Classes & Camps
Preparing Students to Perform Like Professionals
Why choose Aurora Theatre Academy?
- Professional Instruction
Our classes give students the opportunity to study with professionals. Aurora Theatre Academy uses working actors, directors and theatre practitioners from all over the United States.
- State-of-the-Art Facility
Our multiple stages showcase your child’s talent.
- Positive Expression
Our artistic environment promotes self-confident, cooperative, imaginative children.
Aurora Academy Camp Testimonials
“I’ve learned dancing, singing, and acting techniques that have made me a better actor. Also, I’ve made great friends from attending the Aurora!”
—Wyanda Garner, Student
“I feel confident now that when I audition for a play, or when performing a show, I will know what everything means and exactly what to do.”
—Caitlin Cavanaugh, Student
“I gained a lot of new friends and confidence from this experience. It has helped me because I really didn’t like being in front of a lot of people; when I got my script, I wasn’t sure if I could do it, but I did and it was awesome!”
—Bailey Fielder, Student
Summer Camp 2019
Spend your summer at Camp Aurora! What distinguishes Aurora Theatre Academy from other drama classes is that students have the opportunity to rehearse and perform in a professional theatre, and their instructors are working professionals with years of real-world theatrical experience. In addition to receiving training to be a winner on stage, students build confidence, communication, and life skills that will be a valuable part of their bright futures.
Aurora Theatre’s Learning Library Series features fully-staged professional productions for elementary school students performed on the Aurora Theatre Mainstage on weekday mornings. These shows contains multiple direct connections to the AKS, come complete with an extensive Study Guide, and are mindful of Gwinnett County Schools bus schedules.
See what 12,000 Gwinnett County School Children and their teachers are already raving about!
“My students really enjoyed the play! What a wonderful job you all did. I can’t wait to take my family to a play at Aurora!” – Mrs. Millard (Teacher, Walnut Grove Elementary)
“My kids from the youngest to the oldest all got something out of it! We talked about the characters playing multiple roles, about how much they practice, about what a stage manager does… I love the Aurora Theatre and all you do for the kids in the community!” – Tricia Williams (Home School Parent/Teacher)
Apprentice Company 2019-2020
The Aurora Apprentice Company is designed to help emerging artists bridge the gap between Educational and Professional Theatre. These talented young theatre artists joined Aurora Theatre’s staff for a year-long intensive that prepared them for a career in the arts. Here are a few of our graduates and where they’ve been since their time at Aurora.
Where are they now?
Benjamin DeWitt Sims (Appco16) is an Atlanta based actor and singer. He has appeared in many productions and projects in and around Atlanta. Recent credits in Atlanta include The Dancing Granny (Alliance Theatre), Hunchback of Notre Dame, In the Heights, Into the Woods (Aurora Theatre), Strait of Gibraltar, One and Only Ivan (Synchronicity Theatre), and Georgia Aquarium as an Atmosphere Performer. Benjamin is a proud graduate of Young Harris College with a B.A. in Musical Theatre. Benjamin also is a 2016 graduate of Aurora Theatre’s esteemed Apprenticeship Program. When Benjamin isn’t involved in a production, he is a fiery bartender/host by night and substitute teacher by day. He is currently working his first cruise ship contract aboard Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line’s Grand Classica as a Vocalist. Benjamin is ecstatic and grateful for so many opportunities to do what he loves the most and would like to thank God, family, and friends (given and chosen) for their support. (Instagram: benjamin_performs)
Elliott Folds (AppCo17) is an Atlanta-based actor, dramaturg, and musician. He is a proud graduate of Aurora Theatre’s 2016-17 Apprentice Company and Kennesaw State University’s Department of Theatre & Performance Studies. In his time in the apprenticeship, he had the pleasure of working on the Suzi-winning productions of The Bridges of Madison County (Michael u/s/Ensemble) and The Three Billy Goats Gruff (Middle Goat, Suzi Bass nomination for Outstanding TYA Ensemble), as well as Grace for President (Robby) and Reindeer Games 2017 (Co-Music Director). He immediately followed the apprenticeship with the AppCo Alumni Series production of A New Brain (Richard), which he also had the distinct privilege to act as dramaturg, as an instrumentalist, and as assistant music director. Additional Atlanta credits include: the one-man comedy Buyer & Cellar (Out Front Theatre Company/ART Station), Love’s Labour’s Lost (Zero Circle Theatre Company), and Damn Yankees (Theatre Buford). As of summer 2018, he can also be found behind the desk at the Aurora box office as well as a performer at Georgia Aquarium. Huge thanks always to everyone at Aurora, but especially Anthony, Ann-Carol, Justin, and Jaclyn.
