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Arkansas' best kept theater secret: Central Arkansas Performing Arts Academy

Main Cast of In the Heights: Josh Graham, Shelly Griebel, Riley Hoffer, and Josh Scott
Central Arkansas Performing Arts Academy

If you've lived in central Arkansas for a while, you've probably heard of the Rep, Murry's Dinner Playhouse, the Arkansas Arts Center, and even the Argenta Community Theater, but there is a gem over in Cabot that you may not have heard of: the Central Arkansas Performing Arts Academy (CAPAA).

Founded in 2010, CAPAA is different from the others in its field in that it not only offers the typical short-term workshops and summer intensive programs but also performing arts-related classes the entire school year. And in its short life, it has been busy growing. Consider:

In 2011, CAPAA expanded to include an 80-seat theater, allowing students and instructors to expand their goals and create a true performance venue. To date, they have offered favorites such as Aladdin, Schoolhouse Rock, and Seussical the Musical as well as the lesser-known In the Heights, its most recent production which closed this past weekend.

In 2012, CAPAA traveled to Orlando, Florida, to perform at Disney World as part of the exclusive Disney Performing Arts OnStage program.

In 2013, CAPAA began a Master Class Workshop series that welcomed professional performers from touring companies of Wicked and Beauty and the Beast as guest instructors.

Also in 2013, CAPAA introduced The CAPAA Players, a pre-professional performance group that will again travel to Orlando (in March 2014) to perform, this time at both Disney World and Universal Studios.

And as if that weren't enough for 2013, CAPAA also launched "The Playhouse," a community theater with auditions open to both CAPAA members (i.e. CAPAA students) and non-CAPAA members. Its first offering was 24601, a concert tribute to Les Miserables. Then in December, it offered Macy's Yes, Virginia.

Now in 2014, CAPAA shows no signs of slowing down. In addition to the performances in Orlando in March, the studio is busy preparing its biggest show yet, The Little Mermaid, which will run June 6-11 as part of the non-community theater side.

On March 1, the summer musical theater camp offering will be announced, and according to their website, auditions for a new pre-professional group, CAPAA Player Juniors (for ages 9-13), will be held in April.

For more information or to keep up-to-date on the latest happenings at CAPAA, you may find them on Facebook, visit their website, or contact Danelle Hoffer, the Executive Director, at 501-442-8447 or at

CAPAA is a non-profit organization which exists solely because of generous contributions. If you would like to contribute to the advancement of performing arts in central Arkansas, consider CAPAA.

CAPAA is located at 2061 West Main Street in Cabot behind the Brick Oven Pizza and Quizno's building.

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