enrolled students, and other professional performers often attend to help demonstrate form. Past “In the Style Of” workshops have been taught by cast members from the Theatre’s hit productions of Fiddler on the Roof and The Wiz, among others. Other popular master classes include an annual visit from leading New York City talent agent Nancy Carson (a children’s talent agent who has represented stars including Ben Affleck and Matt Damon), who offers insider’s advice on being a professional performer on Broadway. Students may enroll in workshops specifically designed to offer feedback and advice for auditions.
Focus on dance technique and performance opportunities
The Conservatory’s focus on dance has grown exponentially in recent years – particularly the Cecchetti method, a ballet technique and training system devised by the Italian ballet master Enrico Cecchetti.
The Theatre recently hosted a statewide examination session adjudicated by examiners from the Cecchetti Council of America national committee, organized by longtime Conservatory faculty member Brian Andrews (a certified licentiate instructor and past chairman of the Florida Cecchetti Committee). The exams drew many students from across the state to the Theatre to take their exams, including dozens of students personally trained by Andrews through the Theatre’s Conservatory.
“Ballet is the classical route of our training, and the Cecchetti method is one of the most rigorous training programs, resulting in highly trained professional dancers,” Andrews said. “We were so honored to host the examination sessions here at the Maltz Jupiter Theatre.”
And the Theatre’s stage isn’t the only opportunity to gain performance experience. Led by Andrews – a Broadway veteran who performed in both Cats and A Chorus Line – the Maltz Jupiter Theatre Youth Touring Company features 35 students in grades 5-12 who sing and dance at dozens of events throughout South Florida, as well as a separate dance company made up of the Conservatory’s advanced dancers.
“Our dance company provides an opportunity for the Conservatory’s elite dance students to gain high-level training and performance experience,” said Julie Rowe, the Theatre’s director of education.
Career preparation and student success
Since its inception in 2007, many of the Conservatory’s students have gone on to successful performance programs and universities upon graduating, including The Boston Conservatory, New World School of the Arts, Florida School of the Arts, Rollins College, Eckerd College, Florida State University, Northwestern University, Brenau University, Florida Southern College, Palm Beach Atlantic University, Emerson College, University of Virginia and more. Others have performed on Broadway, on regional theatre stages (including in the Theatre’s professional plays and musicals) and on television.
“We’ve watched so many incredibly talented students grow and develop their talents here at the Conservatory,” said faculty member Ricky Nahas, a dance and voice instructor who was recently seen on stage in the Theatre’s professional productions of The Wiz and Les Miserables. “No matter what style of dance is your passion, we have a place for you at the Conservatory. Tap, ballet, jazz, hip-hop, modern – we have it all, and we’re here to help you cultivate those skills and become the best performer possible.”
The Conservatory’s staff includes a host of seasoned professionals, including Andrews, Nahas, Jay Johnson, Kim Cozort Kay, Kenneth Kay, Sarah-Helen Land, Kristine DiMartino, Lea Roy, Shelley Keelor, John Mercurio, Alexa Evans and Elizabeth Davis.
Many Conservatory students have performed in the Theatre’s season shows, made possible through the Theatre’s annual First Step to Stardom auditions. Students can be seen in the Theatre’s upcoming productions of Billy Elliot The Musical, The Will Rogers Follies, Kiss Me Kate and more.
Two upcoming performances of Billy Elliot The Musical are specifically designed for students: School Spirit Night on Friday, Dec. 4, at 7:30 p.m. (which includes a $25 mezzanine ticket with a post-show dessert meet and greet with the cast), and Dancers’ Showtime on Friday, December 18, at 6 p.m. (featuring a $25 ticket for groups of 20 or more purchased through dance studios). All dance studios who attend the show will automatically be entered to win a free master class with the show’s dance captain. To reserve group tickets for this performance, please call (561) 972-6117.
Summer dance options
In addition to the full-scale spring shows, the Conservatory’s two annual full-scale summer musicals on the Theatre’s stage (the culmination of the three-week Junior Conservatory and Senior Conservatory summer camp programs) draw prestigious guest directors such as New York-based Deon R. Ridley (seen in the Theatre’s professional production of The Wiz), who directed and choreographed the Senior Conservatory’s June production of Hairspray.
The Junior Conservatory is slated for July 6 – 24, with performances of the musical Disney’s Peter Pan Jr. scheduled for July 24 and 25. Young dance enthusiasts may also spend their summer participating in three annual sessions of two-week Dance Intensives for grades 6-12 (June, July and August). Headed by Andrews, students spend each session learning a variety of dance styles and techniques, culminating in a unique showcase performance for friends and family.
“We have something for all dancers here at the Conservatory,” Rowe said. “I’d like to encourage everyone to visit our website and give us a call to discuss our options for dance training.”
Students are never turned away due to financial need, and approximately 25 percent of the Conservatory’s students receive scholarships.
Registration is now open for fall classes. For more information about the Conservatory and its programs, visit www.jupitertheatre.org/education or call (561) 575-2672.