Performing arts center helps students see the possible

OLMSTED FALLS -- Ask a kid what they want to be when they grow up and you're bound to get some colorful answers. What if their response, while ambitious, is something they could actually do with the right guidance and training?

One local center, Olmsted Performing Arts, is trying to help some of those children see the possible.

OPA officially began in 2003, but it really started in the tree house of 13-year-old Angela Boehm. She and some neighborhood kids would hand write scripts and perform for the community raking in a solid dollar a head.

Eventually Angela grew, and so did OPA. She helped to bring a group together to purchase their current building and the dominoes started to fall.

The first year of classes saw nearly 100 students and it's since blown up to more 500 kids. There more than 65 staff members with classes every night of the week. They teach everything from art, gymnastics, dance to music, acting and stage combat.

Besides classes, OPA puts shows on every few months and also has started casting for movies and television shows that come to the region. Former students have gone on to perform on many different stages, in movies and national sitcoms.

Now, they're looking to take the next step and start a fine arts charter school. They put out a survey to gage interest and got 200 responses from parents wanting to learn more about enrollment.

All from a tree house... Now that's seeing the possible.


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