MAY 13, 2015

Cave Creek Unified School District Education & Community Services Summer Performing Arts 2015

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chie moritaChie Morita in makeup at the Cactus Shadows Fine Arts Center during the C. Nicholas Johnson Physical Theater Residency and Fine Arts Center Stagecraft Workshop, presented by Education & Community Services, a department of Cave Creek Unified School District. Ms. Morita graduated from Northern Arizona University and is a professional actor in New York City.

Photo credit:
Vincent Pascoe

NORTH VALLEY – The Desert Foothills has a history of attracting artists to work and live in its unique surroundings. Not surprisingly, it is also home to exceptional summer youth programs in the visual and performing arts. Three of the most noteworthy this year are Foothills Art Academy, C. Nicholas Johnson Physical Theater Residency, and Fine Arts Center Stagecraft Workshop.

Foothills Art Academy, an Education & Community Services (ECS) and Sonoran Arts League collaboration, offers hands-on courses in Drawing, Book-Binding Techniques, Digital Photography, Ceramics, Metal Embossing and Sculpture. Teachers are Sonoran Arts League artists or CCUSD certified High School instructors. Each class includes 12 hours of classroom instruction (four 3-hour classes) and Friday Artist Studio Tour.

C. Nicholas Johnson Physical Theatre Residency at the Cactus Shadows Fine Arts Center places emphasis on theatrical movement rather than dialogue, bridging dance and theater as one cohesive form of performing art. All interested performers (dancers, actors, musicians, performance artists) will receive valuable training in self-expression, awareness of their body on stage, and development of voice without the use of dialogue or singing.

Authenticity, focus, collaboration, creativity, critical thinking, communication, and performance innovation are all vital theatrical tools to be learned by students in this impactful, one-week experience led by C. Nicholas Johnson, Director of Dance at Wichita State University and Artistic Director of the Alithea Mime Theatre; and Sabrina Vasquez, Instructor of Dance at Wichita State University in Jazz, Ballet, Modern techniques, Choreography and Dance History.

Behind the stage of the theatre is a wonderful, wonderful world! The Fine Arts Center Stagecraft Workshop is for students who are interested in the backstage business of the performance world. Imagination, design and technical mastery are all a part of the undeniable magic of every performance. Hundreds of thousands of real life careers in theatre, television and movie production come from what happens in the shadows of the spotlight.

Those who enroll will be learning skills and techniques needed to design and create stage sets, environment, lighting, sound, props, costuming and makeup. Although the immediate application is for the C. Nicholas Johnson Physical Theatre Residency performance, the knowledge of stagecraft is an important stepping-stone to new horizons. Instructors are artist and wardrobe designer Renee Swan and theatre director Andrew Cupo.

The Physical Theatre Residency and Stagecraft Workshop can be combined for students who enjoy both sides of theater. For residency details (dates, times, locations, fees), plus 30 summer catalogue pages of other exciting arts and education opportunities, call the ECS Main Office 480-575-2440 or visit Education & Community Services (ECS), a department of the Cave Creek Unified School District, at

"With more than 30 years of summer program experience, we provide quality, affordable courses, workshops and camps that meet individual interests,” said Elaine Vallario, ECS Enrichment Coordinator, Cave Creek Unified School District. “We offer programs for preschool aged children through adults. Our highlighted preschool-through-elementary grade programs are art, theater, world languages, mindfulness, sports, engineering, science, cooking and academic offerings. 

“This year’s STEM themed Super Camp, licensed by the AZ Dept. of Health, provides childcare from 6:30 a.m.- 6 p.m. for ages 3-12. Weekly field trips are included.

“Our teen and/or adult classes include Study Skills and Credit Retrieval, Musical Theater, a Physical Theater Residency, Filmmaking, six different Foothills Arts Academy classes, morning and evening Vance Exley Tennis and Mindfulness for Stress Reduction and Mindful Movement classes.

Summer camps and classes are offered from May 26 through July 30. The main location for the preschool and elementary students is Horseshoe Trails Elementary School, 5405 E. Pinnacle Vista Drive, Phoenix AZ 85085. The teen and adult classes are being held at Cactus Shadows High School, 5802 E. Dove Valley Road, Scottsdale AZ 85266. The theater programs will be held at the Cactus Shadows Fine Arts Center, 33606 N. 60th Street AZ 85266. Please see the online catalog for more information or call the ECS Main Office 480-575-2440.