Antioch high school students enjoy arts from kitchen to stage

Through March, students from Antioch High School will experience two different opportunities in the arts with TPAC. Theatre arts and culinary arts, that is.

In conjunction with the tour of PIPPIN, TPAC received a grant from the Broadway League (the industry trade association) to explore the history and themes of the Tony Award-winning revival. Thirty theatre students and Kimberly McLemore, director of the choral and theatre arts department, will take part in sessions led by local artists. Activities will include:

  • Learning the song “Corner of the Sky” and writing lyrics for a verse about their lives and goals for the future, led by TPAC teaching artist Ginger Newman;
  • Experimenting with choreography in the style of Bob Fosse, the show’s original director and choreographer, instructed by TPAC teaching artist Pam Atha; and
  • An introduction to circus arts and a juggling lesson with Jacob Weiss, founder of Playing By Air Productions.

Pippin is an ideal match for a project with high school students. They’ll connect their own lives to the story of the title character, a young man who’s questioning possible directions in his life,” said Kristin Dare-Horsley, TPAC’s director of education outreach. “The student will also experience the artistry of two great figures in American musical theatre —composer Stephen Schwartz and director/choreographer Bob Fosse. With circus arts added to the mix, it really is a rich, unique experience, and we’re grateful to the Broadway League for providing the opportunity.”

When they see PIPPIN at TPAC, the Antioch students will take a backstage tour and enjoy dialogue with touring artists.

student preparing food

An Antioch student prepares food for an Arts Appetizer at TPAC.

Paralleling the rise in popularity of cooking shows and celebrity chefs on television, “culinary arts” has emerged as a specific course of studies in Metro Nashville Public Schools and nationwide.

Taught by Chef Michael Adams, students in the culinary arts program of Antioch High School will take part in the appearance of Robert Irvine, the British celebrity chef, at TPAC on March 26, assisting on stage and helping with the catering for a pre-show event.

Chef Irvine’s show is a mix of cooking, theatre arts, video projections, health, and fitness. Interacting with audience members, his fast-paced show features a series of surprising physical and creative cooking challenges designed to test the celebrity as he races against the clock.  Irvine has appeared on a variety of Food Network programs including Dinner: Impossible, Worst Cooks in America, Restaurant: Impossible, and Restaurant Express.

“When Chef Adams and his students catered an event for TPAC prior to the performance of Chicago in October, the food was delicious and beautifully presented. I know that working closely with a celebrity chef will be a fun, unforgettable learning experience for them,” said Dare-Horsley. “I’ve loved working with the teachers and the teenagers on both theatre and culinary arts.”

TPAC and the Antioch High School Academy of Tourism and Hospitality are “Pencil Partners,” a program of the Pencil Foundation to link Metro Nashville Public Schools with Community Resources.

PIPPIN in TPAC’s Andrew Jackson Hall March 10-15, 2015.

Robert Irvine Live in James K. Polk Theater March 26, 2015.


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