About Us

Come join us for a total theater immersion full of excitement, state-of-the-art vocal, dance, drama, and music training, as well as the magic of theater! This academy is the only one of its kind in this area. Our goal is to provide training in the performing arts within a fun, friendly, and encouraging environment. We believe that exposing individuals to the beauty of the stage builds confidence and creativity.

Dr. Cari Tellis is a Full Professor at Misericordia University and is a voice specialist with certification as a Master Teacher and Course Instructor in the Estill Voice Training System™. Participants at PATA will learn aspects of this voice training system, which is used by professional singers and actors from Broadway to the Met to Nashville to London’s West End and Covent Garden.

A voice scientist, voice therapist, and singer with over 15 years of experience as a voice specialist working with professional speakers and singers, Dr. Tellis approaches voice training from a physiology and science perspective, merging this approach with the artistry of speaking and singing. She trains performers to be advocates for their voice and vocal health. Dr. Tellis values this type of instruction at an early age to make sure healthful singing and speaking habits are formed, though she does believe this training can be applied to training at any age.

The Academy includes a strong, talented team of professional performance coaches. Dr. Tellis will directly train participants in singing and speaking voice production, character voices, and acting. Our dance coach, Lauren Timek, will train participants in the mechanics of dance which will translate into a variety of different dance expressions including ballet, pointe, tap, jazz, lyrical, modern, character, hip hop, and music theater. Lonnie Barone is an Executive Leadership Coach and our PATA playwright. Lonnie’s focuses his training in public speaking, personal presentation style, and acting.

One of our primary goals is to expose children to the performing arts. Results of research indicate that the performing arts improve academic performance including reading comprehension, verbal skills, and standardized test scores in typically developing children as well as children with learning disabilities. The performing arts have also been shown to build self-confidence and self-esteem, as well as improve attendance at school.

Another primary objective at PATA is to promote vocal health and vocal awareness, and to instill in young performers the knowledge and foundation of physical movement to decrease the risk of vocal and physical injury related to speaking, singing, and dancing. This knowledge makes it more likely that individuals interested in the performing arts will be able to perform for as long as they desire. Not every young individual in the performing arts, however, will pursue a career in theater or the arts; but many will seek jobs where their voices are essential to their work and communication with others—jobs that include teachers, lawyers, managers, and those in allied health professions like speech-language pathology, nursing, physical therapy, and physician assistants. The skills they learn at PATA will help them communicate effectively throughout their entire career.

The agenda for our Summer camp includes the following: group and individual coaching in voice, dance, acting, rhythm, and music theory; theater games; fun improvisations; public speaking skills; and intensive training for the advanced performer. Camp counselors will be available throughout the day and will have planned exciting and fun activities such as face painting and other games. The performance will be an original script that will feature popular songs and skits, as well as creative dance numbers.

We know that great performers are aware of the mechanics behind voice production and movement for dance. Mechanics combined with artistry creates freedom for performers to choose the way they want to sing, act, and dance. This freedom comes from knowledge; and with that knowledge comes powerful performance.