At Parkway Playhouse, we believe building a well-rounded foundation in theatre arts is crucial to creating successful productions and, more importantly, setting our students up for lifelong success!

Conservatory classes will run September-May and culminate with the inspiring Parkway Junior Showcase, a recital-style event that allows each student to share the knowledge and skills they’ve gained throughout the year. Classes will be taught by teachers who have college degrees in their designated field, experience in the arts, and a passion to share it with our students!

Students enrolled in a Parkway Junior Conservatory class can opt to audition for Fall and Spring Junior productions. There will be no cost to participate in Junior productions however, they will be audition-only and limited to a select number of students showing dedication and growth in their conservatory classes.

NOTE: Conservatory Classes will be held at the Mountain Heritage Center in Burnsville at 113 Green Mountain Drive across from Parkway Playhouse or at the Arts Resource Center in Spruce Pine at 269 Oak Avenue, above the TRAC gallery. Be sure to read all the policies and procedures before registering and remember to fill out the health form completely and bring it with you on the first day of class.


(grades K – 2nd)

Burnsville: Thursday 4:00-5:00pm
Spruce Pine: Monday 3:30-4:30pm
Instructor: Courtney Wahlers

Designed with younger students in mind this class explores the exciting world of creative dramatics. Students will focus on story drama activities, expressive movement, beginning character development, ensemble building, pantomime and improvisation, puppetry, mask making, and much more! (Maximum class size: 12)

(grades 3rd – 6th)

Burnsville: Monday 4:00-5:00pm
Instructor: Erika Tyner

Building on the foundation of voice, movement, character development, and storytelling, students will begin learning specific styles in acting. They will prepare and perform comedic and dramatic scenes, developing character monologues, and scoring scripts. (Maximum class size: 20)

(grades 7th – 12th)

Burnsville: Wednesday 4:00-5:00pm
Instructor: Jenny Martin

This advanced theatre class will explore methods and styles of acting, allowing students to hone their craft. Method acting vs. Meisner will be a piece of cake for students after taking this course. Students will engage in both contemporary and classical texts through prepping and performing scenes and monologues. Preparing audition pieces for college auditions or Mainstage productions will be a focus in this class as well. (Maximum class size: 20)

(grades 8th – 12th)

Burnsville: Tuesday 4:00-5:00pm
Instructor: Kristen Livengood

The perfect opportunity to take improvisational theatre ALL YEAR LONG! This course will train students to be “in the moment” and spontaneous in the responses as it relates to improvisation. A key to good acting is really listening and reacting truthfully. There’s no better place to hone that skill than our weekly improv classes. This course is a prerequisite to be selected for Parkway’s invitation only improv troupe, “Get the Hook.” (Maximum class size: 15)

(grades 3rd – 6th | grades 7th – 12th)

Burnsville: Wednesday 5:00-6:00pm (older class)
Spruce Pine: Wednesday, 3:30 pm- 4:30pm (younger class)
Instructors: Hunter Taylor & Collin Eten

For all the Broadway hopefuls, this class focuses solely on the art of musical theatre. Classes alternate each week between learning music and vocal coaching to learning dance basics and choreography. Students will be doing jazz squares in their sleep with this valuable and engaging course. (Maximum class size: 20)

Directed by Kristen Livengood
Musical Direction by Roberta Whiteside
Choreography by Collin Eten

Ages: 10 – 18
Performances: November 16 – 18
Auditions: Saturday, September 8th, 2:00-5:00pm
First Rehearsal (including JTF Parent meeting): Sunday, September 9th, 2:00pm – 5:00pm
Rehearsals: Mondays & Thursday 5:00pm – 6:30pm, Sundays 2:30pm – 4:30pm

Mary Poppins JR will travel to the 2019 Junior Theatre Festival in Atlanta, GA, January 18 – 21, 2019. The cost of the festival is $235 plus hotel expenses. Scholarships are NOT available for JTF.

NOTE: Students must be enrolled in a class to audition for Mary Poppins, Jr.  Please remember auditioning does not guarantee a student a role (but most likely those auditioning would be cast in the ensemble)


Parkway Playhouse Junior Conservatory want to make certain everyone knows how they are structured. Please go to policies and procedures to read complete guidelines.


1 hour/week: $40/month
2 hours/week: $65/month
3 hours/week: $85/month
Unlimited Classes: $100/month

Pay for tuition online here!

NOTE: Sibling discounts of 25% off each additional student. Apprentices receive a 50% discount.


Need based scholarships available. Please fill out the Scholarship Application Form and return to the Education Coordinator, Hunter Taylor.



Registration for the 2018 – 2019 Conservatory opens on August 1st

Register here!



Pay tuition online here!



If there is insufficient enrollment, a class may be canceled at the sole discretion of Parkway Playhouse. Tuition received for classes canceled by PPH will be refunded in full.

No refunds will be given past the registration deadline for each class.



Please contact our Education Coordinator, Hunter Taylor, or call 828.682.4285.