Free Tickets to Sherlock(s)

DMR Adventures denounces hate of any kind. We work every day to provide an inclusive and safe environment for our students and patrons. After Wednesday’s threat which caused Charlottesville City Schools to close on Thursday and today, we invite City Schools students, staff and families to a free, educational experience — the 10 a.m. Friday, March 22nd, production of Sherlock(s). To reserve your tickets please use the code CVILLESTUDENTS online at

We perform in the intimate Belmont Arts Collaborative black box theater and we only have approximately 60 tickets at this time. Please go to to reserve tickets in advance. Additionally, we are proud to once again partner with the Accessible Theatre Project (ATP) which began with our co-production of Captain Louie, JR in 2015. ATP strives to offer safe, judgement-free environments for audiences who would benefit from accessibility accommodations. The ATP performance will be at 1PM on Friday, March 22nd and tickets are free to anyone who can benefit from a theater experience for neurodiverse audience members and their families. Click the following link to reserve tickets to the ATP show.

The Belmont Arts Collaborative is located at 221 Carlton Road, in the same shopping center as Belmont Pizza, Found. Market and Decades Arcade.

DMR Star of the Week: Claire McCulloch

Meet Claire McCulloch, our very first DMR Star of the Week! The DMR Star of the Week program was created to recognize a member of the DMR Family: a student, teacher, mentor, staff member, or volunteer. The DMR Star of the Week should be someone who exhibits a positive attitude, a willingness to collaborate, someone who excels at being a member of an ensemble or team, and someone with outstanding leadership skills who empowers others.

Claire is a member of the Dream Team and the JTF Troupe, and has been involved in DMR for almost a year. Her first project with DMR was the Broadway Adventure production of The Lion King, JR. in which  she played a Lioness. Claire was nominated by several of the members of the 2018-19 Dream Team.

She began her performing career at the Delaware Children’s Theatre in Alice in Wonderland.  Claire said, “I started my acting debut as a door and a carpenter. I have been dancing and singing for as long as I can remember around the house and then as a member of studios and choirs.”

“My favorite memory of DMR is the production of the Lion King, and being one of the Lionesses! I loved all of the singing and choreography, and I still remember it all!”

One of the most important parts of being a DMR Star of the Week is understanding the importance and value of the ensemble. We asked Claire to share an important quality for an ensemble member to have and she responded, “The ability to stand out and blend in at the same time. On stage, you always want to be noticed for doing your part well, but at the same time, you don’t want to take away from the main characters and what they are saying or doing. So make it interesting, but don’t make it all about you.”

Claire’s favorite quote about teamwork is, “To me, teamwork is the beauty of our sport, where you have five acting as one. You become selfless. – Mike Krzyzewski”

Please cheer on Claire, who is making Junior Theater Festival debut with DMR as Mrs. Gloop in Willy Wonka, JR. You can follow Claire and the rest of the DMR JTF troupe on the DMR JTF Facebook page or follow DMR on FB, IG or Twitter.

If you would like to nominate a Star of the Week, please click here!


DMR Adventures Congratulates student Sydney Wynn on her role in A Christmas Story!

(Featured image above of A Christmas Story at Riverside Center.  Photo by Suzanne Carr Rossi/The Free Lance-Star).
Photo Credit: Lori Shinseki

Congratulations are in order for Sydney Wynn, who just opened A Christmas Story at Riverside Center for the Performing Arts.  Sydney is in her 2nd year as a member of the DMR Adventures Dream Team. She is shown on the left, training in NYC with Broadway vet and DMR Guest Artist, Matthew Steffens during our DMRinNYC trip this past January.

You may have recently seen Sydney in Charlottesville playing the lead role of Teli in the production of Jen Hoyt Tidwell’s No Wake at the IX Art Park.

Photo Credit: Dan Reams

This professional production of A Christmas Story is in Fredericksburg, Va. and the show runs November 16 through December 31st. You must call the box office for tickets at 540.370.4300.

Click here for a review from DCMetroTheatreArts.

Congratulations, Sydney!

Click here for our Student Spotlight blog.

Press Release: James and the Giant Peach, JR.




