Summer Performing Arts Training Academy being held on campus in July and August

Dr. Cari Tellis, founder of the academy.

The Department of Speech-Language Pathology is offering beginners and established regional performers ages 7 to 17 an opportunity to learn or refine their skillset in the performing arts at the inaugural Summer Performing Arts Training Academy from July 28-Aug. 9 on campus.

“Come join us for a total theater immersion full of excitement, state-of-the-art vocal, dance, drama and music training, as well as the magic of theater,’’ said Cari Tellis, Ph.D., C.C.C.-S.L.P., an associate professor of speech-language pathology at Misericordia University and the founder of the academy. “This performing arts academy is the only one of its kind in the region. Our goal is to meet participants at their age level and experience level to provide training in the performing arts within a fun, friendly and encouraging atmosphere. We believe that exposing individuals to the beauty of the stage builds confidence and creativity.’’
The workshops are held Monday-Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., while the performances are Friday, Aug. 8 at 6:30 p.m. and Saturday, Aug. 9 at 2 p.m.
Participants have an opportunity to work and learn from instructors who are highly trained in voice, dance, public presentation, and musicianship. They receive vocal training from Misericordia University faculty, intense dance instruction, acting and drama coaching, as well as rhythm and music appreciation. All materials for the workshops are included in the registration fee, including music, scripts, theater materials, portfolio, a professional headshot, and two tickets each to the academy’s concluding performances on Aug. 8-9 in Lemmond Theater in Walsh Hall on campus.
Dr. Tellis is a voice specialist with certification as a master teacher and course instructor in the Estill Voice International Training System. Voice participants will learn aspects of this voice training system, which is used by professional singers and actors from Broadway to the Metropolitan Opera House to Nashville to London’s West End and Covent Garden.
A trained vocalist and voice scientist, Dr. Tellis will directly coach participants in singing, speaking, voice production and acting. She specializes in voice, laryngeal physiology, laryngeal muscle anatomy and biochemistry, as well as voice and speech science. A licensed and certified speech-language pathologist with more than 15 years of experience working with professional speakers and singers, she approaches voice training from a physiology and scientific perspective by merging her approach with the artistry of speaking and singing. Dr. Tellis trains performers to be advocates for their voice and vocal health, especially at an early age to make sure healthy singing and speaking habits are formed.  
The academy includes a talented team of professional performance coaches, including Lauren Timek, a professional dance instructor and captain of the New York Jets’ cheerleading squad; Jennifer Hunter, M.A., a classically trained pianist and a music educator; Luke Steinhauer, a student in the Music Theater Department at the University of Michigan and a certified master teacher candidate in Estill Voice Training; and Orlando R. Barone, M.A., an executive leadership coach at the University of Pennsylvania.
Timek has appeared on Broadway in “The Nutcracker” and “Cinderella,” and was chosen to dance with the Jets Flight Crew Exclusive Show team at the 2014 Super Bowl. She will share her more than 18 years of well-rounded experience by training participants in the mechanics of dance, including ballet, pointe, tap, jazz, lyrical, modern, character, hip hop, and music theater. Hunter has more than a decade of teaching experience with numerous band and choral ensembles at primary, secondary and university levels. She is responsible for instruction in music appreciation and theory, as well as rhythm and movement.
Barone is an executive leadership and performance coach for MBA students in The Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. He has more than 25 years of experience as a director, coach, trainer, consultant, author, and presenter specializing in interpersonal effectiveness. He also starred in and directed plays and musical performances at the high school and collegiate levels. He will focus training in public speaking, personal presentation style, and acting. Steinhauer is the recipient of the National Young Arts Foundation Award in Spoken and Musical Theater. He is a professional actor, having performed for Pittsburgh Musical Theatre and Pittsburgh Celebrating Musical Theater, while also pursuing his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. He will explain how to integrate the mechanics of voice, dance and drama into the artistry of performance.
The camp’s agenda includes group and individualized coaching in voice, dance, acting, rhythm, musicianship, theater, improvisation, and public speaking skills. Camp counselors are available throughout the day and will have other fun activities scheduled, such as face painting and other games.
An early bird registration rate of $475 is available for people who register by July 1. The rate is $499 afterward. Family discounts also are available for families that enroll multiple children.
For general inquiries or to register for the inaugural Summer Performing Arts Training Academy at Misericordia University, please log on to or call Michelle Donato at (570) 674-8255.
For more information about Misericordia University, please log on to or call (570) 674-6400. Founded and Sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy in 1924, Misericordia University is Luzerne County’s first four-year college and offers 34 degree programs on the graduate and undergraduate levels in full- and part-time formats. Misericordia University ranks in the top tier of the Best Regional Universities – North category of U.S. News and World Report’s 2014 edition of Best Colleges and was designated a 2014 Best Northeastern College by the Princeton Review.