CCSD's SPACE Students Deliver Amazing Performances in High School Musical
33 gifted and talented Charleston County students from across the district spent the first three weeks of their summer vacation indoors studying, memorizing and working out. These talented young men and women were rehearsing for the production of High School Musical as part of the School for the Performing Arts and Creative Experiences (SPACE) program.
The SPACE program is designed to provide gifted and talented students from various artistic disciplines with the tools necessary for great success. It is a three-week all-day summer enrichment program for grades 4-7 funded by the South Carolina Education Improvement Act. Students are nominated by their visual art or music teacher(s) at the fourth grade and remain eligible to participate in the program through the seventh grade. Three hundred and fifty students are selected among visual art, music, dance, and drama classes. All students participating are able to experience a variety of arts related classes, one major, and two minor classes. The musical theater production offers students, who are selected from grades 7-12 by audition, the opportunity to present two evening performances at the University of Charleston.
The cast of High School Musical engaged in six hours of rehearsals each day. This intensive training allowed them to refine and expand their skills. The students gave two dynamic and celebrated performances last week at the College of Charleston's Robinson Theatre.
Robert Ivey directed the production, and Nancy Stedman was the musical director. Ivey and Stedman form a winning combination of talent and expertise. Throughout their 12-year partnership, they have managed to produce a quality production each year.
“The most rewarding part of our program is that we produce students that appreciate the real work behind the makings of a performance, and they go on to be incredible arts enthusiasts,” expressed Mr. Ivey. “Several of our past participants have gone on to have successful careers like Josh Strickland, who was on American Idol and played Tarzan on Broadway; Caroline Peres who is modeling in Paris and had a recurring role in Army Wives; and Bubba Bryant who is currently on Army Wives. We are proud of all our students and adopt them all.”