CHARLOTTESVILLE, OCTOBER 14 – DMR ADVENTURES will present its “master-peach,” a production of Roald Dahl’s James and the Giant Peach JR. beginning OCTOBER 22, It was announced today by Freddie Gershon, CEO of Music Theatre International (MTI).  A delightfully offbeat adaptation of the classic Roald Dahl adventure, James and the Giant Peach JR. is a fantastical tale of a boy, his insect friends, and their amazing journey across the ocean on a giant piece of fruit. The musical was adapted to be performed by students by educational musical theater firm iTheatrics under the supervision of Timothy Allen McDonald.

Mariah Layman as Sponge, Teagan Bower as James, and Lobby Janucik as Spiker in James and the Giant Peach JR with DMR Adventures. Photo Credit: Pernmoot Photography

“Behind its wit and whimsy, James and the Giant Peach explores some sophisticated themes. How do we define our family? How we start over after a big loss? We’ve always planned to make it available for performance by schools and educational theaters groups as soon as possible, because – and we think Roald Dahl would agree – young people are capable of amazing things,” says Justin Paul who co-wrote the music and lyrics for the musical with Benj Pasek.

“James is a child put in a remarkable situation, and with the help and support of some new friends he is able to achieve great things.  Similarly, these DMR ADVENTURES students are working together in extraordinary ways to present this musical.  We know their show is going to be great.  Break a leg guys!” says Benj Pasek.

Greyson Taylor as Ladahlord in James and the Giant Peach JR with DMR Adventures. Photo Credit: Pernmoot Photography

Featuring music and lyrics by the Tony-nominated songwriters Justin Paul and Benj Pasek and book by Timothy Allen McDonald, James and the Giant Peach JR. is based on the beloved book by Roald Dahl and tells the story of a young orphaned child who finds a loving family in a most peculiar way.  Sent by his mean, conniving aunts to chop down their old fruit tree, James discovers a magic potion which results in a tremendous peach occupied by some not-so-normal characters.  From the center of the gigantic fruit, James and the unlikely crew launch a journey of enormous proportions.  Together they discover that while we are all born into a family, we then go on to create a family of our own.

Says McDonald about the show, “I was a dyslexic student who hated reading when my third grade teacher, Mrs. Spencer, introduced me to the wonderful world of Roald Dahl. His stories instilled in me a love of reading and I have never looked back.  Through their production these students are celebrating the power of story-telling, teamwork and imagination.  We hope you’ll join us in applauding them.”

DMR ADVENTURES in Charlottesville will present Roald Dahl’s James and the Giant Peach JR. on October 22 at 2PM (preview performance starring understudies) and 7PM at October 23 at 3PM at The Forum at Monticello High School .  Tickets are $10-15 and may be purchased online or with cash at the door, if seats remain.  For more information, please visit  The musical stars 33 young people from the Central Virginia area (Charlottesville, Albemarle, Fluvanna, and Fredericksburg), ages 7-16. Included in the staff are 5 students in DMR’s Youth Leadership Program, a mentorship and leadership program for students with an interest in pursuing the performing arts as a profession.

Eliza Smith as Spider, Connor Wells as Earthworm, Dani Miller as Centipede, Duylan Stukenberg as Grasshopper, Teagan Bower as James, and Katie Wall as Ladybug in James and the Giant Peach JR with DMR Adventures. Photo Credit: Pernmoot Photography

James and the Giant Peach JR. is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI).  All authorized performance materials are also supplied by MTI. 421 West 54th Street, New York, NY 10019 Phone: 212-541-4684 Fax: 212-397-4684


DMR Adventures develops artists through education and performance opportunities in acting, dance, and voice. Classes and programs are led by both local and visiting guest artists who are experts in their respective fields. DMR Adventures provides professional performing arts training that serves to drive passion, discipline and commitment in the students with whom they work.

High-res media files are located at


Contact: Melissa Charles, (434) 203-6314,

DMR Adventures Congratulates student Finn Faulconer on being cast in the National Tour of Finding Neverland!

