NEPA Scene Staff

PATAsphere holds fundraiser with live music and dancers at Kirby Center in Wilkes-Barre on May 20

PATAsphere holds fundraiser with live music and dancers at Kirby Center in Wilkes-Barre on May 20
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From a press release:

PATAsphere, which provides young performers with state-of-the-art voice, dance, and drama training within a safe, supportive, and engaging environment, will hold its fourth annual Spring Gala Fundraiser, “You Be You,” at the F.M. Kirby Center in Wilkes-Barre on Sunday, May 20 at 5 p.m.

Tickets, which are $15 for general admission and $10 students and senior citizens, are on sale now and available at gopata.org. Tickets can also be purchased at the door (71 Public Square, Wilkes-Barre).

The gala will have performances by PATA’s incredibly talented staff and young local performers, featuring original choreography by national award-winning choreographer and former New York Jets cheerleader Lauren Timek. One of the many highlights of the night will be PATA’s live band, featuring Katharine McElroy Manasco (Amy Ray and the Volunteers, 1945, Snow Machine) on drums, Ryan Burdick on piano, Rebecca Cristino on bass, Sean Vitale on percussion, and Ian Jo Denny on trombone.

The incomparable professional hip-hop dancer Hayley Bochner – seen on “So You Think You Can Dance,” “America’s Got Talent,” “Glee,” “Saturday Night Live,” “The Today Show,” “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon,” “Live with Kelly,” and the Nickelodeon HALO Awards and working with Meghan Trainor, Pharrell Williams, Chris Brown, Nikki Minaj, Psy Oppa, Zara Larsson, Spencer Ludwig, and iLuminate – will be taking the stage with PATA as a guest performer. She will also be teaching two hip-hop masterclasses that day at the F.M. Kirby Center; more information can be found here.

Last but not least, the event will be emceed by local radio sensation Frankie Warren, host of Magic 93’s “Frankie in the Morning.”

Performances will feature original music from PATA’s two full-length original musicals, “A Musing Tale” (2016) and “Just a Penny” (2017) – book and lyrics by O.R. Barone with music by Katharine McElroy Manasco, Ryan Burdick, Noah Sunday-Lefkowitz, and Cari Tellis – as well as cover songs from “The Greatest Showman,” “Dear Evan Hansen,” “Rent,” Lady Gaga, Macklemore, The Beatles, and many more. There will also be a preview of new music from PATA’s third full-length original musical, “North Star Alley,” which will debut this summer.

All funds raised will support PATAsphere’s programs, scholarships, and future productions. PATAsphere is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in Dallas, Pennsylvania. The only academy of its kind in Northeastern Pennsylvania, PATA integrates the magic of theater and performance with key principles of anatomy, physiology, and current learning theories.

PATA was founded by Dr. Cari Tellis, a professor at Misericordia University and a voice specialist with certification as a master teacher and course instructor in the Estill Voice Training System. A singer, voice scientist, and voice therapist with nearly 20 years of experience working with professional speakers and performers, Tellis approaches voice training from the perspective of physiology and science, merging this approach with the artistry of speaking and singing.

Research indicates that involvement with the performing arts improves academic performance, including reading comprehension, verbal skills, and standardized test scores in typically developing children as well as children with learning differences. Participation in performing arts programs have also been shown to build self-confidence and self-esteem and improve children’s attendance at school.

A primary objective at PATA is to promote vocal health and vocal awareness and to instill in young performers the foundational knowledge of physical movement to decrease the risk of vocal and physical injury related to speaking, singing, and dancing. This knowledge makes it more likely that young performers will be able to perform for as long as they desire. While not every young individual who participates in the performing arts will pursue a career in theater or the arts, many will seek jobs where their voices are essential to their work and communication with others – teachers, lawyers, managers, and those in allied health professions like speech-language pathology, nursing, physical therapy, and physician assistants.

The skills they learn at PATA will not only prepare them to communicate effectively with kindness, empathy, and respect, but will help to nurture future leaders, fostering critical thinking and interpersonal skills.

Great performers are aware of the mechanics behind voice production and movement for dance. Mechanics combined with artistry creates freedom for performers to choose the way they want to sing, act, and dance. This freedom comes from knowledge, and with that knowledge comes powerful performance.