Flat Rock Playhouse Education Center Undergoes Name Change

The Education program at Flat Rock Playhouse is proud to announce its new name, Playhouse Jr.!  Education at Flat Rock Playhouse has had many names over the past forty years.

They’ve been called Flat Rock Children’s Theatre, Theatre for Young People (TYP), YouTheatre, and Studio 52. The new name, Playhouse Jr., will encompass many things. Playhouse Jr. is classes and camps for K-12th Graders and Adults. Playhouse Jr. is MainStage shows performed by and for Playhouse Jr. students and families. They are a touring company that visits local schools and is performed by our fall Apprentices. Finally, Playhouse Jr. is a brand new licensing program for our original and engaging Playhouse Jr. Productions; be sure to check out Slowpoke! The True Story of a Tortoise and Hare making its world premiere on the Rock in November!

Playhouse Jr. Classes are semester long classes and summer camps in musical theatre, musical theatre dance, and acting. They serve the children, young adults, and adults of Western North Carolina. They offer scholarships to those students in need through our Dave Hart Scholarship fund.  K-12th Grades and Adults.

Playhouse Jr. Shows perform on the MainStage and are fully supported by Flat Rock Playhouse and our professional technical elements. The family programming gives local students and families a chance to be on the stage and in the audience. They will be the world premiere of all of upcoming and brand new Playhouse Jr. Show material. They will also continue to produce great classics as we have in the past. Examples include: Willy Wonka, Charlotte’s Web, and Aladdin. They offer young artists the opportunity to grow through our professional theatre experience.

The Playhouse Jr. Touring Company travels to public elementary and middle schools throughout Western North Carolina and surrounding areas. They offer a professional theatre experience that we bring to the schools. All of the shows are based on education and literature. This touring company embodies what theatre arts exposure should be.

Playhouse Jr. Licensing offers affordable shows to schools, children’s theaters, and community theaters looking for new, fresh, and age appropriate materials for their students and performers. They offer professional works that are premiered by FRP, so the products are tested and ready to be produced by other theatre companies and schools.

Playhouse Jr Summer Camps

Online registration is now open for the 2023 Summer Camps! Visit www.flatrockplayhouse.org/education for more information.  Questions? Please email [email protected] Want to register over the phone? No problem! You can call Education Director Lauren Hopkins at (828)693-0403 ext. 246.

A little history about Flat Rock Playhouse

In 1937, a group of struggling performers, led by Robroy Farquhar, organized themselves as the Vagabond Players. The Vagabonds worked in a variety of places over the course of three years, and in 1940 found themselves in the Blue Ridge region of Western North Carolina. The local and tourist community welcomed them with open arms when they presented their first summer season of plays in a 150-year-old grist mill they converted into The Old Mill Playhouse at Highland Lake. So successful that summer, they returned in 1941. After WWII, the Vagabond Players reorganized, came back to the region and opened a playhouse in nearby Lake Summit. The Lake Summit Playhouse thrived during the post-war years and soon the Vagabond Players were looking for a larger and permanent home. In 1952, the troupe of performers, and a newly formed board of directors made an offer to buy an 8-acre lot in the Village of Flat Rock. This new home made the Vagabonds “locals” and a rented big top gave birth to Flat Rock Playhouse. As the beautiful Western Carolina region continued to grow, so did the Playhouse and in 1961, by Act of the North Carolina General Assembly, Flat Rock Playhouse was officially designated The State Theatre of North Carolina. What began as a few weeks of summer performances in 1940 is now a nine-month season of plays including Broadway musicals, comedy, drama, and theatre for young audiences. The Playhouse’s dual mission of producing the performing arts and providing education in the performing arts includes a professional series; a summer and fall college apprentice and intern program; and Playhouse, Jr., year-round classes and workshops in theatre and film for students from kindergarten through adults. Flat Rock Playhouse now hosts over 98,000 patrons annually and is a significant contributor to the local economy and the Arts in North Carolina.

Prepared by Flat Rock Playhouse.