New Naperville choir charity takes 'Road Show' to virtual realm

  • Show choir members with the new Naperville nonprofit Road Show Inc. perform during the Clash of the Sequins competition early this year at Naperville North High School. Choir members this summer are participating in virtual classes to sharpen their singing, dancing and acting skills.

    Show choir members with the new Naperville nonprofit Road Show Inc. perform during the Clash of the Sequins competition early this year at Naperville North High School. Choir members this summer are participating in virtual classes to sharpen their singing, dancing and acting skills. Courtesy of Scott Butler & TokenBrit Photography

  • Participants in the Dynamites and Starlights show choirs with the new Naperville nonprofit Road Show Inc. enjoyed singing and performing for residents at nursing homes before the COVID-19 pandemic began. Now, they're taking virtual classes to improve their singing and dancing skills.

    Participants in the Dynamites and Starlights show choirs with the new Naperville nonprofit Road Show Inc. enjoyed singing and performing for residents at nursing homes before the COVID-19 pandemic began. Now, they're taking virtual classes to improve their singing and dancing skills. Courtesy of Road Show Inc.

 
 
Updated 5/27/2020 4:19 PM

Their favorite place to perform was at nursing homes, but that was before the COVID-19 pandemic took hold.

Now, the roughly 40 members of the new Naperville nonprofit organization Road Show Inc. aren't taking their show choir performances on the road to visit seniors. Instead, they're practicing music theory, choreography, acting and singing with virtual classes to begin next month.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Road Show Inc. formed in September 2019 after the closure last summer of the School of Performing Arts in Naperville. Carrie Bramlett, a longtime musical theater teacher, is the executive director of the new organization, which aims to connect children to the broader community through the performing arts.

"Something that has always been a passion of mine is giving my students an opportunity to share their love of performance and storytelling with not just their parents," Bramlett said. "It's so much more than putting on a show for mom and dad. It's really about sharing joy."

Performing at nursing homes last fall and early this year allowed Road Show participants ages 9 to 14 to feel like they have "something special to share," Bramlett said, and to converse and connect with older residents before and after their song-and-dance shows.

This summer was supposed to be the time for a Road Show musical, which participants would have put on throughout the Naperville area before beginning a show choir season anew in the fall.

by signing up you agree to our terms of service
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Instead, participants in the Starlights and Dynamites show choirs are signing up for six virtual classes, each to take place weekly throughout June, led by Road Show's four teaching artists and a couple of guest instructors. Classes include a crash course in music theory, a dance workshop, a Broadway audition workshop, a musical theater song and scene acting lab, an on-camera acting workshop and voice lessons.

"We wanted to focus on what we can do, not what we couldn't do any longer. We continue to connect with our kids and engage their families," Bramlett said. "Give them opportunities to work with each other, to smile at each other."

Each virtual class costs $100, but scholarships are available and new participants are welcome. To register, visit https://roadshowinc.org/summer-2020-1.

0 Comments
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 
Article Comments ()
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.