The school year is well underway at the Palm Springs Valley’s newest high school in Rancho Mirage, and one of its signature programs—the Performing Arts Career Pathway—is humming along at fever pitch. Developed to offer comprehensive, professional-level training in music, dance, and theater for young people with aspirations of careers on Broadway, and in film and television, the programs are open to students in grades 8 – 12. Under the watchful eye of David Green, executive director of the American Foundation for Arts Education, Musical Theater University provides the most advanced training and performance opportunities available to high school students in the desert—and all free of charge. Classes in acting, singing, and dancing are taught by a faculty of professionals from Broadway and Hollywood. There’s even an after-school program for students who attend other educational institutions throughout the valley.
Roles in MTU productions are extremely competitive and highly coveted, in part due to professionals who sign on to star in them. Earlier this school year a staged reading of Stephen Sondheim’s master “Follies” brought in pros Carol Cook, Rex Smith, Alix Korey, and Jonelle Allen. And the guys and gals of the program all went gaga for Bruce Vilanch and Sal Mistretta in “Hairspray” (joined by locals such as entertainer Bella da Ball and master chef and Dish Restaurant owner Joane Garcia-Colson). And coming soon, MTU will present “A Chorus Line” as part of its four-productions/year season.
All performances take place in the beautiful, brand new Helene Galan Performing Arts Center at Rancho Mirage High School, where a full roster of theater, dance, and music is a welcome addition to the rich array of activities that are available year-round throughout our diverse desert. Check the website for dates, times, and tickets.