Unique Performances for Youth
Executive Director: Christopher H. Cherry


Performance Academy

Xclaim! Performance Academy provides ages 4-adults quality arts instruction and development of dramatic, music and musical theatre performance techniques as described below.  Classes meet once per week and produce periodic exhibitions for families and guests.

Performance Classes for Youth and Adults!
Classes begin in August!

2019 FallPerformance Academy
Open House and Registration


Ages 4-6 Class meets once per week for one hour.
    Theatre, dance and musical games & activities will introduce performance concepts. Participants will stage nursery rhymes, songs and traditional children's stories.  Short, free public performances for families and guests will be held at the end of class several times throughout the semester.

Ages 7-18
All three classes meet once per week for one hour.
    Theatre games, improvisation, monologues and scenes will supplement class instruction to teach dramatic performance skills for students in Xclaim! Acts!  Group voice will provide educational and practical development of proper vocal singing technique in Xclaim! Sings!  Warm-ups, floor exercises and choreography with improve strength, flexibility & teach proper dance technique for students in Xclaim! Dances! Public performance of class repertoire of dances, scenes & monologues, and songs will be held at mid-term and the end of the semester. 

offers special benefits and unique performance opportunities
and experiences exclusively to Performance Academy Students!

    • Xclaim! Touring Troupes (Performance Troupe, School Day Troupe, and the Xclaim! Sings! Competition Choir) audition exlusively from Performance Academy Students
    • Xclaim! Productions (Plays, Music Recitals and Musical Theatre shows) audition and cast leads from Performance Academy Students first, and then host open community auditions for the remaining roles.
    • Xclaim! offers exclusive discounts on registrations for Performance Workshops, Camps & Other Programs to Performance Academy Students.

Xclaim! Performance Academy
Policies and Procedures provide a safe and supportive environment for artistic growth and development.  Policies cover issues including registration, scheduling, attendance, student standards and expectations, vocal care, dress code and behavior.  All students must abide by these policies.  Click to view and print Xclaim! Performance Academy Policies & Procedures.

Xclaim! believes in the value of youth artists and their artistic works.  Xclaim! engages quality artists as instructors and directors.  We are proud to have Christopher H. Cherry as director of Xclaim! Performance Academy.

     Christopher H. Cherry is founding Executive Director of Xclaim, Inc., a non-profit performance arts organization providing unique performance opportunities for youth.
    This Bowling Green, KY native is no stranger to local arts and youth programs.  He graduated Western Kentucky University, Summa Cum Laude with a BFA in Performing Arts with concentrations in Musical Theatre & Directing.  Cherry directed the Sunburst Youth Theatre as Director of Education for Public Theatre of Kentucky for 5 years and then founded the Capitol Arts Youth Theatre, for which he served as Artistic Director for more than 3 years.  He served 2-year positions as Theatre-Artist-in-Residence for Kaleidoscope, a positive youth development program, and as an ambassador for the Youth Alliance, both in Bowling Green.  Cherry also served on the board of directors for Fountain Square Players, Bowling Green's community theatre, for 3 years.  
    Christopher has worked on more than 150 productions as director, choregrapher, stage manager & actor for professional theatre companies in Philadelphia, Louisville, Nashville and Atlanta.
    He has taught youth classes, workshops and private lessons in acting, auditioning, movement, musical theatre, technical theatre, and voice & diction for stage for almost 20 years.
    Christopher is excited to offer these programs for Xclaim! and looks forward to continuing to provide drama education and programming for local schools, where he has written and/or directed productions for elementary, junior and high schools.
    Many of his students are working theatre professionals or seeking professional degrees, and some are currently working as commercial actors or models for both print and runway.  Christopher strongly believes that young people should be valued as artists and given support, training and encouragement for their artistic aspirations.
Xclaim! Performance Academy 2013 Instructors

Rachel Law - Dance

Rachel Law is a graduate of Western Kentucky University with a BA in Dance as well as Honors Design and Construction of Movement Inspired Fashion.  She was a member of the Western Kentucky University Dance Company performing in concerts at home and abroad, partnering with Balleto Civitavecchi in Italy.  With a background in performance, choreography, pedagogy, and costume design she has invested her love of theater and dance in teaching and choreographing many years for numerous community youth and adult theater and dance camps and musicals, local dance studios, school dance teams, and community outreach programs.  She is thankful for all the blessings in her life and is constantly inspired by the creativity and passion of her fellow artists, peers, and students! 

