Education

At CEPA, our education efforts focus on opening the doors of our facility to those who wish to learn more about the performance and technical aspects of theater. For years, we have hosted an annual Drama Camp for area youth. In 2017, we plan to expand.

The CEPA Board of Directors is currently planning an annual workshop for actors to train in specific styles of famous playwrights. In addition, we are designing acting, technical and improv classes for adults.

Learn more about our programs below from those who have participated.


How CEPA Drama Camp changed the direction of one St. Clair student’s life

One year ago, Odenville student Maci Johnsey was heading into ninth grade at St. Clair County High School when she realized something – some day, she wanted to be on Broadway.

Pell City High School student Maci Johnsey changed schools last year to continue her drama education, a path she discovered through attending the CEPA Summer Drama Camp. Photos courtesy of Maci Johnsey.

Pell City High School student Maci Johnsey changed schools last year to continue her drama education, a path she discovered through attending the CEPA Summer Drama Camp. Photos courtesy of Maci Johnsey.

She had always been a singer, and she loved the stage. But after attending CEPA Summer Drama Camp two years in a row, she learned something else. She wasn’t just a singer.

“In the first two weeks, I learned in Drama Camp how to expand my ability,” Maci said. “I felt like through theater I could be so much better than I was with just a microphone.”

With that in mind heading into her ninth grade year, Maci made a choice. Many of her Drama Camp friends attended Pell City High School and participated in its drama program. If she wanted to keep going, she had to leave her Odenville friends behind.

“Although I didn’t know anyone at Pell City High School really, I was attached to the kids I spent the summer with,” Maci said. “I decided it was worth it, so I requested to change schools.”
So she did, and it seems to have paid off.

As only a freshman in 2015, Maci performed with the PCHS Drama Department at State Competition at Troy University. She was an assistant stage manager for The Addams Family, she ran special effects for Hiram: The Story of a Young Hank Williams, and she played three parts in the Department’s spring production, Shrek the Musical.

“Through all of this, I still managed to make it back to my old middle school and help with two productions,” Maci said. “Being 14 I could not drive, but my friends and family made it possible for me to eat and get home when I had theatre until 8 at night.”

Maci said that’s what she really received from Drama Camp in those first two years – unbreakable bonds.

“We are a great big family, and I have surely made many life long friends,” Maci said. “You can be yourself – be as different as you want to be – and everyone is is so warm and accepting.

 

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