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Ralph G. Rodgers Jr., who was general manager and director of Promised Valley Playhouse from 1974 until 1982, president/general manager of the Polynesian Cultural Center in Laie, Hawaii, 1983-88, and a music educator in the Granite School District (1963-71), is bringing his theatrical experience and expertise into the classroom with the formation of his new Rodgers School of Performing Arts.

Rodgers said his course of instruction will be patterned after the Julliard and Los Angeles schools of performing arts, but will provide performance experiences in addition to the classwork.Rodgers, who is well-known locally and regionally as a performer, writer and director, noted that although he has his degree in music education, 90 percent of his work has been in the performance area.

His new school (with several locations being considered) will provide students with at least a couple of shows a year, some of them possibly written and directed by the students, too.

He will also incorporate several guest lecturers and teachers into the program, drawing on such local talent as Pat Davis (formerly his colleague at Promised Valley Playhouse), Margo Beecher, who has directed several productions for Bountiful Community Theater, and actor-singer Robert Peterson, among others.

"Basically, what I hope comes out of this is that the students who enroll will gain self confidence and motivation," said Rodgers. "If we can improve some acting and singing and theater skills, that will be fine, but the end product is to instill in people a desire to move out of their `comfort zone' and stretch and become more proficient in whatever area they're getting into."

"It isn't just Ronald Reagan, but I've never met a political leader who hasn't had some experience in the performing arts, helping them express themselves and meet people," he said.

Rodgers said the three major goals of his school will be to build and instill in each student:

- Increased self-worth and self-esteem.

- Heightened self-motivation and determination.

- Development and improvement of individual talents.

The curriculum will incorporate such subjects as vocal training, choral performance, effective speaking, choreography and stage movement, script writing, acting and dramatic performance, technical theater production and design, scenic costume and makeup design and the history of performing arts.

Private instruction and specialized assistance can be arranged in addition to the regular classroom instruction.

Rodgers said each student will be expected to attend three hours of class each week. All three hours will be taught in a three-class block on the same day, so that students will need to come to the school only one day each week.

The curriculum will vary and over a period of months or years students will be able to receive training in many diverse aspects of performance arts. Most instruction, according to Rodgers, will be in group of no more than 20-25 students.

Rodgers noted that, because the bulk of the curriculum is to help students feel at ease and comfortable in front of others, the major emphasis will be in classwork and lab situations.

For registration information, call 272-5076 or write to:

The Rodgers School of Performing Arts

P.O. Box 21406

Salt Lake City, UT 84121

Rodgers just completed performing the title role in the Salt Lake Community Arts Center's production of "Scrooge" in the auditorium of Salt Lake Community College's new South City campus (formerly South High School).

He's also performed in, produced or directed nearly 30 producitions, including "The Music Man," "Fiddler on the Roof," "The Mikado" and "The King and I."

He also helped write the scripts and lyrics for a number of LDS Church productions, including "Moroni," "III Nephi," "Joseph" and "Behold the Lamb of God."

During his five years as president/general manager of the Polynesian Cultural Center in Hawaii, Rodgers wrote and produced a video presentation entitled "Portrait of Polynesia."