Amas' transformative musical theatre performance and training program, enrolls up to 30 culturally and economically diverse young people between the ages of 14 and 20 in all-day classes and rehearsals Saturdays and some Sundays from October through May. Students study with theatre professionals in acting, improvisation, singing, dance, creative writing and stagecraft. 60% of our students receive full or partial scholarships. The program concludes with a fully produced musical that runs for two-weeks in an Off Broadway theatre.
Bringing young people together to study and work in musical theatre, promoting empathy for others, self-awareness, teamwork, and racial harmony, has always been a basic tenet of our mission.
Educational programs at Amas offer today's youth the opportunity to learn with seasoned professionals, who not only serve to educate, but act as important role models. Our unique programming offers critical life experience to under-served young people by instilling poise, professional discipline, self-confidence and the desire to succeed.
The Rosetta LeNoire Musical Theatre Academy
Amas' transformative musical theatre performance and training program, enrolls up to 30 culturally and economically diverse young people between the ages of 14 and 20 in all-day classes and rehearsals Saturdays and some Sundays from October through May. Students study with professionals in acting, improvisation, singing, dance, creative writing and stagecraft. 60% of our students receive full or partial scholarships. The program concludes with a fully produced musical that runs for two-weeks in an Off-Off Broadway theatre.
Eubie Blake and the Amas Academy
The Amas Teen Academy began life in 1976 as The Eubie Blake Youth Theatre, named for the celebrated composer, lyricist and piano player whose breakthrough career included some of the first works by an African American to ever appear on Broadway. The Youth Theatre was the inspiration of Amas founder Rosetta LeNoire (1911-2002), to whom Blake had long been teacher, mentor, and friend. Her own career as an actress spanned much of the 20th Century, in all theatrical media, from her Broadway debut in Mike Todd’s Hot Mikado (1939) to her starring role as Mother Winslow on ABC’s Family Matters (1989-97). A few years after Blake’s passing in 1983 at the age of 96, the Youth Theatre was renamed The Rosetta LeNoire Musical Theatre Academy, leveraging her late-career fame. The names “Amas Academy” and “Amas Teen Academy” have also emerged as accepted shorthand alternatives.
LeNoire founded Amas (Latin for “you love”) in 1968, at the height of a very divisive era for the nation, to bring people of all colors, ethnicities, and backgrounds together via musical theatre. And her focus from the beginning was twofold: professional theatre, achieving early success for Amas as the birthplace of the Broadway and international touring sensation Bubbling Brown Sugar, and theatre arts education for young people.
Now in our 47th year developing new musicals celebrating diversity, multiculturalism, and the exploration of minority perspectives, Amas remains committed to youth. Our mission specifically embraces the artistic education of underserved young people in the New York area, and the emergence of new generations of talented, young, professional theatre artists.
Amas Musical Theatre Arts-in-Education Programs
Amas Musical Theatre programs can be designed for students with disabilities, students’ with limited English proficiency, as well as gifted students, and educationally disadvantaged students. We are committed to integrating the arts with students’ current academic programs. All Amas Residencies can be tailored to fit a school’s needs and budget.
The Immigration Experience
Amas’ Signature Educational Program is an artist-in-residence program for middle and high school students. The workshops are comprised of up to 32 visits with Amas Teaching Artists specializing in play writing, theatre and musical composition. Students learn theatre techniques while researching their families’ and communities’ immigration histories through oral histories, conducting interviews and field trips.
With the collaborative support of the classroom teacher and teaching artist, the students formulate their research into dramatic writings and songs which are performed for the school and extended community. Theatre techniques include improvisation, character intent and motivation, script writing, observation, gesture, story dramatization, story telling, and role playing, making connections and analysis. Student’s original work is published in a collection they can keep. The program incorporates aspects of the social studies, language arts, performing arts and computer curriculums, and is structured with an awareness of the NYC Performance Standards established to assess student learning.
This program has improved class attendance, broadened vocabulary for ESL students and given a positive expressive outlet for all participating students.
