Capitol Theatre opens registration for youth theater program

Published Aug 10, 2017 at 4:00pm

The Capitol Theatre has opened registration for the fall season of the Rising Stars program, which begins Saturday, Aug. 19.

Tuition for the 10-week program is $120 per student with a $20 discount for additional students from the same household. Four 10-week sessions are offered each year with only Saturday classes for the winter and summer sessions. Shows are presented during the spring and all sessions. Students may register for any or all sessions. The fall session is the final session for 2017, with classes resuming in January. 

Students can be registered online at, by calling the Capitol at 315-337-6277 and speaking to Jon, or by stopping by the business office at 222 W. Dominick St. during business hours, weekdays, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Regular classes will be held on Saturday mornings with additional show rehearsals on Saturday mornings, Sunday afternoons and at least one weekday evening a week beginning the fourth week of classes.

The Rising Stars program, which teaches stage and life skills, is open to all area students in grades 3-12. The fall session will feature a fully produced performance on the Capitol stage in which all students have a speaking role.  

This year’s show will be the historical musical 15 Miles on the Erie Canal in honor of the 200th anniversary of the start of construction on the Erie Canal when the first shovelful of dirt was dug in Rome on July 4, 1817. Cast members will learn about the history of this important time in the history of the Rome area, and of the nation, by portraying the various individuals and families who worked and lived on the canal. The play will be presented on the Capitol stage on Oct. 22 and will be open to the public.  

In addition to acting and creative skills, the focus of the Rising Stars program is building self-confidence, developing reading, speaking, and memorization skills, as well as teaching the importance of responsibility and teamwork.  

“What makes Rising Stars different from other theatre programs for young people is the fact that we are first and foremost a teaching program,” said Rising Stars Director Janet Foote. “The students get the benefit of professional instruction in acting and a chance to experience performing on the Capitol stage, but we also teach life skills that will benefit them in the future. Of course, the kids think they’re just having fun.” 

Questions should be addressed to Janet Foote, Foote is a professional actress and director, owner and producer of The Chatham Theatre Company, and has taught theatre arts at the high school level. She and husband Rod, who often assists with Rising Stars, are inductees in the Rome Arts Hall of Fame.