Academy of Theatre Arts
Dina Sarno Slawson has been creating, writing, directing, performing, and producing theatre for children and young adults for over twenty years. In 2002, she created Academy of Theatre Arts, a part-time theatre school with 9 classes a week in a small one room studio. Since then, she has built a year-round theatre academy specializing in acting, musical theatre dance and vocal performance classes that has 225 students.
In 2006, the ATA Theatre opened as the only theatre venue in WNY devoted solely to performers between the ages of 5 and 18. The 132 seat state of the art theatre is home to Academy Encore Ensemble, ATA’s young resident theatre company of high school students from the WNY area. The ATA also is home to Teen2Teen…Theatre is for Life, a non-for-profit organization dedicated to cultural diversity and racial tolerance for young adults through theatre. The ATA is the training venue for Rockin’ Kids Club, a nationally recognized ‘tween performance group that mixes positive messages for children of all ages with high energy upbeat music and concerts through live performances.
In 2008, Ms. Slawson established Junadi Productions to promote Rockin’ Kids Club. Ms. Slawson worked with the Niagara SBDC to develop a business plan and loan proposal in 2002 for startup, and in 2005 for expansion. She returned to the SBDC for assistance with a business plan when she established Junadi Productions. In 2006 and 2007 Ms. Slawson had the privilege of seeing her students perform on Broadway.