Ensemble Musical Theatre – Peter Pan

Broadway’s timeless classic musical whisks you away to a place where dreams are born and no one ever grows up!
July 6-17. For students entering grades 2-12.

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Children's Musical Theatre – Magic Tree House

Travel back in time with Jack and Annie to the land of the dinosaurs in this adaptation of the best-selling book series. For students entering grades 2-6.

June 15-26 {Placement Auditions May 18 -everyone gets a role!}

Register Today

Kidz Musical Theatre - Jungle Book Kids

Join Disney’s beloved “man cub”, Mowgli, as he marches his way through the jungle and learns what it means to be human with the help of his friends. A great introduction to the stage for students entering grades K-2.

June 8-19 with Performances June 18 & 19

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Learn.

What we teach and how we teach it is a critical component of our work at PAA. With everyone at PAA focused on education and helping students to learn something new or grow in a learned skill set, we regularly see students achieve new levels of performance.

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Perform.

Taking your skills to new heights, using the practical application of performance which allows every student the opportunity to succeed with confidence on stage.

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Grow.

Take your learning to a new level. Become a better version of you at PAA.

Technical Theatre – Peter Pan

Technical Theatre – Peter Pan

Rock Drum and Guitar Camp

Rock Drum and Guitar Camp

Drum and Guitar Camp – Beginners

Drum and Guitar Camp – Beginners

Orchestra Camp – July

Orchestra Camp – July

Orchestra Camp – June

Orchestra Camp – June

Band Camp – July

Band Camp – July

Band Camp – June

Band Camp – June

Technical Theatre – Annie Jr & Disney’s High School Musical Jr

Technical Theatre – Annie Jr & Disney’s High School Musical Jr

Summer Acting Workshop

Summer Acting Workshop

Ensemble Musical Theatre – Peter Pan

Ensemble Musical Theatre – Peter Pan

Youth Musical Theatre – High School Musical Jr.

Youth Musical Theatre – High School Musical Jr.

Children’s Musical Theatre – Magic Tree House Dinosaurs Before Dark Kids

Children’s Musical Theatre – Magic Tree House Dinosaurs Before Dark Kids

Children’s Musical Theatre – 101 Dalmatians Kids

Children’s Musical Theatre – 101 Dalmatians Kids

Children’s Musical Theatre – Annie Kids

Children’s Musical Theatre – Annie Kids

Kidz Theatre Intensive – Jungle Book Kids

Kidz Theatre Intensive – Jungle Book Kids

Summer Camp – Carle’s Critters

Summer Camp – Carle’s Critters

Summer Camp – Big Box of Boyton

Summer Camp – Big Box of Boyton

Our Experiences

Trying to find the PAA experience that is right for you? Please take a moment to select and read about and experience below.

Theatre

Children's Musical Theatre

A larger stage for kids 2nd-6th grade to continue to expand their performing arts skills and grow their confidence!

Kidz Theatre

A musical theatre program designed for K-2nd graders to introduce them to a full script, costumes, props and the big stage.

Ensemble Theatre

Combining 2nd through 12th graders to work collaboratively in a single production.

Summer Acting Workshop

Our one week workshop will take you through all the fundamentals of acting including body work, breath, mental preparation and improvisation. We will also cast, rehearse and perform one act plays.

Summer Camps

At St. Luke’s PAA learning the skills for the stage start at 3 years of age. Our Summer Camp is filled to the gills with acting and stage work basic skills that any young performer needs to know and because we do it with the help of our favorite books and songs – it is more fun than you can possibly imagine!

The Next Level

For High School students who want to fine tune their musical theatre experience even more! Features a Broadway Review in which every student that is cast is featured in the performances.

Youth Theatre

A natural growth in to more challenging productions to continue to develop performing arts skills!

Technical Theatre

Under the direction of a professional Technical Director, advance your knowledge and understanding of the Theater behind the scenes. Hands-on learning throughout the two week intensive includes script analysis, set design, construction, costumes, make-up, properties, lighting, and sound that culminate in the final performances of Intensive I. Tuition includes scripts, T-shirt, daily snack and party. Please bring a pencil, water bottle and wear work clothes for painting and construction days.

