Norman, Okla. – It all started with a summer camp with just 30 kids in 2003. That grew into a few afterschool classes at local recreation centers. Last year, more than 700 students chose between more than 30 summer camps, 32 school-year classes and four youth-only productions at The Studio of The Sooner Theatre.

 

“We knew there was a need for quality performing arts opportunities for students in and around Norman, but the amount of growth we’ve seen in programs and enrollment is greater than we ever expected,” said Jennifer Baker, Sooner Theatre Executive Director. “It speaks to the benefits offered by performing arts education, and shows us just how much incredible young talent we have in this community.”

 

Enrollment for fall classes and youth-only productions begins Monday, August 8, for current students and Wednesday, August 10, for new students. Parents can enroll their students in person at The Studio of the Sooner Theatre, 227 E. Main St. from 3:30-8:30 p.m.

 

Learning, Arts, and the Brain, The Dana Consortium Report on Arts and Cognition, published by Dana Press (2008) found:

 

·         An interest in a performing art leads to a high state of motivation that produces the sustained attention necessary to improve performance and the training of attention that leads to improvement in other domains of cognition.

 

·         Specific links exist between high levels of music training and the ability to manipulate information in both working and long-term memory; these links extend beyond the domain of music training.

 

·         In children, there appear to be specific links between the practice of music and skills in geometrical representation, though not in other forms of numerical representation.

 

·         Correlations exist between music training and both reading acquisition and sequence learning. One of the central predictors of early literacy, phonological awareness, is correlated with both music training and the development of a specific brain pathway.

 

·         Training in acting appears to lead to memory improvement through the learning of general skills for manipulating semantic information.

 

·         Learning to dance by effective observation is closely related to learning by physical practice, both in the level of achievement and also the neural substrates that support the organization of complex actions. Effective observational learning may transfer to other cognitive skills.

 

Students interested in enrolling in one of The Sooner Theatre Ambassador Performance Troupe Classes, which perform throughout the year at various festivals, civic and corporate events need to attend a placement audition at The Studio at 4:30 p.m. on Monday, August 8.

 

The Sooner Theatre’s Theatre Education Activities program is funded in part by the Oklahoma Arts Council, Norman Arts Council, National Endowment for the Arts, and The Studio of The Sooner Theatre’s Studio Series Sponsor, Republic Bank and Trust.

 

The Sooner Theatre is Norman’s premiere performing arts venue and performing arts academy. The Sooner Theatre is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. For more information on classes and productions of The Sooner Theatre and The Studio of The Sooner Theatre, visit www.soonertheatre.org or call 405-321-9600.

 

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Contact: Nancy Coggins, APR
405-321-9600 or 405-760-9053
Nancy@soonertheatre.com