dance, they can sing and they can act. It seems there's
nothing teens at the Kevin Jones Performing Arts Studio
the studio program, Kevin Jones trains students in each
of these aspects of theater, calling it a "voice studio,
but so much more." Located in the renovated garage of
his Cave Spring home, Jones offers vocal technique,
acting and audition preparation.
several programs within the year-round studio. The Musical
Theater Workshop is intended for students who are new
to musical theater and are in seventh through 12th grades.
With small groups, the workshop provides a more comfortable
environment. The next tier of the program is the Ensemble,
which generally includes teens with more experience.
To maintain a professional nature for the program, students
audition with a monologue, song and interview.
of Jones' program include weekly individual lessons,
group workshops and professional head shots. Although
they often cost hundreds of dollars, Jones includes
head shots in the studio's monthly $225 tuition. They
are an essential, Jones said, for anyone serious about
Dudley is one of 28 members of Jones' studio. As a senior
at Lord Botetourt High School, this is her fourth year
in the Ensemble. She said the amount of time she spends
on the program varies throughout the year.
this week, rehearsal lasts a few hours every day to
do all the work that has to happen to make the show
as wonderful as it usually turns out to be," she said.
All of the
teens in the groups, Jones said, are motivated. Despite
participating in numerous activities besides the theater
programs, they all keep good grades.
have C averages won't be able to handle this," he said.
"It's not a typical high school drama group. Here, everyone
is interested. They want to be here and they want to
Out of the
28 teens participating this year, Jones predicts four
or five will major in theater in college. He believes
his program is "a huge stepping-stone for anyone interested
often e-mail Jones to thank him for the experience and
tell him about their lives. One now appears on the soap
opera "The Bold and the Beautiful" while another works
at New York City's famous Juilliard performing arts
school. They told Jones they became professionals through
his program and learned how to audition successfully.
teaching just theater but also life skills," Jones said.
"You're constantly auditioning in life. You have to
the teens to have "confidence, not arrogance."
a junior at Patrick Henry High School, said she believes
the program has helped her in many different ways.
about so many new aspects of the theater and really
just improved myself 100 percent," she said. "The whole
experience has also given me a lot more confidence."
agree that Jones teaches them a lot.
energetic," Brooklyn said. "He treats us like adults,
and he genuinely listens to our concerns and opinions."
said that one of her favorite parts of the studio is
"the challenge to continually improve, and to be great
instead of good."
wonderful feeling when people who have been to more
than one show tell you how great you have gotten," she
Saturday, the studio presented its fifth show called
"Broadway Rocks!" that included songs from rock musicals
such as "Rent" and "Aida." Jones said he designed the
performance to showcase the teens' talent and voices.
the shows around the kids so it's the best possible
material for them," he said.
year, the auditorium was filled to capacity and people
were turned away at the door. So what does that mean
for stage fright? Brooklyn said that while her nerves
aren't as intense as they were, she still gets a little
people staring at anyone, how could one possibly be
completely secure?" she said. "The best feeling is looking
out and not being able to find a single seat open and
seeing silhouettes of people standing in the back that
really are interested in seeing us perform."
she believes the audience is just as important as the
for such a large group is probably going to throw us
all off a little, but we'll end up just feeding off
their energy," she said. "The audience provides a lot
of energy, which is so important for a show like ours."
weeks of hard work, intense rehearsals and stress, Jones
and teens in the studio were able to see their hard
work pay off.
them really hard, but in a nurturing way," Jones said.
"For me, this is a passion, and I love it when they
get on board and share it with me. Everyone has the
same goal: The show has to happen."