Performing Arts is Alive and Kicking in Sandy Springs

In its 10th year, Orbit Arts Academy is one of several live performance theater troupes in Sandy Springs that is not only providing residents and visitors with exciting entertainment, it is also training new generations of thespians, musicians and dancers.

“We started with a handful of kids and now we’re teaching over 400,” said Shane Simmons, musical director and accompanist who has been with Orbit for nine years. “We cater to young people ages six through 20,” split between several “companies” and classes based on the children’s ages.

“This is for people who want to take part in all aspects of performing arts,” he said. That includes theater arts education, and training in film and television, tap and ballet, voice, and piano.”

In the fall, the children work on their skills, and in the spring, each company performs a musical. In the summer, there are more shows and camps “for kids who love to work.”

Orbit Arts Academy’s Senior Company performing “Red White & True” from Andrew Lippa’s “Big Fish”

Non-profits offer theater training

On Feb. 10, the non-profit Academy just held its Orbit Theatrical Gala, complete with a theatrical production and silent auction to raise funds for operational expenses, production expenses, outreach and scholarships.

Another non-profit theater company and arts academy in Sandy Springs is Act3 Productions, a 76-seat theater located at 6285 Roswell Road. The organization offers a variety of musicals, dramas, improvisations and original productions performed by professional and amateur actors of all ages. Its goal is to expose young people to drama, dance, music, visual arts, technical production both onstage and behind the scenes.

A semi-professional theater company, Act3’s mission “prides itself in offering local artists a professional-level experience through compensation for their work and opportunities to interact with industry professionals,” according to its website. Another goal is to “build a sustainable and vibrant cultural presence and continue to contribute to making Sandy Springs a vital destination for the arts.”

Although its first performance was in January 2010, because of the Covid pandemic, Act3 considers itself to be in its 10 season.

In February, it is offering “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change,” and in March, “Lend Me a Tenor.” More importantly, in the next 30 days, it will be announcing its lineup for the next season, according to Mary Sorrel, executive director.

According to Act3’s website, patrons can now bring their own wine bottles to their shows. “We’ll have cups for purchase at concessions,” it says, as well as “a cooler for white wines and corkscrews.” Sorrel said it’s the only theater in Sandy Springs that offers this option.

Orbit Arts Academy Senior Company’s cast of “Hot Mikado” by Gilbert & Sullivan.

City Springs Theatre Company was launched in 2017

The City Springs Theatre Company, formed in 2017 by Sandy Springs residents, performs musical theater productions and offers arts education programs in affiliation with the City of Sandy Springs in the Sandy Springs Performing Arts Center.

In 2018, City Springs Theatre Company launched a conservatory program dedicated to training the next generation of performers and technicians in musical theatre. The conservatory offers private lessons, a pre-professional company, summer musicals for high school and middle school students, and it participates in the Junior Theater Festival. The pre-professional company trains students ages 12 to 18 who are interested in pursuing a career in the performing arts.

In its short history, the City Springs Theatre Company has served more than 174,000 patrons and 135,000 students through main stage musicals and educational programs.

And that number is certain to grow. In March, the organization will stage Walt Disney’s “Beauty & the Beast” in Byers Theatre. In May, it will present “Legally Blonde: The Musical,” and in from July 12 to Aug. 18, it will showcase “Jersey Boys”.