Script Analysis: Translate the text of a show and begin creating the visual representations for the production. Set Design and Construction: Learn the basics of set design and construction. Properties: What are they and why are they needed? Delve into the world of creating everyday things. Costumes and Make Up: What makes a costume? Learn what costume design entails. Get a fresh look at make up techniques and how to remake a face to suit a show. Lighting and Sound: Learn how to add the drama and sound to any production. Create lighting cues and use a sound board to make our productions come to life!

Music

Band Camp

PAA Band Camp is in its 4th year and growing! PAA has expanded to now include a separate camp for youth in 7th and 8th grades. Students will receive amazing instruction from incredible local band instructors while having a ton of fun! Join us for a week of jam sessions, music theory, instrumental technique, ensemble rehearsal and group and individual lessons. You will perform a final concert for your family and friends at the end of the week. Tuition includes a music folder, t-shirt, daily snack and class handouts. Instruments include: Flute, Clarinet, Trumpet, Alto Sax, Tenor Sax, Barry Sax, Tuba, Trombone, Baritone, and Drums.

Orchestra Camp

PAA Orchestra Camp is in its 4th year and growing! PAA has expanded to now include a separate camp for youth in 7th and 8th grades. Students will receive amazing instruction from incredible orchestra instructors while having a ton of fun! Join us for a week of jam sessions, music theory, instrumental technique, ensemble rehearsal and group and individual lessons. You will perform a final concert for your family and friends at the end of the week. Tuition includes a music folder, t-shirt, daily snack and class handouts. Instruments include: Violin, Viola, Cello, and Bass.

Drum and Guitar Camps for Beginners

An great introduction to drums and guitars for students wanting to begin a new instrument. Drum Camp will introduce students to the drum set, and Guitar Camp includes bass, electric and acoustic guitars. Students will receive amazing instruction from incredible PAA faculty instructors Robb Heskett and Dave Shugert, while having a ton of fun! Join us for a week of jam sessions, music theory, instrumental technique, ensemble rehearsal and group and individual lessons. You will perform a “shareformance” for your family and friends at the end of the week. Tuition includes a music folder, t-shirt, daily snack and class handouts.

Rock Drum and Guitar Camps

Drum and guitar players – are you ready to rock?!? Students will receive amazing instruction from incredible PAA faculty instructors Robb Heskett and Dave Shugert, while having a ton of fun! Join us for a week of jam sessions, music theory, instrumental technique, ensemble rehearsal and group and individual lessons. You will perform a “shareformance” for your family and friends at the end of the week. Tuition includes a music folder, t-shirt, daily snack and class handouts.

Creativity part I – Where’s it going?

A post by Dr. James Ramsey, PAA Executive Director. From the 1980’s to present, American education has seen a continuing decline in funding support for music and arts in the classroom. In spite of all the written evidence of surveys, reports, and studies, creative... read more

Practice: Audition Cold Reading

A post by Jenna Wilcox, PAA Artistic Director. Has this ever happened to you? You are in an audition that is going great and then the director asks you to take some pages from the script and read for a character. You have no idea who this character is and the director... read more

Summer Camp Fun

A post by Jenna Wilcox, PAA Artistic Director. At PAA learning about theatre and performance starts at age 3. Preschoolers are open to new ideas and ready for imaginative play, making acting, dance and music the perfect playground. We use games to start talking about... read more

Scenic Design

A post by Jenna Wilcox, PAA Artistic Director. Have you ever been to a show and been drawn into the world of the play right away? You walk in, sit down and feel as if you have arrived at a different time or place? A great scenic design can help the audience suspend... read more

Eli loved Acting Workshop! In fact, the next morning – a Saturday morning – he said, “I wish I had Acting Workshop today.” He loves you all!

Mary

Parent

Students Educated

Most places I’ve gone, I haven’t made friends but this one I did and I kept those friends.

