To provide a welcoming, educational environment to foster influential performing arts experiences.
To grow a community that becomes one of the most prominent and enriching performing arts programs in the nation.
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 STUDIO WEST
Intro to Studio West is a course designed to introduce, practice, and apply theater as a performing art through the examination and exploration of dramatic structure and style, various acting techniques, various vocal techniques with an emphasis on ensemble and solo singing, 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 participate in the Studio West Winter Showcase in December and perform/produce the junior version of Madagascar the Musical in April.
ADVANCED MUSICAL THEATRE
Advanced Musical Theater is an audition-only, advanced placement, conservatory style course designed to master theater 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 theater 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 theater 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 Freaky Friday in October for the GHSA One Act Competition and the full version of Disney’s The Little Mermaid for the Georgia High School Musical Theater Awards — The Shuler Hensley Awards in March. Students in this class are encouraged to submit performance pieces for the Studio West Showcase in the Winter.
INTERMEDIATE MIXED CHORUS
Intermediate Mixed Chorus is a course that explores SA(T)B 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 MIXED CHORUS
Advanced Mixed Chorus is a course that masters 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 audition for All State Chorus.
Advanced Drama studies the artistic, technical, management, and performance elements of a live theater 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 theater performance.
Technical Theater 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 Theater 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:
Program Director, 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.
Director of Musical Theatre & Chorus
Claire Marie Pappas is the Director of Choirs and Musical Theatre at West Forsyth High School’s Studio West. Prior to joining Studio West, Claire was Director of Choirs at Liberty Middle School from 2019-2021 and started the chorus and drama programs at Hendricks Middle School in 2021. Claire has been selected to present at the Georgia Music Educators Association In-Service Conference (2021 & 2020), the National Council for Undergraduate Research Conference (2020) and was selected as a student conductor at the Southern Division American Choral Directors Association Conference (2017). She is an active freelance Soprano in the metro-Atlanta area and member of the Atlanta-based professional Chamber Choir, Coro Vocati.
Claire received her Bachelors in Music Education from Kennesaw State University.
STUDIO WEST BACKSTAGE PARENT BOOSTER BOARD
Below are your 2022-2023 SWB Parent Booster Board members:
Program Director, Director of Drama & Technical Theatre
Director of Chorus & Musical Theatre
& Events Coordinator
Jennifer St. Joseph
& Communications Coordinator
& Finance Coordinator
Marketing & PR Coordinator
Chorus Finance Coordinator