Q. Is the Academy only for students who wish to become actors or members of a performing arts profession?
Not at all. Many of our students go on to major in the performing arts. Many do not. Regardless of a student's dream of a profession, the Academy provides the kind of personal growth to help get there. The Academy inspires character development and self discovery in people through the challenge of creativity. At the Academy, by using theatre and music as a vehicle, students learn the following valuable life and employability skills:
- The courage to create
- The confidence to stand calmly before others in stressful situations
- The facility to be expressive
- The sense of play that makes one young at heart
- The wisdom to see the big picture,
- The rare and essential skill to communicate clearly
- The sensitivity to find meaning in relationships and the business of life
These are all real-world benefits of the training at the Academy. Students learn how to relax, to concentrate, to strengthen their voices and bodies, to be expressive physically and emotionally, to improvise, to develop empathy for others, to become literate and aware of the world and aware of themselves. These are important lessons for living, not just acting or creating on the stage.
Many of our students will indeed go on to being actors or directors stage managers, non profit managers, playwrights, theatre technicians or singers. But many others go on to a wide range of professions and extended study, carrying with them the special and empowering knowledge of self that comes from the challenge of training in the theatre.
Acting, directing, singing, and presenting are essentially tools that challenge our young people to know themselves as creative and imaginative individuals. Our programming seeks to enrich and nurture, providing self-confidence and understanding.
Q. Why is a performing arts program part of a Career "Tech" initiative.
The Federal Career Technical Initiative is designed to give students an opportunity to work with professionals in the field of their particular interest. Most of the Career Technical programs are careers like Cosmetology, Home Construction, Car Repair, Pre Med, Nursing, Video and TV technology and Graphic Design.
The Performing Arts program is a new college preparatory initiative in the career tech family. And while the designation of "tech" is somewhat the antithesis of the creative world of theatre, singing, music and dance, it is nonetheless a program which brings the top level professionals into a training program, with state of the art facilities and equipment, developed to provide students with high-level student placement in college performing arts program. If you look at the trends in high school budget struggle and the cuts in arts that are usually the first to happen, it's a bit of a minor miracle that a program like Excel Tecc and Chagrin Falls Schools have committed to support one of the most robust arts programs in the state. Indeed, there are very few opportunities like this in the country.
Ultimately, the Academy is preparing our students for college and beyond. Every year, our graduating seniors garner an average of $3,000,000.00 in scholarhsip offers. Last year the class of 2016 received $5,100,000.00 in offeres. in talent and academic scholarships to some of the finest schools in the country.
Q. What are the requirements for admittance to the Academy?
A. Students should be enrolled through their home high school and be in the process of completing the graduation requirements for their home school. Only students of the ten Excel TECC Mayfield consortium may apply.
The Academy is a two-year course of study. In some instances a senior may be accepted, but a number of restrictions are imposed, including that a senior entering the program as a first year student will usually be required to take first year classes. The Academy's classes are progressive; in that classes in the 2nd year are dependent on the training of the first year. Seniors who are accepted into the Academy must have some theatre experience.
Q. How much does it cost to participate in the Academy program?
A. The tuition for a program is paid by the home school district. There is a 225.00 fee for the Academy, which includes the cost of books, T-shirts, and guest artist fees.
Q. If I am accepted, how will I know if I will be in the morning or afternoon session?
A. Juniors are automatically scheduled in the morning session. All Seniors are in the afternoon session.
Is transportation available to and from the Academy?
A. Bus transportation is available to and from the home school. If a student wishes to be a part of the performance practicum, they must be able to car-pool or provide their own transportation.
Q. Can I participate in extracurricular activities such as athletics and band at my home school?
A. Yes! We encourage it. Just remember that it may prevent you from auditioning for an Academy production. But don't worry, we do 8 - 9 shows a year. Outside activities are perfectly fine.
NOTE: Students who wish to participate in an Academy production MUST CLEAR THEIR SCHEDULE during the course of rehearsal for that particular production. Accommodations for minor conflicts are made on an individual basis.
Q. How can I be selected for the Academy?
A. For the Academy, students must first complete an application form. This form, signed by the student, parents and home school counselor should be submitted in January/February preceding the school year the student wishes to enroll. You can apply on-line by clicking here,
The student will be admitted based upon the results of their audition and interview. In addition, a review of the student's academic and discipline record will be taken into account.
Q. What high school will I graduate from?
A. Students earn a diploma from their home school, even though they attend the Academy at Chagrin Falls High School.
Q. What do I receive upon completion of the Academy?
A. Students who have 18 or fewer unexcused absences over the two year program will receive a Certificate of Completion. Students who have over 18 absences will receive a certificate of participation upon successful completion of the Academy program. This certificate is part of a Career Passport which lists the particular skills and hours which have been successfully completed by the student.
Q. If I take the Academy program in high school, can I still go to college?
A. Not only will you still be able to go to college, you will more prepared than ever and you enter college with college credit and an advanced understanding of your self, creativity and the arts. Colleges see the work at the Academy as a plus. Theatre schools see Academy students as top cream of the crop. Combining college with arts training gives students the best of both worlds in preparing for a career. We have a 96% college placement rate with our graduating seniors. And those seniors who do not go to college directly after graduating, have full intentions of working for a year to afford college the next year.
Q. Do I have to be involved in Academy production?
A. The Academy requires that you participate in at least one production a year, either as an actor or a stage assistant. There is no limit to the number of shows you MAY be involved in, but we require one per year.
Q. Can I still be in my High School shows?
A. Yes. We encourage work in outside productions as long as you don't choose simultaneous productions that cause conflicts in rehearsal or performance. Remember, students at the Academy need only participate onstage or back stage in one of our eight yearly productions.