ABOUT US

OUR MISSION

To provide a welcoming, educational environment to foster influential performing arts experiences.

OUR VISION

To grow a community that becomes one of the most prominent and enriching performing arts programs in the nation.

OUR APPROACH

We aim to empower each student to realize their full potential as a skilled, confident performer by providing a challenging, yet enjoyable, learning environment focused on developing authentic artistic expression. This approach is brought to life through our core values: Connection, Growth and Joy.

PROGRAMS IN STUDIO WEST

Studio West is all things Musical Theatre, Drama, Chorus and Technical Theatre for West Forsyth High School. Our programs are student focused and allow not only performance opportunities but also behind the scenes technical training.

INTRO TO MUSICAL THEATRE

Intro to Musical Theatre is a course designed to introduce, practice, and apply theatre as a performing art through the examination and exploration of dramatic structure and style, various acting techniques, various vocal techniques, various dance/movement techniques, scene study and character analysis, directing, theater terminology and actor’s etiquette, and entertainment business skills. The course provides an experiential learning environment to inspire students’ imaginations, creativity, critical thinking, communication, and collaboration. This class will perform/produce the junior version of the musical, Annie, in April. Students in this class will also have the opportunity to submit performance pieces for the Studio West Showcases in the Fall and in the Spring.

ADVANCED MUSICAL THEATRE

Advanced Musical Theatre is an audition-only, advanced placement, competition course designed to master theatre as a performing art through the application of various acting techniques, vocal techniques, dance/movement techniques, character analysis, theater terminology and actor’s etiquette, entertainment business skills, and audition skills. The course provides an experiential learning environment in a musical theatre company style performance setting to inspire students’ imaginations, creativity, critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and professionalism. Students will have the opportunity to work with professional musical theatre choreographers, musicians, vocal coaches, and other professional teaching artists. Students will also have the opportunity to explore career options in the performing arts industry and will receive information to assist them in their pursuit of a performing arts degree should they choose to pursue this. This class will perform/produce a one act version of Chicago in October for the GHSA One Act Competition and the full version of MAMMA MIA! for the Georgia High School Musical Theatre Awards — The Shuler Hensley Awards in March. Students in this class are encouraged to submit performance pieces for the Studio West Showcases in the Fall and in the Spring. 

ACTING 1

Acting I introduces the acting process and the role of the actor in various styles/methods with a focus on scene study; stresses developing imagination, observation, concentration powers, and self-discipline; includes developing physical and vocal control while transmitting emotions, convictions, and ideas; enhances self-confidence and self-awareness. Theatre is used as a means to encourage cooperative learning, team work, organization, and leadership skills. The class allows all students the opportunity to perform on a regular basis.

ADVANCED MUSICAL THEATRE

Advanced Musical Theatre is an audition-only, advanced placement, competition course designed to master theatre as a performing art through the application of various acting techniques, vocal techniques, dance/movement techniques, character analysis, theater terminology and actor’s etiquette, entertainment business skills, and audition skills. The course provides an experiential learning environment in a musical theatre company style performance setting to inspire students’ imaginations, creativity, critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and professionalism. Students will have the opportunity to work with professional musical theatre choreographers, musicians, vocal coaches, and other professional teaching artists. Students will also have the opportunity to explore career options in the performing arts industry and will receive information to assist them in their pursuit of a performing arts degree should they choose to pursue this. This class will perform/produce a one act version of Chicago in October for the GHSA One Act Competition and the full version of MAMMA MIA! for the Georgia High School Musical Theatre Awards — The Shuler Hensley Awards in March. Students in this class are encouraged to submit performance pieces for the Studio West Showcases in the Fall and in the Spring. 

ADVANCED DRAMA

Advanced Drama studies the artistic, technical, management, and performance elements of a live theatre production. As a part of the planning, rehearsal, and performance, students assume positions of responsibility and demonstrate basic knowledge and skills in acting, directing, artistic criticism, script analysis, staging, character creation, vocal techniques, and physical movement. Students recognize the responsibilities of the producer, director, actors, designers, technicians, and managers through collaboration in the creation of a theatre performance.

INTERMEDIATE MIXED CHORUS

Intermediate Mixed Chorus is a course that explores SATB group singing and choral arts with a wide variety of cultures, time periods, and genres through study and performance. The core curriculum emphasizes the basics of vocal technique, sight reading, music theory, and music history. Students in Choral Music are expected to perform their work throughout the semester in various performances. This class will perform at least three times throughout the year in performances, Large Group Performance Evaluation, and throughout the community.. 

