MTVarts Classics Series honors our cultural and literature heritage with an educational outreach to secondary students. Our productions present authentic, uncensored works by iconic American playwrights as the author intended.
The 21st century student experiencing live theatre in an educational environment has greater tolerance and improved ability to read the emotions of others, has increased understanding of plot and vocabulary, and gains an appreciation for the arts.
Measured in the lives engaged, the thoughts provoked, and the experience of seeing literature studied come to life on the stage, this is our most successful endeavor.
The next Classics Series Show will be announced in 2021.
artsIQ is a unique program featuring an intensive weeklong summer workshop teaching the fundamentals of theatre and introducing the youth production. When casting the show all participants are guaranteed a role. Once cast the students go into a six week rehearsal period for a full-scale musical on the stage of the Memorial Theatre.
Currently participants may choose from three tracks:
artsIQ KIDS offers youth ages 8-12 the basics of theatre through acting, music, and choreography instruction complete with a field trip to the Memorial Theater for a behind-the-scenes look at MTVarts' summer musical.
artsIQ JR offers youth 13-18 an opportunity to engage with experienced instructors as they learn music and choreography in a 3-day intensive. An audition experience is part of both KIDS and JR with all participants earning a role in the production.
artsIQ Tech Track was developed around a kinetic curriculum experiencing the behind-the scenes aspects of production. Field specific experts teach at the beginner level and the workshop culminates with production team positions for each workshop participant.
Registration will open later in 2021. note - if you registered in 2020, your name is still on the list.
Read more: 2021 Disney's Frozen JR and Disney's Frozen KIDS
Kristen is a first grade teacher for Mount Vernon City Schools. She has been teaching 21 years, and has a degree in Elementary Education and Special Education. She has been involved in artsIQ for the last nine years. She team teaches with Sarah Gratz to provide theater education and workshops, and they have been an integral part of the rehearsals and performances from the beginning of artsIQ. Kristen and Sarah work with the children in all aspects of the production which include auditions, rehearsals, scheduling, volunteers, backstage, publicity, and performances.
Sarah is a retired teacher with 35 years of experience in grades four through eight. Her formal education includes a bachelor and master's degree from The Ohio State University. In addition she served as a graduate teaching assistant at The Ohio State University for two years. She has been involved with MTV Arts IQ for the last nine years. Sarah and Kristen Campbell have planned, organized, and conducted workshops for groups of up to 80 students introducing them to the elements of theater. After the workshops, Sarah and Kristen have continued to work during rehearsals and backstage during productions.
Joe has been studying music for over twenty years. His formal education includes a bachelors and master’s degree in music education from West Virginia University where he studied with Dr. James Miltenberger, Dr. Molly Weaver, Dr. Sandra Schwartz, Dr. David Bess, and Dr. Janet Robbins. He is currently the choral director at Clear Fork Valley Local School District where he directs five middle school ensembles and two high school ensembles. Joe also performs locally as a vocalist with the Heritage Singers and as the pianist for the Knox Community Jazz Orchestra. Joe has been a part of artsIQ for one season as the music director for Willy Wonka Jr and Willy Wonka Kids.
Diane Dingler has a degree in music with certification in education from Capital University Conservatory of Music, a Masters Degree in Vocal Pedagogy from The Ohio State University, post graduate work at OSU and Ashland University. She is an adjunct instructor of voice at Kenyon College, teaches voice and piano in her home studio, and is the Director of Music at Saint Paul's Episcopal Church. Diane is a member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing and the American Choral Directors Association. She has been the vocal director for MTV Arts since its inception.
Christa has been a piano accompanist for MTVarts since their inception. She accompanies musicians from local high schools and Kenyon College. A graduate of Mount Vernon High School, she has always had a passion for all things musical and is thrilled to share her gift- not only with the community, but with her own children who look forward to being a part of each theater season.
Sample of her work:
Lalo Cello Concerto Prelude with Caleb Zak
Susan S B Brown has been doing theatre since she was a little girl and although she started college as a Pre-Med major, by the end of her Freshman year she was spending all her spare time at the theatre. She went on to achieve an MA, most of a PhD and an MFA in theatre. She worked at a Non-Equity summer theatre company for two summers and at the New York Renaissance Festival for 3 summers. She taught Costume and Make-up design, directed several plays and taught Intro to Theatre at Ashland University for 15 years. She is currently the curator of the Costume collection at MtVArts in Mt Vernon, Ohio, for which she has designed costumes for Wizard of Oz (twice), Addams Family, the Musical., She has also designed costumes for Mt Vernon Nazarene University, and Fredericktown High School, the Alcove dinner theatre, and some period costumes for members of Historical Reenactment groups.
Ruth Frady's passion of the arts goes back to her childhood where she sang, wrote and performed for elementary school and church activities. She developed a love for landscape, still life, and portraiture in her teens and had studied under American professional artist, Robert Warren in her young adult life. Ruth also directed an award winning teen drama ministry through The Church of the Nazarene for ten years, and has enjoyed artistic interests such as calligraphy, clay head sculpture, and jazz singing. Given the opportunity to work with MTVarts, Ruth was given the opportunity to work with makeup and hair, as she had been a Mary Kay beauty consultant and local school hair stylist in the theater program. This evolved in honing her diverse art background into the area of coiffure and wig design. Self taught, Ruth now oversees a four hundred piece inventory of wigs, hairpieces and supplements for a very active theater schedule. She is continually challenged by character interpretations, quick change conflicts, and even gravity constraints in her designs. Inspired by media accessibility to Broadway-caliber creativity and quality tutorials, Ruth's education continues.
Megan will be graduating this spring with a BFA in Studio Art/Pre-Art Therapy from Ohio Northern University. She has been heavily involved in her university's bands and choirs, participated in multiple dance showcases and productions, took part in theatrical productions, and created artwork for campus events, faculty research, studio courses, and professional development. Megan has been active in MTVarts productions with her family for years, performing in and choreographing for many shows. Some of her favorite shows to choreograph include Godspell, Once Upon a Mattress, Bye Bye Birdie, The Addams Family, and The Wizard of Oz. She enjoys working with MTVarts and looks forward to continuing sharing her love of dance and choreography with all involved.
Leslie is a current sophomore Arts Management major at Baldwin Wallace University. On campus, she is involved in Zeta Tau Alpha and Urban Dance Association, where she currently holds the position of Treasurer. She has been involved with MTVarts for the past couple years as cast member, production member, and choreographer. In the future, she hopes to open a dance studio of her own.
Kate Redfield Ernsberger has being doing theater in one form or another for as long as she can remember. She started stage managing in High School, and loved it almost as much as being on stage. Since coming to Ohio, she's stage managed several dinner theaters and MTV arts classics. She's been involved with Arts IQ since it began in 2014, and loves seeing the kids learn all sides of theater.