Ellen Murrey Lawrence - Voice

Ellen Murrey Lawrence is a native of Glasgow, Kentucky, and graduated from Western Kentucky University with a BM in Vocal Music Education.  She formerly taught choir and theatre at Glasgow High School and worked as an educator for the Kentucky Shakespeare Festival.  She has music-directed and directed professional and youth productions with Kentucky Repertory Theatre, Kentucky Shakespeare Festival, Glasgo Summer Theatre, and Actors Point Theatre Company in Hendersonville, TN.  She was a company member of Kentucky Repertory Theatre for the 2013 season and recently performed with Street Theatre Company and Actors Bridge/ACT 1 in Nashville, TN.
     Directing credits include CATS (Actors Point), The Marvelous Wonderettes (Actors Point), Little Women (KY Rep), Yes Virginia (KY Rep), Beauty & the Beast (Glasgow Summer), Once on This Island (GHS), and The Tempest (KY Shakes).  Favorite roles include Kate (Taming of the Shrew), Mrs. Potts (Beauty & the Beast), and Mama Noah (Children of Eden).  Ellen was most recently seen as Annie in In the Next Room (Actors Bridge/Act 1).
     Ellen will be assistant directing A Lion in Winter with the new professional theatre company, Kentucky Stages, in residence at SKyPAC this August.  She also teaches private voice lesson from her home (www.heartsongvoice.webs.com).
     Ellen is thrilled to be working with Xclaim! to further a love and appreciation of music and theatre in local youth!

2013 Fall Performance Academy Guest Instructors


Jessica Boeglin - Voice

A Bowling Green native, soprano Jessica Boeglin is a recent graduate of Vocal Performance at Western Kentucky University and now pursuing professional work in Nashville.  This GSA scholarship winner's favorite roles include the title role in Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella, Rusty in Footloose, Frenchy in Grease, The Cat in the Hat in Seussical the Musical, and Jeanie McDowell in The Stephen Foster Story. Her upcoming roles include Mabel in The Pirates of Penzance that she will perform at WKU this spring. Jessica also teaches private lessons in voice, diction, and music theory in her spare time and plans to continue her education in Vocal Performance and Vocal Pedagogy. Jessica is thrilled to visit and guest teach at Xclaim! and work beside the people who originally inspired her to have a career in the performing arts.


Ashley Gentry - Dance/Directing

Ashley Gentry is excited to be continue with the other Xclaim! educators. With over 10 years of dance education experience as both an instructor and choreographer, Ashley has taught dance to performers of all ages and skill levels. She received her BFA in Performing Arts with an emphasis in Dance from Western Kentucky University in 2005. Moving back to Bowling Green in 2008 to serve as the Youth Theatre Coordinator for the Capitol Arts Youth Theatre she is proud to call this community her home. Her teaching experience includes beginning to advanced levels of Ballet, Tap, & Jazz, Musical Theatre Styles, Contemporary Movement, and Body Safe Dance for Fitness. Directing and Choreography credits include, Footloose, They’re Playing Our Song, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Arthur’s Stone Merlin’s Fire, Bye Bye Birdie, The Outsiders, and an original production of The Nutcracker. “Arts educators are tasked not only to help students become better performers, but to enrich their lives through self expression." -AG


For more information:
Click to view and print the Xclaim! Performance Academy Policies & Procedures
or click to Contact Xclaim!

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