Rose Alexander (AppCo15) is a proud graduate of AppCo ’15 and Kennesaw State University! While in her apprenticeship, she performed in Mary Poppins (Ensemble, Mary Poppins U/S with Performance) and Les Miserables (Ensemble, Eponine U/S). Post apprenticeship, she has performed in the Aurora/Theatrical Outfit co-production of Memphis, in Tom Key and Friends at Theatrical Outfit, Curious Literary Encounters at 7 Stages, and understudying and performing for a week as Sarah the Blind Librarian in The Toxic Avenger at Horizon Theatre, and most recently, in The Light In The Piazza at Theatrical Outfit. Rose is represented by East Coast Talent Agency.
Katie Causey (AppCo13) is an actor and comedian living in Atlanta, Georgia. She graduated from the University of Georgia (with two degrees she’s currently not using) and was a member of the first ever Apprenticeship Company at the Aurora Theatre. Since completing the Apprenticeship Katie has immersed herself in Atlanta’s ever growing film industry working with Burger King, the PGA, and Coca-Cola for a variety of commercials. Katie’s main passion, however, is comedy. Whether she is performing stand-up, improvising with the group, BANSHEE Improv, or acting, Katie loves making people laugh. When performing stand-up, Katie enjoys making current events as silly as possible and sharing stories from her time growing up in middle Georgia. For updates check out her website: www.KatieCausey.com or her improv group’s website: www.BansheeImprov.com
Benjamin Davis (AppCo14) is a graduate of the 2013–14 Aurora Theatre Apprentice Company. His professional credits at Aurora over the 2013–14 season include Les Misérables (Courfeyrac/Ensemble; Suzi Award Winning Musical), Christmas Canteen (Ensemble), The Cat in the Hat (Boy), the regional premiere of The Unauthorized Autobiography of Samantha Brown (Adam US/P), as well as a staged reading of a brand new musical titled Milo at the Movies (Milo), directed by Alexander Greenfield. Benjamin’s most recent Atlanta credits include Brad Majors in The Rocky Horror Show (Actor’s Express), Gar Public in Philadelphia, Here I Come! (Aris Theatre), and Johnny in StinkyKids the Musical(Aurora Theatre & Synchronicity). This past winter he had the opportunity to perform the role of Jim Dillingham in The Gifts of the Magi at Theatrical Outfit. Ben’s film & television credits include The Fat Boy Chronicles, Fun World, The Change-Up, and The D.U.F.F. BenjaminTaylorDavis.com
“Making my professional debut in Les Misérables was a monumental way to start my apprenticeship. But, it was the opportunity to workshop the new musical Milo at the Movies that made a dynamic impact on me during my time at Aurora. I was able to explore new material with a brilliant creative team over the week of the “snowpocalypse.” It was one of the most challenging and rewarding experiences of my life.”
Casey Gardner (AppCo15) has been seen in productions with The Weird Sisters Theatre Project, Gypsy Theatre, and Stone Mountain Park since graduating from Auarora. Recently, she has been touring with the National Theatre for Children and taking trips with them all over the United States. Up next she is fortunate enough to be working with Camp Broadway in cities throughout the southeast. Casey also has a successful photography business specializing in headshots and productions photos. Check out her work at caseymgardner.com. Catch up with her as the official photographer for the Atlanta Musical Theatre Festival started by fellow alumnus Ben Davis.
Renita James (AppCo13) is a proud member of the graduate class of Appco 2013. It was duringthat year that she furthered her love of educational theatre while performing in Unnecessary Monsters and teaching several classes and workshops. Upon completion of the apprenticeship she went on to perform at Stone Mountain Park, Stage Door Players, and Peach State Summer Theatre. She spent time performing and teaching in a variety of settings, including an educational tour with the National Theatre for Children and a starring role in FML: How Carson McCullers Saved My Life. Most recently, Renita was a Teaching Artist Fellow with Metro Theater Company in St. Louis, Missouri. In this fellowship, she taught theatre in residencies and school-based classes, as well as developed and performed in a Theatre for the Very Young piece. Her work focused on using arts integration to address social justice issues and to build community. Renita currently works full-time at Aurora Theatre Company as the Education Coordinator.
Jacob McKee (AppCo16) is a recent graduate of Aurora’s 2015-2016 Apprentice Company. While an apprentice, Jacob enjoyed many invaluable experiences, including playing Tim Tesla in the world premiere of Tim Tesla and the Terrific Time Machine and assistant directing Into the Woods. He also served as an understudy for Wit and I’m Not Rappaport. Post-apprenticeship, Jacob will be appearing in A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Shakespeare Tavern in July and is directing Dani Girl for the 2016 AppCo Alumni Series. Jacob is so very thankful for his year at Aurora and for the mentors he was blessed to find there: Jaclyn, Justin, AC, Anthony, and the whole staff.
