Looking for information about your favourite theatre companies and programs? We’ve got you covered! Intermission’s Insider Intel articles showcase one company at a time to give you all the information you need before your visit.
This week: Stagecoach Performing Arts Ltd.
What is Stagecoach?
Since opening in 1988, Stagecoach Performing Arts Ltd., which now has schools across eight countries, has unlocked the potential of more than one million students. With nearly 35 years’ experience in teaching the performing arts, the company’s focus is empowering their young performers to do their best. Stagecoach offers students an invaluable opportunity to have fun, make friends, learn new skills, and discover hidden talents, encouraging them to take “safe risks” through rehearsals and performance.
Stagecoach operates under the belief that it is integral for today’s children to be resilient, brave and self-assured. They teach their students much more than simply how to sing, dance and act: they help them blossom into well-rounded individuals, ready to embrace life and all its opportunities. The company adheres to a strict child-safety policy, creating a welcoming, secure environment that encourages children to develop confidence and Creative Courage For Life®.
“The magic of Stagecoach is that it’s a safe, supportive space to try something new, develop a plethora of lifelong skills, and gain confidence. You can expect a place with no glass ceiling in discovering your unlimited potential!”
– Nicole Pitre, Stagecoach Milton, Burlington & Guelph
Stagecoach’s head office is based in the UK: thankfully, they have schools in Canada too!
Stagecoach Performing Arts is a franchise business on a mission to help children and young people develop life skills through performing arts education. In Canada, there are existing franchises in Alberta, British Columbia, Nova Scotia, Quebec, and across Ontario, with plenty of franchise opportunities across the entire country. Stagecoach Principals come from a variety of backgrounds: some used to be full-time teachers, others are artistic entrepreneurs, and some attended Stagecoach when they were children! Regardless of your experience level, the company offers full training opportunities to fill in any gaps in knowledge and ensure that franchisees are comfortable, confident, and thriving as part of the Stagecoach family.
Find your nearest Stagecoach School and enrol in classes on their website.
For more information about opening your own Stagecoach Performing Arts school, you can find out more about franchise opportunities here.
Who is Stagecoach for?
Stagecoach welcomes kids and teens of all aptitudes from ages 4 to 18 to their unique weekly classes, which run over three subsequent terms of the year. While some students go on to enjoy success in the performing arts, all learn essential life skills that will stay with them forever. For children who love to take centre stage, Stagecoach’s performing arts classes are the perfect way to refine their skills and expand their toolbelt. And for children who may not be overly confident, these classes could be the helping hand they need to boost their creativity and their confidence.
Stagecoach’s performing arts classes are divided into three main age groups:
- Early Stages (4–6 years old)
- Exploring roleplay, improvisation, and storytelling while discovering how to use their instrument through song and dance
- Weekly 90-minute sessions, with 30 minutes each of singing, dancing, and acting
- Main Stages (6–16 years old, split by age into focused groups)
- Exploring new styles of song and dance while learning new acting techniques
- Weekly 3-hour sessions, with an hour each of singing, dancing, and acting
- Further Stages (14+ years)
- Operating as a small theatre company
- Weekly 3-hour sessions, with an hour each of singing, dancing, and acting
Stagecoach schools are always looking for teachers with singing, dancing and drama experience. Individuals who are interested in working with Stagecoach are welcome to submit their resume through Stagecoach’s website.
“Trust the process and let your child enjoy the experience. It’s important to support your child’s interest in performing arts and allow them to explore their creativity without putting too much pressure on them. Encourage them to have fun, make friends, and learn new skills.”
– Kristi Wenaus, Stagecoach Nova Scotia
Every Stagecoach school is different: whether in a community hall, church, or school, each location offers a creative environment for learning and growth.
In 2022, the company launched a new formula called The Stagecoach Way. The program, designed for both new and existing principals and teachers, ensures that every Stagecoach student experiences the same fun and engaging environment, no matter where they are. Principals may continue to add their unique voice to the program while guaranteeing parents and young performers the quality they expect from a Stagecoach school.
To learn more about The Stagecoach Way, visit the company’s website.
Stagecoach uses a unique Educational Framework for each stage of learning. While the age groups in each stage may vary slightly across the country, teachers have plenty of space within the program to tailor their classes to suit the age and skill level of the students registered.
In general, every group at Stagecoach will explore singing, dancing, and acting through a wide variety of games, exercises, and performance opportunities. Each Principal and teacher has the freedom to select their own exciting, age-appropriate material based on the needs and interests of the students. But beyond practical performance skills, Stagecoach youths have plenty of opportunities to learn and grow as humans, exploring active listening, turn-taking, and working as part of an ensemble.
To learn more about Stagecoach’s Education Framework and what your child can expect at their Stagecoach school, click here.
“When you learn which songs and dances your child is working on each term, create a playlist and have fun listening to it with your family. Before you know it, everyone will be singing along in the car ride too!”
– Tosha Doiron, Stagecoach Mississauga & Oakville
Performances & Showcases
Every term at Stagecoach is different, which means that each term offers a different type of performance opportunity. In Canada, each Stagecoach school invites parents to an end-of-term showcase focusing on the skills and explorations of that term. These performances may take place at your child’s Stagecoach school, or at another venue, arranged by the Principal. Parents are kept up-to-date on both their child’s progress and upcoming performances.
Beyond physical performance opportunities, parents will see the benefits of their child’s performing arts classes in day-to-day life. Through the Educational Framework, children will gain plenty of confidence, both in performance and in everyday interactions, all while developing new friendships and flexible skills that will help them on the stage and beyond.
Select schools across the world choose to take part in Stagecoach’s Summer Showcase, and Disney’s Dance the Dream, which offers students the opportunity to perform in large theatre venues and dance in the parade at Disneyland Paris.
To contact your local Stagecoach school and learn more about the performance opportunities they offer, visit their website.
A Day in the Life of a Stagecoach Student
It’s easy to imagine the fun and opportunities every child can experience at a Stagecoach school, but you don’t need to! In 2022, Stagecoach Woking student Emily (15) wrote a blog post about a day in the life at Stagecoach, which is published here.