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Four Spain Students and Alum Travel to NYC for Summer Theatre Program!

students posing for photo



Join us in congratulating four Spain Elementary-Middle School students and alum who traveled to New York City to participate in a summer theater program!

Temple Rock, now a Spain alumn, rising eighth-grade student A'myre McQueen, and rising seventh-graders Sarya Dixon and London Reynolds traveled to the city the last week in July.  

iTheatrics, the company that adapts Broadway shows for school and youth programs, holds theater workshops each summer in which a new show is tested for producers, directors, and casting agents before becoming widely available for the public. Students who are cast will work an intensive week in New York City and perform their show at the end of the week for writers, directors, and other industry staff, just like professional actors do.   

Spain Musical Theatre Teacher/Conservatory Lead Kathleen Wright said she is proud of the amazing work of her students, some of whom only have a year or two of acting experience.  

“I’m really, really proud of how hard they’re working, and I know they’re going to represent the District really, really well this summer,” she said. “I’m excited for them to continue to grow and be challenged outside of Detroit and continue to challenge themselves to grow and see what else the world has to offer for theater.” 

Rising seventh-grade student Malayia King and rising eighth-grade student Anaya Mitchell also auditioned and were waitlisted for the program. 

The Detroit Public Schools Foundation, a 501c3 nonprofit designed to enhance DPSCD students' educational opportunities, funded 100% of the program's cost. 

Read on for a Q&A with these students. 

What are you excited about with the program? 

Temple Rock: I’m very excited that we get to perform with all these other actors from all over the state and country. And I’m also very excited for the new opportunities and the people who will be there to see us perform so we might get a jump start for the future. We can get recognized and be able to perform.  

Anaya Mitchell: I’m very excited. Since other people tried out, I might be able to meet really cool people. It will probably be a really big audience and we might get recognized.  

London Reynolds: I’m very excited to try new things and work with professionals and travel. (I’m excited) just to improve my work too.  

Sarya Dixon: I’m excited for all the experience that I can gather and meeting new people. 

A’Myre McQueen: I’m excited for meeting new people and becoming friends with them. And trying out more shows that come out so I can see how I perform, how I express myself during it.  

What do you enjoy about theater? 

Temple Rock: I enjoy the creativity and the different artistic abilities that you get to express through theater and that it encompasses all the different types of art into one place.  

Anaya Mitchell: I enjoy being myself in theater and being able to be a part of making props and trying on costumes.  

London Reynolds: I enjoy being able to be myself and be comfortable being myself. I like spending time with people and the part where you can basically use that knowledge. 

Sarya Dixon: I love drama because of the big, supportive community we have and how nobody judges you.  

A’Myre McQueen: I love it because I can show my personality. I can express myself. I can be myself. I can come together with everyone. 

What do you hope to learn from the program? 

Temple Rock: I could learn a lot of different ways to act better because I think in the future there is going to be a lot of different situations where I am going to have to use some of my theater skills and I think this is going to help boost my confidence for the future. If I end up being an actor, I think every single small bit and piece of stuff I learned along the way is going to help me with whatever I want to do and I think that this is a great opportunity.  

Anaya Mitchell: I could learn to sing better for the future. Singing or making music could help me because as you do drama, you can sing better.  

London Reynolds: What I would do is I would pay attention more to details because I can use that knowledge for my future self and what I can do for the future so I could make everything the best as possible.

Sarya Dixon: It helps me project more and be self-confident.  

A’Myre McQueen: It will help me because I rarely have confidence in myself. I would find more confidence. I would push myself to sing, project in everything I could, and make sure I try my best.  

How will this experience be useful to you as you go forward in school and in your future careers? 

Temple Rock: I think theater is every single aspect of all the arts, like music, vocals, piano, singing, dance, acting. It’s everything. I think that will help me with anything I’m going to do because there is even math in theater; you have to measure props and stuff and sets to build things. So, you can do anything.  

Anaya Mitchell: I think drama helps me with my future career by holding props in your hand and walking around with a bunch of props and singing. I want to make music.  

London Reynolds: I think it will help with lots of stuff like, for example, moving sets out and painting sets, building sets, you can use that knowledge for the future.  

Sarya Dixon: I think there is such a diverse community it would help with my future career of opening a daycare.  

A’Myre McQueen: Theater would probably help me because lots of things like Temple said, with props and stuff, you would have to measure it. You would have to see how long and how big it would be. You will have to make sure everything is right, and it would just help me a lot.

Is there anything you would like to add? 

Temple Rock: To anyone who is out there, no challenge is too big for you. You can always accomplish anything if you believe in yourself, and you believe in the people around you, and that you’ll be able to do anything if you just believe.  

Anaya Mitchell: If theater is sometimes a challenge for you and you feel like you can’t get through it. A quote from my dad is, ‘If you have challenges, you should never run away from them.’ 

London Reynolds: If you’re going through hard times, it’s ok and I just want to let you know that there are people that love you out there. If you’re having a hard time with your dream don’t throw it away, just if you work hard for it, your dream will come true.  

Sarya Dixon: Be yourself no matter who judges you or no matter what anyone else thinks.  

A’Myre McQueen: If someone doesn’t have the confidence to push yourself or if they’re not proud of what they’re doing, just know that everyone is proud of you. People love you; people enjoy seeing you perform, people would be so happy that you’re pushing yourself to perform.

DPSCD Middle School Arts Conservatories provide middle school students with intensive training in dance, instrumental music, vocal music, visual art, theatre, and media production. Conservatory students are typically accepted into the Detroit School of Arts.

The four middle school arts conservatories are:

  • Brenda Scott Academy for Theatre Arts
  • Edward Duke Ellington Conservatory of Music & Art
  • John R. King Academic and Performing Arts Academy
  • Spain Elementary-Middle School

The deadline to apply for the DPSCD Middle School Arts Conservatories for the 2023-24 school year is August 11, 2023. Apply online here