Student

I am the Education & Community Engagement Coordinator at Central City Opera, and I was in charge of organizing the interactive family activities for our production of Amahl and the Night Visitors. This included an origami art making activity, and handing out light-up star pendants to the children in the audiences after each performance. I had the pleasure of working with the Performing Arts Academy students who were in the opera. I really needed some extra hands to help me, and these hard-working, professional, fun, respectful, and talented kids helped me facilitate these activities without any hesitation. It was so fun to meet them, have them help me, and then watch them perform! I was thoroughly impressed by every single kid. As we say in the opera world, “Bravi, tutti!” And thank you!

Emily Murdock

Education and Community Engagement Coordinator, Central City Opera

The Performing Arts Academy summer theater camp was the perfect choice for my tween daughter.  She made some great friends, improved her acting and singing skills, and the PAA instructors were fantastic.  I can’t believe they pulled off the amazing production of Fame in just 2 weeks!  I’m not at all surprised that it’s the Denver A List 2013 Runner Up for Best Theatre Group, and the Macaroni Kid 2013 Family Choice Winner (Best Drama/Theater Class and Best Children’s Theater).

Nicki

Parent

My daughter loves connecting with her friends and meeting new friends with the same interests every year.  What has brought us back? The quality of programming… mixing the educational/skills building with the performance and adding in fun aspects of being a kid…candy kudos, games, dancing, etc

Parent

PAA is Hannah’s favorite part of summer.Her participation over the past three years has really helped to improve her self confidence and motivate her in school.  She looks forward to doing other productions, in addition to PAA, and she enjoys working with all the participants and directors. She was transformed by the experience and her confidence has blossomed.

Barry Curtis

Parent

I must say that I was very impressed with the program.  Emily really loved it, and I can even see a bit more confidence in her.  She had a soccer tournament the weekend after the show, and she definitely played more aggressively than usual!  Thank you to you and all the PAA staff.  You all did a wonderful job.  I feel blessed to be a part of a church that offers these awesome programs.  We are looking forward to next year.

Parent

Performing Arts Academy is something I look forward to all year long. It is a chance to meet new friends and spend time with your current friends while putting on a fantastic show and learning many skills that will be useful your whole life.

TJ

Student (13 years old)

Even though he was upset with me that I had signed him up at the beginning.  Your crew pulled him in with  “embrace your weirdness”.  I don’t know what would have worked in a website to make him want to go before he went and experienced it.  I would say that the performance you had on Friday was probably your best marketing.  The impromptu stuff was engaging to everyone including the audience and so fun.  It made a 48 year old woman with never a desire to perform want to get involved.  If he would have been sitting in the audience, that might have picked his interest in going.  He can’t wait till the next opportunity to do this again.  He said sign me up for whatever they have.  I am so grateful to you and everyone involved for getting my uninspired teenager inspired again!

Cindy

Parent

Who We Are

Our Mission

To provide transformative character building experiences in K-12 students through performing arts education.

The Performing Arts Academy (PAA) will be widely recognized as providing the best performing arts experiences in the greater Denver metropolitan area.

Character – Through Integrity and Leadership

  1. Creating transformative experiences and nurturing self-esteem for our students.
  2. Inspiring an understanding of diversity that includes people of all abilities, socioeconomic status, ethnicity, and faiths.
  3. Cultivating leadership through service to our students, modeling a spirit of kindness, generosity and service to others.
  4. Holding an unwavering commitment to our mission and values with authenticity, transparency, and the highest standards of conduct and character.

Where We Are Today

The Performing Arts Academy (PAA) is based out of St. Luke’s United Methodist Church, located at 8817 South Broadway, in Highlands Ranch, Colorado. In 2006, James Ramsey and Roberta Hamilton Griggs created a theater arts program that would engage 26 children and their families, inspiring them to reveal brilliance and to grow within their community.

In the south metro Denver area, PAA is unique, attracting students of all backgrounds and employing quality, seasoned professionals with degrees in music theater, music performance and music education. The teaching staff consistently designs and implements curriculum that delivers a high quality experience in performing arts for children of all abilities. Our educational model focuses on teaching confidence, cooperation, collaboration, creativity, and community through performing arts experiences.