Suzanne Stroup (AppCo14) is an actor/singer/educator in the Atlanta area. She was a member of the 2013–14 Aurora Theatre Apprenticeship Company, and was seen there in Prelude to the 4th Concert, Peter Pan & Wendy (Wendy), The Cat in the Hat (Kitten/Thing 2), and The Unauthorized Autobiography of Samantha Brown (Sam US/P). She has since been fortunate to work with the Aurora Theatre, Gypsy Theatre Company, Alliance Theatre and Theatrical Outfit, as well as the One-Minute Play Festival and the education department at Alliance in many capacities. This summer you can see her as Ariel in Aurora’s Concert Version of The Little Mermaid! suzannestroup.com
“Aurora is absolutely my artistic home. Besides the opportunities to refine my craft during my apprenticeship, the networking and the relationships that I’ve made are what I think about most when I think about my apprenticeship. Aurora is where I always come back to, and to the people who have shaped me into the artist I’ve become.”
Michael Jared Tarver (AppCo13) is an Atlanta born actor who is proud to call this market, and Aurora Theatre specifically, his home. He is filled with gratitude for the lessons taught to him and the oportunities given to him by the staff at Aurora Theatre as an apprentice and now, in his third year, as The Storyteller in A Christmas Carol. Previous roles include Dave Bullanski in All Childish Things (Aurora), Little John in Robin Hood (Aurora), Antipholus of Ephesus in The Comedy of Errors (Shakespeare Tavern) and Little Tuna in Den of Thieves (Fabrefaction). Up next he will be directing in the short play festival at Aris Theatre!
“The connections I made as a part of the apprenticeship have turned into many opportunities both at Aurora and other professional theatres in the form of acting, stage managing, and directing gigs. Choosing an apprenticeship is also choosing your artistic home for your time in Atlanta. I chose Aurora because they provided me with a variety of opportunities to learn and practice theatre, but also because it was a place I felt at home with.”
Dane Troy (AppCo14) graduated from the University of Georgia in 2013. At Aurora he worked on: Terror on the Trail, Peter Pan, Lombardi (us/p), Tamer of Horses & The AppCo Showcase. In the year following graduation, Dane was afforded the opportunity to work with Alliance Theater, Horizon Theatre, Theatrical Outfit & Dad’s Garage Theatre Company. In efforts to further his comedic training, Dane moved to Los Angeles in August 2015. He has since immersed himself in long form improvisation programs at the Upright Citizens Brigade: Los Angeles (graduate), iO West (level 4), & the Groundlings (intermediate). Dane has appeared in a few commercials (Coca Cola, Georgia Lottery, Starbucks & eBay (national)) & also made his Television debut on the Amazon Prime show Hand of God as Freddie Hampton (Season 2 Episode 203 & Episode 206). Dane is currently in rehearsal for Killing My Lobster Theatre’s production of Night of the Living Data in San Francisco (late June 2016), as well as, in rehearsals as Cory (US) in California Shakespeare Theatre’s production of Fences, directed Raelle Myrick-Hodges (July 9 – 31 2016). Look for Dane as Buddy in Marin Theatre Company’s production of Native Son (West Coast Premiere) directed by Seret Scott (Jan – Feb 2017)
“There are a few things that impacted me greatly and honestly changed the trajectory of my career. Working at Aurora right out of the collegiate gate really helped me to focus, realize my goals and take steps towards attaining them. There is no law of scarcity. Be fierce and fearless. Thanks Jaclyn, Justin, Anthony & AC! Without each of you, I don’t know where I would be.”
Tim Whitson (AppCo15) graduated from the Aurora Apprentice Company in April of 2015. While there he worked in several capacities but most notably he played an ensemble role in Mary Poppins and Luigi in The Explorers Club during the 2014-2015 season. The rest of the 2015 found him performing at the Center for Puppetry Arts in Peter Pan playing the titular role among others and performing as Nutty in The Littlest Christmas Tree at Stone Mountain. Currently he is directing a world premiere, multi-lingual adaption of The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe aboard the MV Logos Hope. The MV Logos Hope is an internationally known ship that travels around the world bringing knowledge, through selling over 5,000 titles of books, help, by bringing fresh water and reading glasses, and hope to thousands of people every year. He is proud to be working on this unique production with his wife and with the crew of over 350 people from 60 nationalities. He is excited to return to the Atlanta area in 2017 and continue his career as an actor, director and theatre artist.
Aurora Teen Nation
Aurora’s Teen Nation is a tuition-free program for Teens interested in the arts! All students are welcome to join. They will be invited to special events just for them, have a backstage pass to meet the cast & crew, and learn more about the world of professional Theatre! Now accepting applications for the 2018-2019 season. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to obtain an application.
This program was designed for teens who are craving more exposure to the world of professional theatre. They will be led by Education Coordinator, Renita James. Aurora Teen Nation will provide:
- Behind-the-scenes access and a Sneak Peek to a Final Preview of each show!
- After many of the performances Teens will get to meet the Director, Cast, and/or Crew for a Teen Nation Q&A.
- Pre-show activities tend to include: Theatre Games, discussions related to the themes of the show, and time to socialize with other Gwinnett Teens with a passion for Drama!
- Bi-annual meetings to serve as a Teen Advisory Board for Aurora, giving them a chance to influence the way Aurora serves Teens across Gwinnett County!
- They will be required to volunteer once a month at the theatre, where they will learn front of house operations and get to see shows while helping out.