The Story of A Work in Progress…
When director Jennifer Roca moved back to Massachusetts from New York City, shortly after 9/11, she spent a few years traveling the state, teaching theatre at performing arts centers, colleges, high schools, and community groups. But once she got married and began having children, that lifestyle was hard to maintain. She thought she may have to stop teaching theatre altogether, when she heard about a group of exceptional homeschool students that met just down the street from her. After teaching and directing these students for five years, she branched off to start A Work in Progress. The name was something she thought of as a temporary name- with the idea that she would come up with a better name once it was more established. And thus, in January of 2013, classes began with 15 eager students. By the fall of 2013, the company had discovered the beautiful theatre in Tolman High School, and “Singin in the Rain” was performed with a cast of only 15 students, none of which had ever performed on a stage of that size before. Yet AWIP managed to pull out all the stops- from professional lighting and costuming to special effects and intricate choreography. And it was then that it became real: that this ‘work in progress’ experiment had substance… and that the name was going to stick. Now, only 5 years later, the company has grown to serving over 100 students, became a non-profit company on July 1, 2015, has an active Board of Directors and Advisory Team, and will be expanding to include school-kids alongside the homeschooled kids. With over 100 students calling us home, we have certainly progressed in a short time.
At A Work in Progress, we want you to feel warmly welcomed and comfortable from the moment you register to the moment you step on the stage. We want students of all ages and abilities to gain confidence while using their gifts and talents to bless their castmates and audiences. We are built on a Christian foundation, but want everyone to feel welcomed, encouraged, and embraced when they are with us, no matter what their background. Our hope is that students will let their light shine- not just on the stage, but in class with each other, and in the communities that we perform for.
Where We Are Now:
A Work in Progress is Incorporated as of June 2, 2015, and officially became a 501(c)(3) corporation in July of 2015. We have been operating as a Non-Profit from the beginning- which does NOT mean that our staff is not paid. We pay our instructors well in order to secure the most qualified teachers! Being a Non-Profit means that any ‘extra’ that we make — the profit– does not go to any overhead, or any one person. It goes back into the company, as scholarship funds and other funds designed to keep costs as low as possible. To learn more about giving to our company, and what our needs are, click here.
This movie, below, was filmed by Media Intern Cole Paul and gives a good glimpse into life at AWIP today…
Where Does Your Money Go?
We created this document to detail where your money goes with the various fees and tuition costs, as well as donations.
Jennifer Roca, current Executive Director
Kim Beck, currently a member of the Board of Directors, overseeing scholarships
Pamela Macbeth, current Costume Coordinator, Designer, and Sewing Instructor
Nicole Mclernon, current Advisory Team member, serving as Secretary of the company
Michael Roca, Jr, current member of the Board of Directors, serving as Treasurer of the company
Brandon Latham, Logo Design [visit https://www.facebook.com/LathamDesign]
Erin Westerlind, Guest Choreographer
Rehearsal, Class, and Production Locations:
- Classes and rehearsals are held at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Attleboro
- special workshops/master classes are held at Cardi’s in South Attleboro.
- Performances are held at Tolman High School in Pawtucket
**A Work in Progress is not affiliated with any of these places.
Core Values of A Work in ProgressA Work In Progress Productions (AWIP) exists to enrich individuals, families, and our community as a whole by providing positive experiences in the performing arts. This includes excellent, affordable, family-friendly performance and educational opportunities in a safe environment for participants of all ages. Built on a Christian Foundation yet welcoming all, we offer professional teaching, catering to the schedules of homeschoolers.
Learn: To offer a positive, professional, and safe environment through which fine arts students are enabled to develop and sharpen their performance skills as they participate in classes and productions.
Grow: To be known as a family-friendly program that provides creative educational opportunities and wholesome entertainment for families and the community.
Shine: To produce excellent and enjoyable performances of the highest quality collectively achievable. AWIP seeks to honor God by using the unique gifts and talents of the group individually and jointly.
A Work in Progress provides training in the following areas, and more:
- Full-length stage productions, with a variety of options to make it easy for your child to participate
- Ballet and tap for all school ages
- Acting classes and workshops for all skill levels and ages
- Backstage design training in sound, lighting, sets and costumes
- Master Classes taught by local professionals
- Other areas of the arts, such as film classes, photography, art and more!
- Salt+Light: An exclusive outreach group, partnering with local churches and community groups as they reach out to their neighborhoods
For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:10)
Media Design (logos, trailers, promotional material): Mason Pimental – www.masonpimental.com
Salt+Light Logo Design: Chris Lachance – http://chrislachance.com/
Additional Photography for classes and productions: Nathaniel de Vries – http://nathanieldevriesphotography.weebly.com/