Current programs include

  1. Summer Musical Theatre:
    • Summer Camp for 3 year olds – Kindergarten
    • Summer Musical Theater Intensives (2-week programs that involve curriculum-driven classes and performance-based rehearsals)
    •      – Kidz Theatre for Kindergarten – 2nd grade
    •      – Children’s Theatre for 2nd – 6th grade
    •      – Youth Theatre for 7th – 12th grade
    •      – Ensemble Theatre for 2nd – 12th grade
    • The Next Level for 9th – 12th grade (by audition only)
    • See an overview of PAA’s summer musical theatre offerings.
  2. Summer Acting Workshop
  3. Band Camp
  4. Orchestra Camp
  5. Beginning Keyboard for 4-7 year olds
  6. Acting, Singing and Improv classes each Spring and Fall, including a Musical Theatre opportunity for students enrolled in a class

Programs are held at St. Luke’s United Methodist Church, Mountain Vista High School, and East Elementary in Littleton.

PAA has grown from 26 students in 2006 to over 650 students in 2014. Continued growth patterns indicate over 2,000 students in multiple programs by 2018. Facility needs for staff and faculty have been accommodated by the continued generosity of St. Luke’s United Methodist Church, but our rapid growth will soon demand additional space. Staffing and program needs will expand proportionately, demanding skillful management to maintain steady and successful growth over time.

Long term strategic planning options include but are not limited to:

  1. Building successful programs in music and theater for children.
  2. Expanding into local schools to enhance music and theater education.
  3. Developing community partnerships to support and sustain growth.
  4. Creating a safe space where students are inspired.

PAA continues its efforts to become a self-sustaining organization, with partnerships, fund-raising and grant writing supplementing the current model of “fee for services.”

If its your first time or your hundredth time visiting our website, we welcome you and encourage you to search the many different aspects and opportunities at PAA. Since our first day in the summer of 2006, we’ve continually created, modified, and refined our programs to fit the needs of the surrounding community. Each of these programs fosters individual growth and skill building and is tailored to fit the age group represented. At PAA, we place a high value on the student experience and with that comes the responsibility to engage the student in dialogue around our core values: Curriculum, Character and Community. In order to sustain a consistent method of instruction, our Teaching Artists create curriculums that follow or align with state standards for music and arts education. We also stress the importance of building an individual’s character through transformative experiences that can often lead to greater self esteem, leadership ability, service and acceptance of diversity. In addition, the value of being in community is simply allowing the student to recognize the connectedness we all share and how they function differently because of that awareness. PAA has encountered a 40% or more growth rate since its inception. Sustaining this amount of growth over the years not only takes a talented staff but a dedicated one. As you explore the website, I encourage you to read more about our incredible PAA staff. They truly are amazing! Our vision for this program is to serve the needs of students in this community and create experiences that builds kids. PAA not only advances the cause of Performing Arts in the south Metro Denver area but moreover nurtures individual growth.

Dr. James Ramsey, Executive Director

Dr. Jim Ramsey

Dr. Jim Ramsey

Executive Director

Dr. Jim Bio

James Ramsey is Executive Director for the St. Luke’s Performing Arts Academy, Director of Music and Arts at St. Luke’s United Methodist Church, Adjunct Faculty at the University of Denver’s Lamont School of Music and Artistic Director for the Wesley Choral Festival. James has worked with various orchestras and ensembles in the area as well as served as Music Director and Conductor for the Littleton Chorale, Music Director for the University of Colorado Summer Opera Program, Chorus Master for the Colorado Music Festival, Associate Conductor of the Carolina Chamber Chorale and Assistant Conductor of the Grammy award-winning San Francisco Symphony Chorus preparing for several maestros including Michael Tilson Thomas, Sir Roger Norrington and Libor Pesek.

Ramsey has conducted choral and orchestral performances across Europe and the United States including professional engagements at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Red Rocks Amphitheater, and Kennedy Center (2015). As a baritone soloist, he has performed with CU Opera, Pikes Peak Opera, Opera Colorado, and Rochester (NY) Light Opera Theater.

James earned a Doctor of Musical Arts degree at the University of Colorado, Boulder, a Master of Music degree in conducting at the Eastman School of Music, and a Bachelor of Music Education at Middle Tennessee State University. Mentors and teachers include Joan Conlon, Vance George, Donald Neuen, Alfred Mann, and Samuel Adler. As an instructor, Ramsey has taught at the University of Colorado, Whitman College in Washington, and Brighton Central Schools in Rochester, NY. He has served as the American Choral Directors Association’s Repertoire and Standards Chair for Community Choirs for both Colorado and the Southwest Region. James resides in Littleton with his wife, Leigh, and their sons, Jack and Luke.

