By Steve Lord / The Beacon News
The Paramount School of the Arts, inside the new Aurora Arts Center in downtown Aurora, will hold its grand opening June 1.
Officials announced the opening date and also announced that registration for more than 40 summer theater, music and dance camps for youths ages 6 months to 19 years old will begin at 10 a.m. Tuesday through the school’s new website, ParamountSchoolofTheArts.com.
The Paramount School of the Arts is at Stolp Avenue and Galena Boulevard in downtown Aurora, next to Aurora’s Paramount Theatre.
The school is the anchor tenant in the new John C. Dunham Aurora Arts Center at 5 E. Galena Blvd., formerly the Waubonsee Community College building, currently in the final stages of a $35 million renovation.
In addition to the 25,000-square-foot school for performing arts, the total 80,000-square-foot building will include 8,000 square feet of rehearsal space for the Paramount Theatre, a 4,000-square-foot restaurant space, 38 apartments designed to support working artists and guest apartments for some Paramount Theatre performers.
The school’s open house June 1 will go from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Families will get tours of the school’s new classroom, rehearsal and performance spaces, meet faculty and staff and have the opportunity to sample the classes and camps soon to be offered year-round.
Shannon Cameron, Paramount Theatre
“Our students will have access to some of the finest teaching artists and professionals in the country, many seen on the Paramount Theatre stage.”
Education & Community Relations Director
In addition to camps, starting in June, the Paramount will begin offering private lessons and coaching sessions including musical instruments, vocal performance, theater, dance and audition coaching, plus early childhood music classes taught by Kindermusik, a provider of music-based education for children from birth through 7 years old.
Starting in the fall, the Paramount will shift from camps to an expanded series of performing arts classes for children as young as 6 months old, with opportunities for adults and seniors as well including special courses that will offer behind-the-scenes looks at Paramount’s Broadway Series productions.
The school will also launch its Musical Theater Institute, offering training for high school students that plan to go on to perform professionally or study musical theater in college, led by Paramount favorite Paul-Jordan Jansen, who played the Cowardly Lion in Paramount’s “The Wizard of Oz” earlier this season, and earned a Jeff Award for Best Actor for his portrayal of Sweeney Todd at the Paramount.