Lights, camera, action: TBAAL returns to showcase students’ showstopping talent


More than 500 Dallas ISD students have enjoyed the chance-of-a-lifetime to work with Emmy Award-winner Curtis King to hone their passions for theater and art in the spotlight.

The Black Academy of Arts and Letters (TBAAL) 34th Annual Summer Arts Institute is hosted in partnership with the Dallas ISD Extended Learning Opportunities Department. Based on their area of interest, students have the opportunity to learn and participate in the various areas of a full-scale musical production, such as dance, music, theatre, costume design, makeup, lighting, stage management, photography and film production.

This year’s program will pay tribute to one of the world’s most beloved music icons, Michael Jackson. “Michael the Musical” celebrates the king of pop’s’ music journey and examines his artistic and inspiring contributions through song, dance and spoken word. The general public can enjoy the show this Friday at 8 p.m. and Saturday at 1 and 4 p.m. at the Naomi Bruton Main Stage. Tickets are just $4.

King, the founder and president of The Black Academy of Arts and Letters, said the partnership with Dallas ISD and the program not only enhance and develops a students’ passion for theatre, but also stands as an outlet of self-expression for many.

“The performing arts helps young people to understand how to appraise situations, think outside the box and be more confident going into unfamiliar situations. Students learn to trust their ideas and abilities, while gaining self-confidence.” said King. “Here they’re free to thrive and be themselves while also learning the disciplines of art and performance.”

During this cultural enrichment program, students are taught what it takes to run a show, from making props and designing costumes to creating the choreography and production.

Whether students prefer to be in the limelight or work behind the scenes, TBAAL offers students a chance to choose from an array of performance and hands-on technical theater classes and work side by side with highly skilled instructors and professionals.

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