9Y0A1248Major congratulations are in order for Finn Faulconer, who will be playing George on the National Tour of Finding Neverland.  Finn was a member of the  2015-16 Dream Team of DMR Adventures, who traveled to Norfolk, VA to participate in the Junior Theater Celebration and traveled to NYC in January with DMRinNYC. Finn is shown on the left, training with Broadway vet and DMR Guest Artist, Matthew Steffens. One of the shows we saw on our New York trip was Finding Neverland, and it is a dream come true for us to see him onstage with the Broadway Tour!

faulconer_finn1The touring production will launch on October 11 in Buffalo, NY, before continuing to additional cities across the country.

Finding Neverland features direction by Tony Award winner Diane Paulus, a book by Olivier Award nominee James Graham, music and lyrics by Gary Barlow and Grammy Award winner Eliot Kennedy, and choreography by Emmy Award winner Mia Michaels.

Click here to see the casting announcement from Broadway Buzz.

Click here for the official cast list from Finding Neverland!

Congratulations, Finn!


UVA Grads Who Have Starred on Broadway Return to Charlottesville to Perform With Local Youth Actors

“Broadway at The Paramount!”
UVA Grads Who Have Starred on Broadway Return to Charlottesville
to Perform With Local Youth Actors

  WHO: DMR Adventures
WHAT: “Broadway at the Paramount”
WHEN: Saturday, August 13 at 7:00PM
WHERE: The Paramount Theater, Charlottesville, VA

Ticket Pricing
$15.00 Youth (12 and under), $20.00 Adult, $50.00 VIP
Phone: 434-979-1333
Box Office: 215 East Main Street, Charlottesville, VA 22902, Monday-Friday 10AM-2PM

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA — August 10, 2016 — UVA alumni who have starred in some of the most popular shows in Broadway history return to Charlottesville this Saturday, August 13th, as part of DMR Adventures’ Broadway at The Paramount! This event caps a week of professional instruction by visiting Broadway Guest Artists with 65 local youth performers. DMR youth performers have gone on to earn credits in national stage tours, television and commercials.

This Broadway-themed musical revue features Brad Bass (Jersey Boys, Memphis, Wicked), Meredith Akins (Wicked, Mamma Mia, Footloose, Legally Blonde) and Matthew Steffens (Dr. Zhivago, West Side Story, Promises, Promises, Contact, Smash, The Last 5 Years film). They will belt out your favorite songs with area students on the historic stage of the renovated Paramount Theater. Atkins and Steffens both graduated from the University of Virginia, as did Melissa Charles, who serves as DMR Artistic Director and portrays “Lydia Ketchum” on AMC’s TURN.

“I am so happy to be back in Charlottesville because this is the place where a teacher told me that it was ok to take a risk, yet trust that my love and respect for the arts was enough to at least try for something ‘bigger’ than myself,” said UVA alumna Meredith Akins. “I never set out to be a performer before that conversation, yet an educator took the time to listen to what I could not even hear myself. After over a 20-year career in theatre, I want to give back and cultivate a space where students have the confidence to work as an ensemble and be inspired by each other. A place that they can find their artistic and emotional strengths. I truly believe that arts education allows young students to make new bold connections with the environment and people around them!”

Bass has been working with Charles since her move to Charlottesville four years ago.

“I’ve been working with Melissa Charles at DMR since the beginning,” said Bass. “She has created an environment where children and young adults of all ages can truly thrive. The program exists to help students excel. Musical theatre is a privileged art form, and without it, I’m not sure I would have survived my youth. I didn’t have a program like this to push me towards my own personal greatness. So I’m incredibly thankful for the work Melissa does and I’m proud of the dedication by all who help make DMR so special.”

“I’m beyond excited to return to Charlottesville to work with DMR adventures this week, and perform at Broadway at the Paramount on Thursday,” said Steffens.  “This town was very different when i went to UVA, and it is nice to see that even though it’s grown a lot it still has the same charm. UVA played a major part in my early development as an artist and I wouldn’t have had the successes i’ve had without my years there. t’ve spen the past 12 years working in the Broadway community and i can’t wait to share that knowledge with the DMR students. We’re already 2 days in and it’s going to be an AMAZING SHOW! SO MUCH TALENT!”

