Michael Popovsky is the owner and one of the many teachers at Popovsky Performing Arts Studio (PPAS). In addition, he is a performer on the stages around the area including the Fulton Theatre and Mount Gretna Playhouse. In his commitment to giving back to the community, Michael and PPAS organize and put on a benefit for Milagro House called “Gifts from the Heart” every January. He is an very socially minded and captivating individual that supports the arts community in Lancaster in many different ways.

I had a chance to sit down with Michael, and talk about his career and his studio. Michael is a very passionate person who truly cares about his students as well as how important the arts are to our lives and the Lancaster community.

Kelli Curtin: Tell me about Popovsky Performing Arts Studio. What does the studio offer to the students?

Michael Popovsky: The studio was launched in 2007 as a private voice studio. It has grown into a full-fledged studio where we offer voice, acting, dance, choirs, master classes, performance opportunities and music together classes. Music together classes are for children 0 – 5 years of age and their parents. We help any performer meet their goals, and we have programs to suit their needs.

We also are offering the new Triple Threat Certificate Program. This is for the best of the best students. It is a yearlong certificate program where we work on strengthening each student’s skills in singing, dancing and acting.

Our number one goal at the studio is to engender in people the love of the arts. Also, our second goal is to help people reach their personal goal whether it is getting into college or singing their best in a church solo. Our students range in age, so every individual’s goals are different.

Kelli Curtin: Why did you choose Lancaster?

Michael Popovsky: I graduated from Franklin and Marshall College. I also performed and taught locally. I feel lucky I ended up in this amazing and vibrant arts community. I am able to do so much here; I teach in Lancaster as well as perform here. I have performed at Ephrata Performing Arts Center (EPAC) and Marc Robin, [the artistic director at the Fulton Theatre], gave me my first professional opportunity. That show was Les Misérables, and it was my dream show. Both these theatres, [EPAC and the Fulton] allowed me to grow.

Kelli Curtin: What gives you the most fulfillment?

Michael Popovsky: Being involved in the arts daily and seeing my students succeed is fulfilling. In addition, having a full house at the “Gifts from the Heart” benefit. It is amazing for me knowing I am leaving a footprint on the arts community here, whether it is in teaching or performing.

Kelli Curtin: How did the studio get started?

Michael Popovsky: I began teaching students privately, and I made connections through Franklin and Marshall [College] and EPAC. I found that other teachers in the arts were attracted to an opportunity to work together and grow. Step by step we began adding more voice teachers, acting teachers and dance teachers. It became a collaborative effort for the amazing teachers on board.

Kelli Curtin: What is the importance of the arts to students and the community?

Michael Popovsky: Arts education help students excel in all areas of life whether it is the sciences or performing.  The arts help give people confidence in areas from stage presence to public speaking. An arts education helps people learn life skills.

The Lancaster community has a thriving arts population that is actively involved in the community. Many people are involved in the arts, and the arts community brings people together at events such as theatre shows and First Friday – there is a sense of camaraderie at these events.

Kelli Curtin: How did you get involved in the arts?

Michael Popovsky: I come from an artistic family, I had a great aunt who was a music teacher in York County, and my parents were always singing. I was surrounded by music. My acting career got started when I was in the third grade, and I was the lead in the musical. Over the years, my confidence grew and my family encouraged me. I loved singing and I just followed what I loved. I started with music classes in college, and ended up with a double major in music and business. Now I am in a forward thinking thriving arts community where I help teach people about the arts.

For more information about Popovsky Performing Arts Studio and the classes they offer visit their website at www.popovskyperformingarts.com or call the studio at (717) 517-8543.

Kelli Curtin is editor and writer for theatresensation.com. In addition, she writes for the online sites broadwayworld.com and figlancaster.com and is a freelance writer. Kelli is excited to share her passion about theatre and the arts with her readers. Kelli can be found on twitter @theatrescribe and on Facebook/theatresensation.

Originally seen on the FIG Lancaster website on August 22, 2013.

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