Curriculum Link: Social Studies, Language Arts, Math Grades 7-12
This in-school residency from four to 12 weeks brings the musical theatre experience to younger children. Students learn age-appropriate musical theatre songs as well as dances to accompany them. An Amas Musical Theatre musical director and choreographer work with the students in shaping a mini-version of a Broadway show that relates to themes or curriculum being studied in their classroom. Stagecraft and other aspects of theatre production, such as dialogue, sets, costumes, etc., are introduced and explored.
Curriculum Link: Social Studies, Language Arts, Math Grades Pre-K-2
Lens on Live Theatre
Lens on Live Theatre is an educational outreach program providing middle and high-school students the opportunity to attend an Amas Musical Theatre Mainstage Production while learning about the world of musical theatre. In four classroom workshops, the students get an in-depth look inside our Mainstage Productions, including music and lyrics, choreography, design elements and scene study, as well as an introduction into what it takes to produce a musical. Amas teaching artists visit your school three times prior to the show and then one visit after the show to wrap up and review the performance. Our teaching artists work closely with classroom teachers, introducing their students to the many components of a professional Off-Broadway production, including the variety of careers available in the world of theater.
Curriculum Link: Performing Arts, Social Studies, Language Arts -- All Grades, depending upon the appropriateness of the production.
Living Museum: Looking at Ancient History through Theatre, Stories and Songs
Designed to follow the New York City Sixth Grade Social Studies curriculum of Ancient Cultures, Philosophy and History of Religion, students explore being a creative artist during this residency of up to 20 workshop visits. Students engage in the roles of director, performer and writer as they create, rehearse and perform original stories and folk tales in the style of the cultures they are studying. Students work with a Greek or Roman Myth, Aesop Fables and African folk tales and explore the question, “How can theatre, dance, music and visual art, be used as the vehicle by which we tell the story of the evolution of humankind?” Students explore traditional theatrical skills of enunciation, vocal projection, motivation and focus, gesture, physical expression, active listening, eye-contact and scene study. They also study part of a play by Shakespeare that focuses upon the ancient past through plot, character, and utilization of language. After each unit of study there will be a short demonstration of student work. This residency will also work with mask and instrument making.
Curriculum Link: Social Studies, Language Arts -- Grades 6-8
Our America: The Civil Rights Movement through Song and Story
This in-school residency explores the African-American Civil Rights Movement, the speeches of Dr. Martin Luther King, and Protest and Peace Songs. Students use their knowledge and understanding of American history and explore how artists reflected on the human condition during such an important period in our American culture. Poetry of White, Black and Latino Americans is also explored as students comment on the Civil Rights Movement within their perspective communities. These songs and stories become the basis for a dramatic presentation.
Curriculum Link: Social Studies, Language Arts -- Grades 4-8
Passport Around the World
An in-school residency with up to 18 teaching artist visits based upon the social studies curriculum of communities and neighborhoods at home and around the world. Students study folk tales, songs and/or dances from the 7 continents. Amas Teaching Artists collaborate with the classroom teacher to determine which countries or cultures will be studied. Students create their own U.S. Passports which will includes their picture and is stamped with flags from the different countries they “visit” and study. Using theatre games and improvisation, students explore themes and cultural paradigms of the various songs, dances and stories, as well as begin to be familiar with basic stagecraft. They examine relationships between geographical locations by learning how to distinguish north, south, east and west and by working with maps. In addition, students learn songs from the American Musical repertoire. This program concludes with a final presentation of the pieces studied for the school community.
Curriculum Link: Social Studies, Language Arts, Earth Science --
Urban Mythography: Journey of the Hero
A program for elementary and middle school students to explore Native American, Asian, classical Western and European mythologies and the heroic icons symbolized within these cultures. Students uncover the mythic themes that create our own culture and sense of self. Amas Musical Theatre Teaching Artists employ a variety of theatre-based techniques to guide students in discovering and expressing their own contemporary vision of the heroic self, a kind of “best practices” for life. The class then creates an original piece which will be rehearsed and presented to the extended school community.
Curriculum Link: Social Studies, Language Arts --
Out of School Time Programs
Bring an Amas Musical Theatre Teaching Artist to your After School Program! Our residency programs can be structured to fit in with your After-School program or combined with other activities and homework help.