For over 30 years, Musical Theatre Academy of Orange County (MTA), a 501(c)3 nonprofit group, has been providing the youth of our community an innovative performing arts education program that not only nurtures their talents in music and theater but also develops their abilities to excel in school and life. Our message has always been and will always be “Every child deserves a chance to shine.” As a result, more than 3,000 boys and girls, ages 4 to 18, have benefited from our program. In offering our youth a special opportunity to explore and enjoy the arts through live theater performance, MTA is helping them to develop the imagination, confidence and important life skills they will need in order to better understand themselves and the world around them. Everyone deserves the chance to grow into the spotlight of their potential and at MTA our students get that chance. By measuring our success by the size of the smiles our students have when they discover what they can accomplish, MTA knows that they are helping pave the way for their future.
The Musical Theatre Academy’s origin began in 1984 in Irvine, California. The foundation for what was to become MTA started as a children’s choral program known as the Rainbow Singers under the direction of MTA’s founding Board Member, Margie King. As part of the Yamaha Music Education Center, the group was a valued part of the community dedicated to developing every child’s talent, confidence and potential through performing arts exposure. Over the next ten years, the group expanded from just providing a choral curriculum into teaching and producing full-scale musical-theatre productions. In 1994 the Yamaha Music Education Center sold the franchise and the group was faced with a decision; continue on its own, or let the program go. The decision was simple. With no financial backing, a group of committed parents with Margie at the forefront secured MTA as a 501(c)3 non-profit organization and proceeded to make history. Since then, MTA has provided life-skill development training through the musical theatre arts to well over 3000 children and young people ages four to eighteen throughout the Orange County and Southern California region. MTA has inspired their students to challenge their fears, and develop their natural
talent by experiencing the known benefits of exposure to a performing arts education. With the addition of MTA’s Artistic Director Jimmy Hippenstiel in 2001 and through then continued efforts of both a highly dedicated staff and volunteers, MTA has created what is clearly a unique and very valuable asset to its students, their families and the world community at large. By providing a low-cost tuition-based program supported by private and public donations, MTA has helped shape the future of not only their students, but everyone whose lives they touch as they continue onto their individual paths.
Many of MTA’s students have used the skills that they have acquired at the academy to advance both their professional and personal lives. Whether they have gone onto further a career in the performing arts or ventured into other professional fields, all have benefited from their MTA experience.
Early exposure to performing arts education has been proven to provide a major stimulus for developing important higher brain processes like innovation, creativity and imagination. In addition, it is fundamental to core educational disciplines such as history, language, reading and math. Through performing arts studies, children learn a variety of skill sets, which are crucial to their future success. Skills such as critical thinking, problem solving, enhanced communication abilities, leadership and teamwork are all enriched by a Performing Arts education. It is also through the Arts that society passes on our culture, values and the stories that give our children the important foundational tools and ideals from which they can grow.
Combined together, the rewards that a child gains by participating in a performing arts program can make all the difference when it comes to their ability to succeed in school, career and personal goals.