CROTON-ON-HUDSON, N.Y. – Long-time performing arts teacher and theater lover, Carol Arrucci, is opening The Cortlandt School of Performing Arts in Croton. Arrucci said the year-round, after-school program is the realization of a two-decades-long dream, as she's taught in performing arts schools around the county and in her home studio.
"I feel like it's going to be a home for me and the kids," Arrucci said, "There's a lot of talent here."
Arrucci teaches chorus and musical theater at Blue Mountain Middle School in the Hendrick Hudson School District. For the 23 years Arrucci has been teaching sixth, seventh and eighth-grade students to stay in tune and learn a few steps. After school, she has travelled throughout Westchester County, teaching children at various performing arts organizations.
The sunny second-floor space at 24 Old Albany Post Road shares a building with Peggy Izzo's The Dance Workshop. The building's inconspicuous second-floor hallway, and equally anonymous set of doors, opens into a bright four-studio work space. The largest of the rooms will soon have a pull-down stage for recitals.
Arrucci said, and her husband confirmed, that while she's been driving from Watch Hill Road in Cortlandt Manor, to Scarsdale, Pleasantville and Elmsford, she's been eyeing buildings for rent.
"Every time she passes a building she says, 'That might be it,'" said husband, Ray Arrucci. Ray Arrucci is a professional actor, the pair have been appreciating music and theater together during the 32 years of their marriage.
The Cortlandt School of Performing Arts' classes concentrate on acting, improvisation, music and musical theater. Arrucci expects her most popular class to be "Revolution!," where popular songs and medleys are arranged with choreography, a "slick presentation" similar to Fox's award-winning show "Glee."
The Cortlandt School of Performing Arts' grand opening is Sept. 9, and classes start about the third week in September. Registration is available online. Tuition varies and generally falls in the $300 range for six weeks of classes.
Among some of the other classes offered at the studio are "Family Arts," a family chorus program, private, conservatory-style instruction for percussion, piano, guitars and for vocalists, and acting and improvisation classes. The school has a staff of seven entertainment professionals.
Like many newly established entrepreneurs, the pair is brimming with ideas. They hope the future holds an array of one-day workshops and seminars, on wide-ranging topics from the history of rock 'n' roll to public speaking.