Entertainment

Renowned theatre arts school opens in Langley

From left to right, Stephanie Manuel, founder of StageCoach in London, England, Kim Stordy, new director in Langley and Mary Long, director in Toronto.  - submitted photo
From left to right, Stephanie Manuel, founder of StageCoach in London, England, Kim Stordy, new director in Langley and Mary Long, director in Toronto.
— image credit: submitted photo

Young people in Langley will now have a chance to sing, dance and act with one of the world’s largest theatre arts programs.

StageCoach Theatre Arts School is opening a new location in Langley at the Langley Evangelical Free Church, joining some 700 schools operating all over the world.

Langley Principal Kim Stordy says the new location will give children in the Fraser Valley access to excellent fine arts training.

“It’s a lot of fun for the kids and a great education for them in the development of life skills and communication skills,” she said.

“It helps their confidence and self-esteem. Kids who are shy really come out of their shells.”

First started in England in 1988, StageCoach made its Canadian debut three years ago in Vancouver and has since expanded to Richmond, Coquitlam and Surrey. A new location in North Langley is also being considered for the winter of 2012.

There are no auditions to join and small class sizes, giving each and every student the attention they need to hone their skills.

StageCoach operates on three terms a year, following the public school calendar. Classes run for three hours Saturday mornings and afternoons, and are divided into one-hour increments for singing, dancing and drama. Younger students are in half hour blocks instead of the full hour.

Professional instructors guide the students through a broad set of skills, mainly musical theatre oriented, including voice structure and breathing exercises, roll playing, ballet, jazz and hip-hop.

They incorporate the use of many props but try to stay away from flashy costumes to help keep the cost down for parents.

In the end of first term, the students put on a presentation to families and friends that combines all three disciplines into one show.  At the end of the second term, they put on an individual presentation with a more personal touch.

In the UK, advanced students create actual productions, something which Stordy hopes the Canadian locations can evolve into as well.

Stordy first discovered StageCoach in Vancouver when searching for fine arts classes for her granddaughter. She watched her granddaughter thrive in the classes and became very involved with the school, leading her to open her own studio in Langley.

“My granddaughter just loves it. She’s our little dancing queen and drama diva,” she said.

With only 15 students per class, and classes for next year already half full, those interested should register quickly.

“It’s really high demand,” said Stordy.

“Parents say the school is excellent because it is all three disciplines.”

An open house will be held Sept. 17 for parents and students in the newly renovated space at the Langley Evangelical Free Church, 20719 48 Ave. StageCoach will also be at the Arts Alive festival in downtown Langley City on Aug. 20.

To register, go online to www.stagecoachschools.ca/langley or call Kim Stordy directly at 778-240-5915.

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.

Community Events, September 2014

Add an Event

Read the latest eEdition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Sep 11 edition online now. Browse the archives.