Jenna Wilcox

Jenna Wilcox

Artistic Director

Jenna's Bio

Since the age of three, Jenna has been performing and since the age of seven she has been directing. Her first show was a summer stock performance written with the help of her sisters and included original choreography, magic and storytelling that was memorable for every neighbor in attendance.

As she grew, she followed her passion to the stage and performed in roles such as Glinda in The Wizard of Oz, Mrs. Frank in The Diary of Anne Frank, Maize in The Boyfriend and most recently, Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing.

She has also directed many productions including Aladdin, Narnia, The Bear, The Proposal, The Wizard of Oz, and She Loves Me. She holds a Bachelors of Arts in Musical Theater from Friends University and has over 14 years experience directing and producing theater.

Kalond Irlanda

Kalond Irlanda

Producer

Kalond's Bio
Kalond is a Colorado native who has always had a strong passion for the performing arts! Starting at a very young age, he was performing in a variety of shows and participating in numerous performing arts activities. These activities included orchestra (1yr), concert band (5yrs), chamber choir (5yrs), vocal jazz (2yrs), and theatre (12yrs)! Although he is still considered rather young, Kalond is a member of Phi Theta Kappa, Golden Key, and Alpha Psi Omega. With a B.F.A. in Music Theatre from Metropolitan State University of Denver he continues to grow and craft his skills and knowledge as an actor, director, and producer.

Some of his favorite roles include, but are not limited to the following: Dan Goodman (Next To Normal), Pooh-Bah (The Mikado), Beethoven (Dog Sees God), Mad Hatter (Alice in Wonderland), Nick Bottom (A Midsummer Night’s Dream), Chet Pursy (On the Gold Trail with Deadwood Dick), and many more!

He is very excited to join the super-mega-foxy-awesome staff at the Performance Arts Academy and hopes to encourage any and all people to participate in the arts!

Valerie H. Koenig

Valerie H. Koenig

Social Media and Web Specialist

Valerie's Bio

Valerie has been a web designer for non-profits and small businesses since 2003. Outside of work Valerie enjoys volunteering with Special Olympics Colorado, her church, is active in her children’s school and is a soccer and basketball coach. Her favorite place to play is in the beautiful Colorado mountains.

Laura Benson

Laura Benson

Financial Manager

Laura's Bio

Laura Benson has always enjoyed being involved in her community and supporting worthwhile causes. She is the former treasurer of the Junior League of Fort Collins where she gained her experience working with non-profits. After ten years in banking and wealth management, she became a Certified Public Accountant currently working in manufacturing. As our most recent staff member, she is pleased to be part of managing the financial aspect our growing programs.

Kim Hay

Kim Hay

Operations Manager

Kim's Bio

As a Professional in Human Resources, recognized leader in business, and the current Director of Client Services for a multinational learning and development company Kim, brings more than 15 years of operational experience, success, and a solid work ethic to her new role at the Performing Arts Academy. While serving as an HR Business Partner, focused on Learning & Development, Kim managed a team in the US Corporate Headquarters while also serving her internal clients globally. She has been certified to facilitate Ken Blanchard’s “Situational Leadership” program as well as having proficiency in instructional design, executive coaching and human dynamics assessments including SDI, The Devine Inventory, and Extended DISC. As the Director of Client Services for Sandler Training Kim manages and leads a team of 10 people as well as coordinating the efforts of hundreds of independent franchise owners and their associates around the world.

Kim is a life-long learner and continues to pursue advancements in all areas of her life. She has a deep love of the Arts with a great appreciation for all types of music and dance. Since moving full time to Colorado Kim has taken a serious interest in both golf and skiing and practices both regularly.

Although a native New Yorker, Kim now calls Colorado home.

Our Teaching Artists

Our teaching artists are local top educators and theater professionals who regularly work in the local community. We are always looking to add hard working, top notch people. Do you have a love for kids and a passion for the arts? Consider joining our team today.

