The MD Theatre Guide is pleased to announce the winner of the Best of 2015 Reader’s Choice Award for Best Theatre Education Program for Young Artists! Thank you for voting! Over 10,000 votes were cast! (Double last years numbers!)
The awards are designed to honor local performing arts, entertainment and education organizations for their creativity, talents, and contributions across MD, DC, and Northern, VA.
The winner will receive a professionally made certificate suitable for hanging up proudly as a record of their momentous achievement.
And the winner of the MD Theatre Guide’s Best of 2015 Reader’s Choice Award for Best Theatre Education Program for Young Artists goes to……Lumina Studio Theatre!
Congratulations to Lumina Studio Theatre and all of this years nominees!
Best Theatre Education Program for Young Artists: Lumina Studio Theatre
Since 1997 Lumina has worked with over 600 young actors and enjoys a 95% retention rate from season to season. Some alumni have gone on to major in theatre and attend prestigious theatre schools such as NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. Lumina provides a disciplined and rigorous professional setting where actors are trained in a comprehensive performance focused program of theatre arts based on Rudolf Steiner’s Creative Speech and Drama techniques. The techniques of Stella Adler and Michael Chehkov are also demonstrated and put into practice.
Lumina Studio Theatre made its debut on October 5, 1995 in Brooklyn, NY at Promote Art Works, Inc. as a new concept in teaching speech and drama. Jillian Raye, Founder and Artistic Director, moved the organization to Takoma Park, MD, in 1997. Ms. Raye’s extensive training included: the Victorian Ballet Guild Theatre School; the Harkness Conservatory of Drama, Australia; Rudolf Steiner’s Speech and Drama technique and a Bachelor’s Degree in Theatre from the University of Texas at Dallas.
Ms. Raye believed that young actors can perform brilliantly using the classics in imaginative ways; that actors and audiences can grow from barrier-free, intergenerational performances; and that theatre discipline and creativity are soul mates that belong to the entire community.
Beginning with a few young people rehearsing in Ms. Raye’s basement and performing in an old movie theatre, Lumina has flourished and now attracts over 100 young actors per season from across the metropolitan area. Lumina offers many opportunities for participants: Folk Tale Camps for the youngest actors (age 8+) to the Theatre Group for adult actors. Lumina presents nine productions each season.
In 2000, David Minton joined Lumina full-time as Managing Director. Mr. Minton’s many years as an actor and in theatre management added depth to the extensive talent and knowledge that Lumina actors were receiving from Ms. Raye.
In 2005, Lumina moved its productions to the Round House Theatre, in Silver Spring. This 150- seat black box theatre offers a professional setting that enables more challenging and sophisticated productions. Later that year, Round House Theatre named Lumina Studio Theatre as an Arts Partner.
In 2006, the organization moved its offices, rehearsal space, props, sets, and immense costume store under one roof at the “White House”. The additional space provided by this historic building in downtown Silver Spring enabled Lumina to increase its staff, and expand the quality of its productions.
In 2008, Lumina mourned the passing of Jillian Raye after her long struggle with breast cancer. In spite of this devastating loss, Lumina continues to grow, as Jillian would have wanted under the leadership of David Minton as Artistic Director. Her creative vision continues to be a source of inspiration to everyone in the Lumina family.
In 2012, Lumina celebrated its 100th production and 15th anniversary with a gala that attracted theatre patrons as well as supporters from the arts and political sectors.
In 2013, Lumina joined with three other Arts organizations to form the Theatre Consortium of Silver Spring. The Consortium now manages the Silver Spring Black Box Theater.
Since 1997 Lumina has worked with over 600 young actors and enjoys a 95% retention rate from season to season. Some alumni have gone on to major in theatre and attend prestigious theatre schools such as NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. Many alumni also return for guest appearances in current productions and work as Directors in the Summerstock program, thus giving back to the next generation of Lumina actors.
Lumina Studio Theatre continues to build on our rich heritage, advance its unique model of youth inspired classics, and bring high-quality performances to the community.
Lumina Studio Theatre has received grants from the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County, The Maryland State Arts Council, the Abell Foundation, the MARPAT Foundation, The Takoma Foundation, the Mid-Shore Community Foundation, the Fidelity Charitable Gift Foundation, the Pew Charitable Trust, the Catalyst Foundation, AT&T Foundation, and Acorn Media.
David Minton (Artistic & Executive Director) has directed, produced, and acted in professional theatre for the last 30 years. Before coming to Takoma Park, David produced and managed off-Broadway theatre in New York. Before New York he directed the Addison Centre Theatre in Dallas, Texas, and led the development of its new state-of-the-art facility called by Theatre Crafts magazine “a Theatre for the 21st Century.” He has an M.A. in English Literature and an MBA in policy and planning. Besides directing, David instructs stage combat rehearsals and is a playwright. He joined Lumina as Co-Director in 2000.
Julie Reiner (Managing Director) has been involved in some aspect of theatre for 35 years, beginning with back stage and production work at the University of Maryland’s Tawes Theatre, and then moving on to co-found The Children’s Chorus of Silver Spring and the Sogo African Rhythm Ensemble. Her performances with Sogo took her from Busch Gardens, Virginia to Ottawa, Canada. Ms. Reiner studied theatre and business at Montgomery College and the University of Maryland and has a degree in Business Administration.
Wendy R. Eck (Costume Designer and Maker) has worked with Lumina for over 10 years, first as a volunteer, then as apprentice to the Director and Costumer, Jillian Raye. Wendy became Designer and Costumer in late 2006 and has now designed more than 50 shows. Wendy has always spent much of her free time designing and sewing clothes, as well as craftwork, for herself, family and various craft shows and small businesses.
Jillian Raye (Founder and Guiding Light) established Lumina Studio Theatre in New York in 1995. Jillian was a graduate of the Victorian Ballet Guild Theatre School and the Harkness Conservatory of Drama in Australia and held a Bachelor’s Degree in theatre from the University of Texas at Dallas. Her studies of Rudolf Steiner’s speech and drama techniques are the foundation of Lumina’s directing and coaching process.Jillian’s professional career includes acting with the major theatres in Dallas, Texas; dancing and choreographing numerous professional productions in Australia, Dallas and New York.In addition to Lumina Studio Theatre, Jillian also worked with young actors when directing for Cabbages and Kings Children’s Theatre and the Addison Center Theatre in Texas and the Rudolf Steiner School in Manhattan, New York.
Since bringing Lumina Studio Theatre to Takoma Park, Maryland in 1997, Jillian has worked with more than 400 young actors and directed over 75 productions.
Jillian was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2006. Jillian directed and choreographed productions and mentored Lumina’s young actors until her death in November 2008. Jillian’s spirit and vision continue to guide the organization.
Official Voting Ballot Results:
First Place: Lumina Studio Theatre.
Second Place: Children’s Playhouse of Maryland.
Third Place: Columbia Center for Theatrical Arts
Fourth Place: Adventure Theatre MTC.
Fifth Place: Round House Theatre.