Imagine. Create. Rehearse. Perform.
Explore singing, dancing and acting in the art that brings it all together: Musical Theater.
Musical Theater classes
Our Musical Theater classes will give you a supportive, creative environment in which to hone your skills. As you discover and develop your unique strengths and talents, you’ll work toward putting them together in a fun, creative and expressive way. And you’ll build confidence too.
Our Performance classes help you develop rehearsal skills and process as you prepare for a year-end Showcase. You’ll learn discipline, personal accountability and rehearsal etiquette as you collaborate with others in a professional working environment. You’ll build confidence and skill … and have fun doing it!
Whether it’s for family and friends or the greater community, nothing makes learning more fun than a live production in front of a live audience. We have many opportunities for you to shine.
All School Musical
Performed in the spring, the All School Musical is open to any Center student from third grade through eighth grade. No auditions are necessary and all members are guaranteed participation.
High School Musical
This production is open to all Center students from eighth grade through twelfth grade. Like the All School Musical, it does not require auditions.
CTA Touring Company is a Musical Theater troupe that performs a fully staged 30-minute musical revue at community, corporate, and educational events. The Touring Company’s ensemble environment allows you to apply all the elements of theater, dance, vocal training, and rehearsal and performance etiquette. Auditions and supporting classes are required for this activity.
Musical Theater Instructors
(B.F.A., Masters in Curriculum and Instruction, Point Park University)
Billy received his BFA in Theater Arts in 1993 and later returned for his Masters in Curriculum and Instruction in 2008, both from Point Park University. Billy has taught Acting and Musical Theater for The Performing Arts faculties of The Pittsburgh High School for the Creative and Performing Arts (CAPA), The Pennsylvania Governors School for the Arts and the CMU pre-college program. He is also an active member of the Arts Education Collaborative (AEC) and is the Executive Director of the Center for Theater Arts.
David Pressau has been teaching Musical Theater classes at the Pittsburgh High School for the Creative and Performing Arts for over 20 years. He has musically directed Parade, Runaways, Guys and Dolls, Once on This Island Ragtime, and award-winning productions of Weird Romance, Chess, Children of Eden, Secret Garden, Violet and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. David has been Music Director for Don Brockett Productions, CLO Mini-Stars and Ken Gargaro’s Good Vibrations. He has taught Musical Theater for The Performing Arts faculties of The Pittsburgh High School for the Creative and Performing Arts (CAPA) and The Pennsylvania Governors School for the Arts. David is also the founder and Director of the Christian Vocal Ensemble “ONE VOICE.”
Alivia Vereb Owen
(B.A. Point Park University)
Alivia received her B.A. in Dance from Point Park University. She is an instructor, director and choreographer for the CTA. In addition, Alivia has been a dance instructor for Carnegie Mellon University, Ballet Academy of Pittsburgh and Regional Dance America. She has choreographed for Stage 62, South Park Theatre, Keystone Oaks and Baldwin High School. Alivia has performed throughout the Pittsburgh area for the Civic Light Opera, Pittsburgh Musical Theater, Pittsburgh Playhouse and West Virginia Public Theater. This summer, Alivia had the amazing opportunity to choreograph Spitfire Grille and Floyd Collins for Front Porch Theatricals.
(B.F.A. Ohio University)
Acting, Improvisation, Musical Theater Performance Workshop
Jessica Savitz has a BFA in theatre performance from Ohio University. In addition to her classes at The Center, she also teaches acting at The Heritage Players. Besides teaching, Jessica has a huge passion for directing. Recently, she directed Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good Very Bad Day at Stage 62 and Mame at The Heritage Players. Jessica was the assistant director for Front Porch Theatricals’ production of The Spitfire Grill and their production of Floyd Collins. She was also the assistant director of Kinetic Theatre’s production of The Hound of the Baskervilles, Front Porch Theatricals’ production of The Light in the Piazza as well as Stage 62’s production of Next to Normal and The Rocky Horror Show
(B.A. Duquesne University)
Lucas Bowman, originally hailing from Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, is a graduate of Duquesne University’s Class of 2016 having majored in Piano Performance. He was a part of the Duquesne Jazz Ensemble and was selected as part of the Mid-Atlantic Collegiate Jazz Orchestra with Ted Nash. Lucas is an active performer in the Pittsburgh area, having played with such groups as “Jazz Conspiracy,” Duquesne Wind Symphony, Chalk Dinosaur, Lee Robinson and Iska, and Sophia Jazz Trio and is primarily known as the keyboard player for the Pittsburgh-based rock/soul band “The Commonheart.”