Our Board of Directors

Our board is compiled of local business people and professionals who have a passion for youth and PAA.

Come join the team at PAA!

Apply Now

Payment Policy

Payment is due at time of registration. However, PAA does offer four different payment plan options to help family budgets. See details below. Please contact the PAA Producer at 303-900-7041 or by email to make arrangements. Please note that Early Bird pricing is offered until one month prior to the start date of PAA camps and classes. At one month prior to the start date, Early Bird pricing ends and the price increases in order to cover the increased costs of late ordering of supplies for late-registering students.

Option 1: Pay in full

When registration occurs less than 30 days prior to the start date of PAA camps and classes, or if registrant selects to not use other payment plans.

Option 2: Two-Payment Plan

Available if student(s) register 30+ days prior to the start date of PAA camps and classes. The first payment equals 50% of the total tuition amount and is due upon completing registration. The remaining payment is charged to your credit card the following month. You will receive an email receipt notification after each transaction.  You will select your payment option after you register for a camp or class.

Option 3: Three-Payment Plan

Available if student(s) register 60+ days prior to the start date of PAA camps and classes. The first payment equals 34% of the total tuition amount and is due upon completing registration. The remaining equal payments are charged to your credit card the following 2 months. You will receive an email receipt notification after each transaction.  You will select your payment option after you register for a camp or class.

Option 4: Four-Payment Plan

Available if student(s) register 90+ days prior to the start date of PAA camps and classes. The first payment equals 25% of the total tuition amount and is due upon completing registration. The remaining payments are charged to your credit card the following 3 months. You will receive an email receipt notification after each transaction.  You will select your payment option after you register for a camp or class.

Please contact the PAA Producer if you have any questions about the payment options. Please note that if automatic payments extend past a registered program, the PAA Refund Policy cannot be requested.

Financial Aid and Work Study Application

PAA Financial Aid Application Guidelines

  • Complete the online form below as completely as possible and click submit.
  • All information is confidential.
  • Applications can only be submitted online.
  • Financial aid is limited for each program.
  • The Financial Aid Committee meets once each month and determines all requests.
  • Each applicant will be notified of the qualifying financial aid award, usually within 2­4 weeks following the date submitted.

Work Study Application Guidelines

  • Complete the online form as completely as possible and click submit.
  • All information is confidential.
  • Applications can only be submitted online with current references.
  • Deadline for submission is 30 days before the registered program.
  • The PAA staff and Artistic teams determine all awards.
  • Each applicant will be notified of the qualifying financial aid award, usually within 2­4 weeks following the date submitted.

Work Study Selection Procedure and Guidelines

  • The PAA Work Study Committee, comprised of members of PAA staff and the involved Artistic team, meet to review all applications before the start of the registered program.
  • Various factors are taken into account to determine the amount of the work­study award, such as income and student motivation, based on the applicant’s written statement and/or personal interviews.
  • Work Study Awards are available up to 50 percent of total tuition.
  • Upon agreement, the applicant enters into a contract with PAA as to specific duties/tasks for the work­study program.

PAA Cancellation and Refund Policy

  • PAA will offer a full refund of tuition less a $50 cancellation processing fee, per session, per child, for cancellations that occur up to 6 weeks before the start of the class, camp or program.
  • PAA will offer a 50 percent refund of tuition less a $50 cancellation processing fee, per session, per child, for cancellations that occur between 2 and 6 weeks before the start of any class, camp or program.
  • PAA will NOT offer any refunds for cancellations occurring within 14 days of the beginning of a class, camp or program. Consideration for family emergency will be made by the PAA Executive Director on a case­ by­ case basis.
  • PAA will not offer any refunds for expulsion or voluntary withdrawal during sessions. Consideration for withdrawals due to illness will be made by the PAA Executive Director on a case­ by­ case basis.
  • All requests will be processed within 7­-10 business days.
  • All requests for refund must be by form, submitted online or otherwise in writing.

St. Luke’s Performing Arts Academy

St. Luke’s Performing Arts Academy
8817 S. Broadway
Highlands Ranch, CO 80129

303.900.7041

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