When Charles Dickens' classic is performed next weekend, theater-goers will see the recent renovations in action at the Croton Academy of Arts.
New lighting and a higher ceiling over the stage add to the ambience at the performance and workshop space on Old Post Road South.
"We still feel like this is new space, but we moved here in March!" said co-director Myrlin Valerio.
Valerio and co-director Catherine Reidel started CAA a decade ago in the basement of Asbury United Methodist Church. Their first dedicated space was on Route 9A near the A&P, their first "graduating" class was in 2007.
Now at CAA you can find programs in comedy improvisation for teens and adults, plays and performances, classes in performing arts and movement—and special events such as the playwriting competition and open mic nights.
"We run classes for K-adult," Reidel said, "but our most popular are the improv sessions for older teens."
The space, under Grouchy Gabe's, with its entrance on the side near the entrance to Croton's municipal lot, is double the size. It includes not only the performance/workshop space, but room backstage for performers, props and costumes, handicapped access—and a dedicated room for something new, the after-school Connections program for kids in grades 5-8.
With Connections, middle-schoolers can spend from 3-6 one to five days a week in a creative environment with academic support. The offerings include acting, crafts, and off-site Friday cooking sessions at Baked By Susan.
Check out the CAA website to learn more about its classes and programs. And get your tickets for one of the three performances of A Christmas Carol: Dec. 14 and 15 at 6 p.m. and Dec. 16 at 3 p.m. Tickets are $10.
And coming up in January: the CAA Alumni Reunion Show (2007-12), 9 p.m. Jan. 4 and CAA Open Mic & Roses and Kings Concert, 8 p.m. Jan. 12.