Laura Daniels is a Pittsburgh native and has a varied background as a musician, teacher and actress. She has music directed and taught musical theater for more than 30 years, with the last nine at CTA. Other schools include CLO Academy and Kids Theater Works. Favorite music directing credits include Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, The Fantasticks, You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown and Godspell. Acting credits include You Can’t Take it With You (Alice), Pirates of Penzance (daughter) and Top Girls (Lady Nijo). Laura is co-music director of Temple Sinai’s Mostly Musical Shabbat and is glad to have been a presenting artist for Gateway to the Arts. She has also played in the orchestra pit for musicals, performs solo piano/vocal, and has sung back-up vocals for John McDonald as well as Mark Milovats’ Children’s Miracle Network Christmas shows. Laura recorded the piano tracks for cabaret versions of songs by John Hayes, including I’m a Song, which she co-wrote. She is a member of MTAP (Musical Theater Artists of Pittsburgh), a group of artists who collaborate to write new musicals.
(University of Southern California)
Lorraine Serra has been with The Center for 6 years, as Music Director for the Pathfinder School program in Bethel Park. Originally from Los Angeles, CA, she attended University of Southern California, then worked as a musician and singer for 20 years in recording sessions, touring Europe, working in nightclubs and with Big Band Orchestra. Lorraine appeared in numerous productions as a member of the Burbank Civic Light Opera in Los Angeles. She currently enjoys her role as a teacher with special needs students, as well as teaching private students piano, guitar, and voice, and leading worship and choral groups.
(B.F.A. Point Park University)
Gwyneth Serra loves being a part of The CTA and has been teaching there since 1994 on a part-time basis. She has been a full time teacher at Lincoln Park Performing Arts Charter School since its conception 10 years ago. In addition to teaching theater arts, she also loves performing in Pittsburgh. Her favorite roles include Mother (A Christmas Story), Jodi (The Bikinis), Patsy Cline (Always Patsy Cline), Roxie Hart (Chicago), Pirate Jenny (Three Penny Opera), Historian (Discovery Channel’s The Haunted), Mrs. Triggle (Lincoln Interactive), and voice-over work for PACyber. She received a B.F.A. in musical Theater at Point Park University.
(BHA Carnegie Mellon University – Drama, Music and Creative Writing, MAPW Masters in Professional Writing Carnegie Mellon University)
Vocal and Musical Theater
Lisa Marinacci recently returned home to Pittsburgh after performing, writing and producing in NYC, Las Vegas and Los Angeles. She began working professionally at age 5 in role of Gretel in the Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera’s production of The Sound Of Music. She spent the next 15 years studying at The Center for Theater Arts and performing throughout Pittsburgh on stage and in commercials, and also alongside jazz guitarist Joe Negri as a featured singer at events such “Jazz for Juniors.” She went on to study drama, writing and music at Carnegie Mellon University where she earned both her undergraduate and graduate degrees. While living in NYC, Lisa traveled back and forth to Pittsburgh to co-produce her first album with Joe Negri titled “Waiting For Spring.” She went on to co-produce Snoopy, The Musical!!! in Hollywood, CA, also appearing as Peppermint Patty. During her time in Los Angeles, Lisa created the web series “Welcome to California!” and also began workshopping her original musical, The Devil And Daisy Jane, which received a professional workshop production in Hollywood and went on to win Stage Scene LA’s Best New Musical award. Lisa is ecstatic to be teaching at The Center – a place that always did and still feels like home.
(B.Mus. Duquesne University)
Accompanist: Voice and Musical Theater
Pittsburgh native, Alex Robertson, has been an active music director and accompanist in the Pittsburgh area since 2007. He has musically directed productions for South Allegheny High School for the past three years. As a touring musician and songwriter, Alex has performed to audiences across the country and been featured in the Vans Warped Tour. His music can be heard on Spotify,105.9 The X, Kerrang Radio (U.K) and Root Sports Pittsburgh.
(B.Mus., Piano Performance Duquesne University)
Voice and Musical Theater
Skylar Bunk is a pianist, conductor, and educator working in the Greater Pittsburgh Area. Currently, he is pursuing his Master’s of Music Degree in Piano Performance and Collaborative Studies at Duquesne University’s Mary Pappert School of Music. His graduate work also includes a secondary concentration in Choral Conducting and research emphasis in Embodied Music Cognition. Additionally, he is studying at
Carnegie Mellon’s Marta Sanchez Dalcroze Training Center and is a candidate for the Certificate in Dalcroze Eurhythmics. He holds a Bachelor of Music Degree in Piano Performance from Duquesne University, as well as a Certificate in Piano Pedagogy. As an educator, Skylar has served in a variety of capacities. He has worked extensively with preschool students and collegiate music majors, has taught piano in both private and classroom settings, and coached vocalists in a wide range of styles. From behind the podium to the front of the classroom, Skylar’s teaching is greatly influenced by his work in Dalcroze Eurhythmics and cognition research. He has performed a diverse span of repertoire in both solo and collaborative settings