Teaching Life Skills through Stage Skills
Expression, focus and spontaneity skills lead to success on stage; confidence, discipline and teamwork skills lead to success in life.
Founded in 1996, the training program of the State Theatre of Georgia has grown from 200 students to over 700. The Springer Theatre Academy’s success has been the catalyst for the performing arts boom in the Columbus area, providing well-trained, highly-motivated young artists and valuable educational resources to boost theatre and music programs in schools, colleges and theatre companies throughout the region.
Our staff of professional actors, directors, theatre teachers and technicians are skilled at what they do, offering students the best training available in the Southeast. But they are also people who care deeply about young people and are passionately committed to sharing with them the joy and craft of theatre.
Our students have been featured in many Springer productions, including A Christmas Carol, Les Misérables, Pinkalicious, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, James and the Giant Peach, Annie, HONK!, Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing, The BFG, Cinderella and Amazing Grace.
Springer Theatre Academy Director
Sally Baker has been connected to the Springer for most of her life, having been a performer, teacher and director here over the years. She has performed in over 25 Springer shows including Annie as Annie in 1989, Macbeth (weird sister), Charlotte's Web (Lamb) and Singin' in the Rain. She directed the Springer Children's Theatre productions of Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse (2007) and Charlotte's Web (2014). Prior to joining the Springer as Springer Theatre Academy director, she taught drama and journalism at Winder-Barrow High in Winder where she directed such shows as Wiley and the Hairy Man, Once on This Island, The Rose of Treason and Little Shop of Horrors. She was education coordinator at California Theatre Center (San Francisco area) and Nashville Children's Theatre. Sally has also performed in The Elves and the Shoemaker, The Frog Prince, The Reluctant Dragon, The Miser and in the national premiere of Harry the Dirty Dog (Harry).
Dorothy W. "Dot" McClure, long-time theatre educator and namesake of the Dorothy W. McClure Springer Theatre Academy, is part of the heroic group of local arts patrons who saved the Springer from the wrecking ball in the 1960s. Dot and her co-visionaries restored the Springer to Edwardian splendor and propelled it forward to become the State Theatre of Georgia, a National Historic Landmark and a regional theatre known for the excellence of its production, as a spawning ground for new plays and a teaching theatre with the largest theatre academy in the Southeast.
The Springer Theatre Academy acknowledges generous support from the McClure Family Foundation, the J.W. & Ethel I. Woodruff Foundation, the Columbus Cultural Arts Alliance, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and the Georgia Council for the Arts.