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SAFE welcomes Patrick McDonald as Musical Theatre Director at Southern Dance & Performing Arts Company


SYLACAUGA, Ala. – Sylacauga Alliance for Family Enhancement (SAFE) performing arts program, Southern Dance and Performing Arts Company (SDPAC), welcomes Patrick McDonald as the new director for their musical theatre classes & productions.

McDonald has been involved with concert production, acting, and community theatre for 34 years, beginning when he was an undergraduate at Samford University where he performed with a sketch-acting group, Act:8. He has performed with the Pulaski (Tennessee) Dinner Theatre, Savannah (Georgia) Community Theatre, and the Prattville (Alabama) Way-Off Broadway Theatre.

McDonald has performed with the Sylacauga Community Playhouse in The Addams Family Musical (Uncle Fester) and Too Soon for Daisies (Paul Vanderbloom/ Dr. John Hunter). He also co-directed Tarzan, the Stage Musical, and directed Inside the Box: An Evening from the Golden Age of Radio, Little Shop of Horrors, & The Secret Garden. He also served as producer for You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown & The Miracle Worker, and served as director of music for Disney’s Aladdin JR.

This past February McDonald directed the Prattville Way-Off Broadway Theatre’s production of Little Women.

“Theatre arts sit at the pinnacle of all arts, incorporating for a single event dance, music, literature, painting, mechanics, and even sculpture. No other single realm of the arts encompasses so many others in a collaborative effort,” said McDonald. “And in few other endeavors for students do you have such an equal playing field. The athletic student has no innate advantage over the petite student – they are both able to be powerful onstage.”

SDPAC will be offering Musical Theatre classes for students this fall under McDonald’s leadership. These classes are intended to develop the student’s skills needed specifically for acting in musical theatre, including body preparation, movement, acting, voice, and auditioning. The skills will be taught in engaging classes developed with age-appropriate teaching, exercises, and practica.

Incidental instruction may also include stage management, set design, costuming, and other valuable theatrical skills. Classes will run the full school year based on the SDPAC calendar. There are also 1-2 special events (productions) planned during the course of the class year.

“Theatre arts trains students with skills that extend beyond the front of the stage. I have seen students develop poise and confidence, cooperation and collaboration, most often with a deeper understanding of themselves in the process. These are insights that will carry them into the rest of their life,” McDonald said. “Through these classes we hope to provide students, who may not have been able to formally explore their talents yet, access to the opportunity for theatre training.”

Southern Dance & Performing Arts, as a program of SAFE, is a 501 (c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to creating a solid & focused experience for each student – on & off stage – providing unique performing arts programs. Classes are offered in ballet, pointe, jazz, tap, lyrical, hip-hop, and musical theatre. The goal is to promote a hands-on experience in the arts, to all children, regardless of race, age, income or level of experience.

The monthly class fee for musical theatre is $45 for an hour class (ages 8-11) and $60 for a 1 and a half hour class (ages 12-18), and class space is limited. For more information, fees for other classes, register, or to make a donation please contact Southern Dance & Performing Arts at (256) 245-1669, email [email protected] , or visit the website


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