Professional acting studio opening in Partner Place shops
Professional actor Miles Meehan plans to bring a little bit of Broadway to Lexington. Meehan is the founder and director of Stage Right Acting, a Lexington-based performing arts training company for performers of all ages. Starting in January, Stage Right Acting will offer professional classes in scene acting, scene study, improvisation and musical theatre. Meehan plans to bring in Broadway performers, agents and industry experts from across the country to Lexington to give locals the opportunity to participate in workshops from professionals in the field and get a real-life glimpse into the world of entertainment.
“I want to bring a level of professionalism mixed in with a really good atmosphere,” Meehan said. “Lexington is a beautiful city with a lot of talented people. I want to promote a healthy performing arts community. I think we have the talent in Lexington to do good things but also to help students beyond Lexington.”
A Lexington native, Meehan got his start performing in shows at church. By the age of 7, he booked a principal role in “Lawn Dogs,” a film with Sam Rockwell and Mischa Barton. He spent the next several years performing in regional commercials and musical theatre, eventually winning a role in the Broadway touring company for “Beauty and the Beast.”
In the 10 months of playing Chip, the teacup in “Beauty and the Beast,” Meehan developed life-long relationships in the industry, experienced the thrill of live performance and received a crash course in all that’s expected of an actor. He realized that his experience with the arts didn’t just teach him how to develop skills for the stage, but skills to live a full life, lessons he plans to share with his students.
“It’s important you’re a good person, and it’s important you have a really good attitude,” he said. “When you’re doing a show with somebody every day, when you’re doing a national tour and traveling with people every day, they don’t want people who are drama-filled. They want people who are good people, who are dependable and are nice.”
This lesson helped formulate the mission statement for Stage Right Acting, which puts an emphasis on developing talented performers and nurturing a positive environment.
Personal growth is a topic that links in with Meehan’s background in psychology. He received a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Kentucky before studying Biblical Studies at Asbury Theological Seminary. During this time, Meehan also invested four years teaching drama, Bible and Spanish at the Christian Home School Co-Op. He found he had a knack at teaching drama, not just performing it, and the idea for Stage Right Acting was born.
Stage Right Acting launched as a one-week intensive performance camp this past summer. The camp took place upstairs in the Palomar Neighborhood Clubhouse and was marketed simply, through Facebook and word of mouth. The response was favorable, and students ranging in age from middle school to high school signed up for the camp.
The primary teaching mechanism of the camp was long form improvisation. This form of theatre does not have any lines or props, but challenges participants to invent the scene, the environment and the relationships as they go. Meehan feels this format is incredibly valuable in terms of teaching students skills in areas of leadership, confidence and teamwork, both onstage and off.