Stage Presence: 5-Star Theatricals Entertains & Educates 2

5-Star Theatricals is the same beloved Cabrillo Music Theater—just under a new name—that showcases Broadway-caliber productions to the community by hiring professional actors, both equity and non-equity, to perform with a live orchestra.

“We are the resident theater company at the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza—that means we are your home theater,” says Tal Fox, education director and artistic associate who developed the 5-Star Academy education program, in addition to associate-producing the main stage productions for 5-Star Theatricals.

5-Star Theatricals has been bringing enriching theater to the Conejo Valley for more than three decades; and the most recent addition, the 5-Star Academy, launched in September 2018.

Since then, “We have had multiple classes running, as well as master classes and workshops,” Fox says. “We currently have two classes running through early April.”

This Winter 2019 session, classes include Musical Theater Technique on Thursdays from 5 to 7 p.m. for intermediate to advanced students; and a Musical Theater Performance Class on Saturdays from 1:30 to 4 p.m. for beginner to intermediate students.

Instead of having to drive to L.A. for classes, students receive professional training in Thousand Oaks from industry professionals. Fox says, “We bring the industry to you!” In addition to professional training, students are invited to audition for 5-Star’s mainstage productions. Several of the Academy’s students have been cast in the upcoming production of “Matilda” and a slew of other local talent.

“In addition to our mission of providing professional theater to the Conejo Valley, I’ve come on board with a passion to bring an extensive and professional theater education program to the local kids and teens,” says Fox, who brings in agents, actors, casting directors, musical directors and more to lend their voice and feedback to students.

“We work on developing a strong acting technique in musical theater and fostering connections between theatre performance and our community,” says Fox, adding that their mission is also to introduce children and teens to professional theater, “some for the first time.”

In addition to the professional level of shows that 5-Star Theatricals provides the community, “our education program is bringing in industry professionals to teach our students.”

Everyone who comes in as a guest or teacher is an experienced professional in the entertainment industry.

“We believe that it’s important for our students to get feedback from those that are currently working in their profession or whom have had vast experience in their field,” Fox says. “In addition, we want our students to hear many different opinions on their work and the industry, so we try to bring in an assortment of different guests to cover all the various parts of the industry.”

Serving the entire Conejo Valley and beyond, the program involves students from Thousand Oaks, Moorpark, Ojai, Burbank and Calabasas.

“Our classes are appropriate for kids and teens 6 to 18, and we intend to offer toddler classes in the near future,” Fox says. “Also, look for our summer intensives!”

Because 5-Star shows are designed for all ages, each season is well-rounded and combines familiar musicals with new and exciting shows. For instance, “this season we’ve already brought you the hilarious ‘Shrek,’ and we have the beloved Roald Dahl story, ‘Matilda’ coming up next, with the classic and romantic ‘West Side Story’ closing out our season,” Fox says.

The ultimate goal is to provide the highest quality theatre experience, foster educational opportunities and promote cultural and artistic enrichment to enhance the quality of life in Southern California, Fox further emphasizes.

“By creating opportunities for up-and-coming performers and artists, 5-Star Theatricals has launched hundreds to success in theatre, movies, television and music, including Adam Lambert, Katharine McPhee and Tony nominee, Stephanie J. Block,” Fox says.

Additionally, 5-Star Academy strives to help students develop problem-solving skills, an ability to work collaboratively in a team and gain a strong sense of self-confidence.

“We hope to engage our community in fun and interactive ways, build confidence and creativity, and instill a lifelong love of theater,” says Fox, adding that this is accomplished by bringing in the utmost professionals to educate and inspire students.

“We’ve already seen our students move from the classroom into our main stage productions,” Fox says. “Ultimately, we hope our students take on roles in our and many other companies’ main stage productions and become qualified future theater leaders, onstage and off.”

5-Star Theatricals is located at 2100 Thousand Oaks Blvd, Suite B, in Thousand Oaks. For more information, visit 5StarTheatricals.com or call 805.497.8613.