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Chris Wilson and Lindsey Crawford

The Dallas Summer Musical Academy of Performing Arts (DSMA) was founded in 1999 and operates as an affiliate of Dallas Summer Musicals.  DSMA helps prepare amateur and professional students interested in the performing arts by producing Broadway, off-Broadway, West End and touring theatrical productions.  Students are comprised of children seven years old thru adult, but 75 percent are teens.

Studies show more and more that arts education has an effect on student achievement. 

“Performing on-stage builds self-confidence and promotes thinking on one’s feet,” Director of Education, Kevin Cook said.  

Those qualities often result in a student being elected class officer and recognized for their academic achievement. 

Cook earned his B.A. in Theatre Arts from the University of Richmond in Virginia and his M.A. with an emphasis in writing and directing for the stage from Bowling GreenStateUniversity in Ohio. He spent many years touring as a professional actor prior to his position with DSMA. 

Ty Lawrence is the resident Production Stage Manager for DSMA. She began her stage management career with the Junior Players Guild in Dallas with “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever.”  Lawrence was also the Production Stage Manager for the “Spectacular Senior Follies” performed at Dallas’ historic Majestic Theater. 

Teaching the two week summer drama camp at Central Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Dallas are DSMA instructors Lindsey Crawford and Chris Wilson. Back for their second year of Central’s drama camp, the song and dance instructors do an amazing job coaching the kids in theatrical skills during the two-week camp program. 

Reason may be—Crawford and Lindsey were born to do what they are doing. 

Dance Instructor and Choreographer, Crawford, has been dancing ever since she was a little girl. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Theatre Arts with minors in Dance and Education from Texas Tech University. She is certified by the Texas Education Agency to teach Theatre Arts and Dance. Mother of two young children, Crawford says “I love the opportunity to inspire, teach, and guide children in developing their love for the arts—a lesson that will benefit them in any career they may choose.” 

Like Crawford who began dancing at an early age, Wilson began singing when he was a young boy. 

“I have been singing in church choirs all my life,” Wilson said. 

After hearing him perform as Music Director at last year’s summer camp, Central featured Crawford and his mom as guests in their musical ministry one Sunday.  The performance was spectacular. 

Wilson graduated from the University of Texas at Arlington with a degree in music education.  He has performed on Broadway and Royal Caribbean Cruise Line. 

At the summer drama camp many of the kids are return “campers,” proving that they have a great time singing, dancing and acting.  At the end of the two-week period an on-stage performance allows them to show family and friends what they learned. The audience is duly impressed both with the ability of the kids and the skill of the instructors. 

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