Sunday, June 20, 2021

Southlake Home to New Performing Arts Center

Southlake supports the arts year-round through community concerts, an annual arts festival, and as a sponsor of APEX Arts League. It is now also home to a professional performing arts training center: Epicenter for the Arts opened October 26 at 2100 Greenbriar in North Davis Business Park offering dance, music, art and acting classes for children, teens and adults. The approximate 7,000 square foot facility encompasses four performance training rooms, sound proof music and acting studios, musical theater, student study area, parent viewing areas, administrative offices and The Nest Café & Boutique. In addition, room rentals are available for private parties.

With a mission of “training and equipping this generation of performing artists from the inside out,” Epicenter combines discipleship, professional instruction and elite mentoring programs. Co-founded by Michelle Brogan, along with her husband, Alec, she has been teaching and equipping performing artists since 1990. Brogan has traveled nationwide and abroad performing, teaching and speaking at ministry events. In addition, she has written more than eight original productions that have been performed throughout the country at sold out conventions and ministry events. Brogan currently leads the Dance Revolution, a faith-based dance company that tours nationally, and Ingredients, a professional dance company and trainee program.

Although most performing arts centers are located in urban/downtown areas, Brogan intentionally chose Southlake for multiple reasons.

“Southlake represents a thriving community that cultivates the arts. It is a beautiful city that is great for growing a business,” she states. “There are also amazing faith-based churches and programs that help energize what the mission of the Epicenter is about.”

Currently, Epicenter employs 20 instructors, along with renowned guest teachers and several artist in residence, and has nearly 100 students enrolled from all over the DFW metroplex. Class offerings range from beginning to advanced in all categories:

  • Dance: ballet, tap, jazz, contemporary, modern, hip hop
  • Art: painting, drawing, sculpting, mixed medium
  • Acting: story theater, audition clinic, acting 101, music theater, film and commercial
  • Music: vocal lab, choir ensemble, guitar group, drum line
  • Fitness: core and strength, yogafit

Registration for 2014 classes can be done online; sign up by January 1 and receive 50 percent discount on first month’s tuition (excludes music classes).

For more information, call 817-778-8828 or visit www.epiarts.com.

Nominee for Best High School Musical Theatre Performer Includes CISD Senior

Sara Faris has been a dedicated thespian with Carroll Theatre for four years, earning her National Honor Thespian rank this May.  She has performed in White Christmas, The Phantom Ship, The Haunted Prison, Poetry Slam 2010 – 2012, The Haunted Asylum, Beauty and the Beast (Babette), and Legally Blonde The Musical as Elle Woods and Brooke Wyndham in 2012. In preparation for the parts, Sara worked a strict schedule that included private ballet lessons and an exercise regime specifically designed to build performance endurance.

Recently, Sarah was nominated for the prestigious Schmidt and Jones Awards hosted by Lyric Stage is a tremendous opportunity for her as it is part of the fifth annual National High School Musical Theater Awards. Faris received a nomination for Best Actress for her role in last fall’s production of Legally Blond The Musical. Click here to read more and vote for Sara. Should she win, Faris will take part in the National competition next month at the Minskoff Theatre on Broadway.  A panel of judges will choose two students for the coveted the Jimmy™ Awards for Best Performance by an Actor and Best Performance by an Actress.  The program will also include a week-long theater intensive in New York City later this summer.

Sara’s passion for the performing arts started at the age of two. Upon visiting her older sister’s dance classes, the teacher noticed her enthusiasm for the choreography and music and suggested that she be enrolled in a tap, ballet, and jazz class. From there, she was hooked. She fostered an intense infatuation with the stage, which was only strengthened when she performed a solo part in her first musical at the age of seven. This was the beginning of her vocal and theatrical career. She began writing songs participating in a local community theatre, STARS at the age of eight. After a few years and many performances with STARS, Sara auditioned for a performing arts group called “Superstar Express” that promoted health and wellness at local schools and other venues through music and performance, and even opened for bands like the Jonas Brothers. At the age of twelve, Sara was inducted as the youngest member in the history of the older group, working very hard to keep up with the fast paced and physically demanding rehearsals. The ultimate payoff was her eight-show stint at Walt Disney World at the age of thirteen. From there, Sara continued to explore her music passion with a quirky pair of producers, Mike and Mark Stitts, who offered to work with her to produce her own self-written album. Never refusing a challenge, Sara accepted and began the two year task that would come to be known as “Painting Poetry”. Seeking a more focused atmosphere to work on her recording, Sara decided to spend her sophomore year of high school at the DFW Performing Arts Conservatory. She took classes in dance, music, voice, and acting, marking the beginning of what would become a habit of working very hard to improve her craft. Upon the completion of “Painting Poetry”, Sara decided to go back to public school to give musical theatre a try for the first time since her time in STARS and will graduate next month.  For now, Sara continues to work on her music featured on her YouTube channel,  “saradaisyy” and plans to attend Belmont University as a commercial music major next year.