ADVANCED TREBLE ENSEMBLE

Advanced Treble Ensemble (labeled Advanced Women’s Chorus on the course schedule) is a course that explores SSAA group singing and choral arts with a wide variety of cultures, time periods, and genres through study and performance. The core curriculum emphasizes an advanced level of vocal technique, sight reading, music theory, and music history. Students in this course are expected to perform their work throughout the semester in various performances. This class will perform at least three times throughout the year in performances, Large Group Performance Evaluation, and throughout the community.

ADVANCED A CAPPELLA ENSEMBLE

Advanced A Cappella Ensemble (Labeled Advanced Mixed Chorus on the course schedule) is a course that masters a cappella, SATB group singing and choral arts with a wide variety of cultures, time periods, and genres through study and performance. The core curriculum emphasizes the mastery of vocal technique, sight reading, music theory, and music history. Students in this course should have basic sight reading skills, be able to learn harmony parts quickly and sustain harmony parts independently, and must have excellent pitch/intonation, vocal agility, and the ability to balance vocally with 4+ harmony parts. Students in this course are expected to perform their work throughout the semester in various performances and competitions and audition for All State Chorus. This class will perform at least six times throughout the year in performances, competitions, Large Group Performance Evaluation, and throughout the community.

TECHNICAL THEATRE

Technical Theatre enhances skills in drafting and set design and includes in-depth exploration of light operation, sound operation, stage management, costume construction, set development, make-up, and production staff. This class will be designing and executing all technical elements for the Musical Theatre Productions.

Meet Our Directors & Special Guests

Our Studio West Performing Arts Program is among top level schools and performing arts centers across the U.S. We have amazing educators that are extremely gifted in their craft and we also bring in special guest artists to assist in certain areas of our program. Please let us introduce you to our team:

Sarah Clay Lindvall

Sarah Clay Lindvall

Program Director, Director of Musical Theatre & Chorus

Sarah Clay Lindvall is an arts educator dedicated to helping others grow artistically and personally through meaningful connection, growth-mindset, joy, authenticity, and curiosity.

Sarah is the Program Director and Director of Chorus and Musical Theatre at West Forsyth High School’s Studio West in Cumming, Georgia (www.studiowestwfhs.com). Prior to taking the position at West, she was the Director of Arts Education and Community Outreach for the ArtsBridge Foundation in Atlanta, Georgia where she oversaw all educational programming and directed the EMMYⓇ Award Winning Georgia High School Musical Theatre Awards – The Shuler Hensley Awards. Her previous experience also includes leading a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit music organization and performance ensemble for women in Manhattan (Sirens of Gotham, Founder and Artistic Director), Directing the inaugural Music and Dramatic Arts program at the Notre Dame School of Manhattan, and starting the first musical theatre and chorus program at The Beacon School of Excellence – P.S. 172 in Brooklyn, NY.

Sarah received a Master of Music degree in Vocal Performance from New York University and, prior to her graduate studies, received a Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education from Georgia Southern University. 

Rebecca Stern

Rebecca Stern

Director of Drama & Technical Theatre

Rebecca J. Stern  is the Director of Drama and Technical Theatre at West Forsyth High School’s Studio West. Prior to teaching at West, she was the Director of Theatre at Roswell High School, where she directed  two consecutive region winning One Act Plays. Before working in the public school system Becca was director of The Community Art Player’s of Suwanee; A not for profit organization devoted to creating opportunities for the community members of Suwanee to experience theatre made by, with, and for the community. Additional educational theatre leadership includes directing and managing The Actor’s Company, a youth improvisation troupe, and serving as the Director of Educational Programs at The Dancing Goat Theater in Johns Creek Georgia. 

Becca received her Bachelor’s degree in Theatre from Brenau University and The Gainesville Theatre Alliance. 

STUDIO WEST BACKSTAGE PARENT BOOSTER BOARD

Below are your 2021-2022 SWB Parent Booster Board members:

President
Sarah Stetson-Blewett
president@studiowestwfhs.com

Vice President
& Events Coordinator
Shelly Jenkins
events@studiowestwfhs.com

Secretary
& Communications Coordinator
Sharon Santini
communications@studiowestwfhs.com

Treasurer
& Finance Coordinator
& Marketing Coordinator
Merrick Theobald
finance@studiowestwfhs.com
marketing@studiowestwfhs.com

Program Director
& Director of Chorus & Musical Theatre 
Sarah Lindvall
lindvall@studiowestwfhs.com

Director of Drama & Technical Theatre
Rebecca Stern
stern@studiowestwfhs.com

Costume Coordinator
Heatherly Marsh
costumes@studiowestwfhs.com

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