Freedom Theatre’s Performing Arts Education Programs provide serious training in the arts with all of its demands, empowering students to become artists, advocates for the arts and productive members of society. We have programs for all age groups including: preschool, elementary, middle years, high school and adults. We also have special programs for seniors.
Our Middle Years Arts Academy provides age appropriate training for this age group that repositions them as “the bridge” between childhood and young adulthood.
Our award winning performing arts training program is the only training program of its kind in the region. For 50 years, we have provided more than 10,000 students from throughout the community. Our services also extend to professional development, master classes and outreach.
“…seeing the theatre, the people caring for and utilizing it…. The kids were rehearsing for an 8 p.m. Opening Night, while others were taking dance class. Quite the opposite to the popular culture’s “ghetto thing” message honoring jail attire and graffiti art, your kids were in a hopeful world of their own self-respect. Parents, older brothers and sisters were bringing the kids, or waiting for the show to start. Lots of meeting and greeting, smiles and kisses…with a cultural purpose. It was a joy to be around.”
-Vernell Bagneris, Creator and director of the Broadway musical, “One Mo’ Time”
Facts of Freedom Life
Our Theatre Education programs are taught by certified instructors and performing artists. They have included over the decades former faculty members of Temple University and the University of the Arts, former principal dancers with Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, Philadanco, Urban Bush Women in addition to our new Artistic Director, Rajendra Ramoon Maharaj, who has received critical acclaim for his world premiere production, “The Ballad of Trayvon Martin.”
Freedom Theatre’s teaching staff believes that effective teaching includes the introduction of life skills that raise dignity, self worth and pride through both cultural education and group theatre art activities. Students study traditional and modern performance skills, theory, various techniques of a discipline, writing and aspects of technical production.
The Performing Arts Education Department is headed by Interim Director of Education, Gwen P. Coleman
Gwen became a part of the New Freedom Theatre staff in February 2016. Her artistic career as a dancer includes Philadanco!, Rita Jones Dance Company, Feld Productions, touring shows and in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Her arts administration and arts consultant assisgnments include Philadanco, Las Vegas Contemporary Dance Theatre and Creative Outlet in Pennsylvania, Earnst and Young, LLC, Boys and Girls Clubs of Philadelphia, EDSI, INC. and American Airlines.
Gwen’s history of working in the arts will help New Freedom’s Education Program stay relevant for a new generation.