Avenue J Studios to offer theater opportunities in Elburn

Published: Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2014 5:30 a.m. CDT

ELBURN – As a mother of children interested in the performing arts, Jennifer Madziarczyk knows how few options there are for kids to perform in western Kane County.

The Sugar Grove resident said her kids have traveled to such cities as Naperville, St. Charles and DeKalb to perform.

That, however, is about to change.

Monday, Madziarczyk is opening Avenue J Studios in the Elburn Community Center, 525 N. Main St., Elburn.

Through classes and musical productions, Avenue J Studios aims to give children a chance to participate in every area of theater, including acting, makeup and set design, Madziarczyk said.

“They can do it all,” she said.

Madziarczyk – who did theater as a kid and has received “on-the-job training” by volunteering with theater groups – said the performing arts are a good way for children to learn to be comfortable on stage and to speak in front of people.

“It’s really all about building the children’s self-esteem,” she said.

Avenue J Studios will offer classes in nine-week sessions in such areas as drama, improv, costuming, puppetry and playwriting. Children as young as 3 can enroll, though some classes are limited to certain ages.

Although classes start Monday, Avenue J Studios held auditions for its first musical theater production – “Once Upon a Leprechaun” – last weekend. About 24 kids between first and 12th grade signed up to be in it, Madziarczyk said, describing that as a good response, especially since Avenue J Studios hadn’t yet opened for classes.

Madziarczyk said the community seems supportive of Avenue J Studios.

“We’ve had a fabulous response,” Madziarczyk said. “A lot of other groups want to collaborate with us.”