A new art school in Mt. Juliet will look to help students – young or old – reach their desired levels through rigorous curriculum focused on discipline and free expression.
The Collective Art School of Tennessee co-founders said the school will offer professional performing arts instruction for children and adults with the intention of building character, confidence and technical performing art skills.
Co-founder Hollie Knight, originally from Cleveland, said she has produced more than 200 shows, and she hopes to bring the experience and professionalism to the school. She said she got her start in a popular show.
“I got started in theatre when I was in second grade, actually. I was Oompa Loompa in ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.’ I signed up for a class, and that really took me into a world of theatre I didn’t know I was going to get into,” she said.
Co-founder Hannah Dies, a self-described Army brat, got her start in theatre later in life.
“I got started in theatre when I was in high school. My dad introduced me to the movie, ‘Westside Story,’ and right away, I knew I could do something like that,” said Dies, who said she got her first role as a wolf in “Jungle Book.”
She said she’s directed about 30 productions and has extensive work with children. She hopes to bring confidence to students of all ages.
“We’re not trying to create the next Broadway star. We do have very intensive training that can help kids reach that goal if that’s what they want. But overall, our mission is just to get these kids feeling confident in themselves and confident to put themselves out there,” she said.
CAST is a full-scale performing arts school that offers classes, workshops and private lessons in classical theatre, musical theatre, dance, vocalization and instrumentation.
Class categories include petite players, protégé and professional. Petite players are actors, dancers and singers 3-5 years old, with work focused on how to turn their imaginings into a performance.
Protégé classes are designed for children 6-12 years old. The classes allow young performers to learn more about their specific interests in the arts, including dance, voice, acting or all.
“The performing arts go so far outside just being on the stage, and that’s unlike almost any other activity or extracurricular activity that a student can do,” Knight said.
Professional classes are designed for students 12-18 years old, where they will hone their skills as they learn the ins and outs of what it takes to develop into a great performer.
The duo said they strongly believe in the values of love, respect, open communication, acceptance, creativity and inclusion of all students.