“I cannot think of a more fitting way for our young DMR performers to learn their craft than from people that have been there and done it on Broadway,” said Charles.” “As an UVA alumna, it is gratifying for my fellow Wahoos to return to Charlottesville to perform at the historic Paramount Theater.”

Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased at The Paramount Theater’s Box Office, by phone at 434-979-1333, or online at

DMR Adventures (Dreams Made Real) develops artists through education and performance opportunities in acting, dance, and voice. Classes and programs are led by both local and visiting guest artists who are experts in their respective fields. DMR Adventures provides professional performing arts training that serves to drive passion, discipline and commitment in the students with whom they work.

Broadway at the Paramount Poster - 8.5X11

DMR All Stars at Richmond Squirrels Game

The DMR All Stars did a GREAT job singing the National Anthem this week at the Richmond Flying Squirrels game on 6/14/16. What a great performance, and a fabulous way to end the semester. Check out some photos from the evening.

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Dylan to perform in The Boy From Oz with Richmond Triangle Players

Congrats to Dylan on his first Richmond show, The Boy From OZ, with Richmond Triangle Players. Dylan was a member of the 2014-15 All Stars and the 2015-16 Dream Team and has been in several shows and many classes with DMR.

Dylan Headshot 2015Dylan is excited to be debuting in his first show in Richmond! He plays the role of young Peter Allen in The Boy From Oz at the Richmond Triangle Players. This musical is based on the colorful life story of Peter Allen who was a singer songwriter that grew up in the Outback and was subsequently discovered and brought to the USA by Judy Garland. This musical first performed in Australia in 1998-2000 and then on Broadway in 2003-2004 with Hugh Jackman playing Peter Allen. Dylan’s role is everything one imagines of a Broadway part – tap dancing, singing, dramatic acting complete with a glittering cast Finale number. Dylan thinks that the best part though was working with a dialect coach to capture that Aussie accent! The show opens on June 16 and runs for a month with possible extensions to the end of July.  Congrats, Dylan!


Auditions for DMR Troupes coming up soon!


dmr-troupes-logosAudition for the 2016-17 DMR Troupes:

DMR All Stars (Our popular singing group, dedicated to community outreach with an emphasis on ensemble singing and directed by Wesley Diener will meet on Thursdays from 5:00-6:30 and will perform at a variety of concerts and events.)
The Junior Stars (this troupe of dedicated musical theatre performers, ages 8 and up will travel and perform regionally and locally and focus on acting, singing, and dancing techniques with Jr. Stars Director Ami Smith and a variety of Guest Artists)
The Dream Team (this troupe of adanced musical theatre performers, ages 8-17 will represent Charlottesville at the Junior Theatre Festival in Atlanta, GA in January. )
Auditions are June 21 & 22
Private Singing Auditions from 5:30-6:30
Dance call at 6:45 for approximately one hour.
You can register for auditions at this link
Our tentative schedule:
Dream Team rehearses from 12:45-2:15 on Sundays, Starting August 28.
Jr. Stars rehearses from 5:00-6:30 on Wednesdays, starting August 31st.
All Stars rehearse from 5:00-6:30 on Thursdays, Starting Sept. 1.
*Our initial plans for Jr. Stars have changed. This troupe will now last one semester, and end on Dec. 7th. The Jr. Stars will focus on developing a solid technique in singing, dancing, and acting, under the direction of Ami Smith, with assistance from a variety of Guest Artists. In addition, the Jr. Stars will work on a 10 minute piece from Annie, Jr., which will be performed the VTA Celebration event with iTheatrics in Lynchburg, as well as several other local events. We are waiting on final dates from VTA before publishing commitments. It IS now possible to be a member of both Dream Team AND Jr. Stars. Only Dream Team will travel to and perform at the Junior Theatre Festival in Atlanta, Jr., but members of Jr. Stars will be invited to come and participate in classes and workshops. More details plans will be announced shortly.
More info coming soon!dmr-troupes-logos

Wynn Sisters aka Schuyler Sisters featured on NY Times Video about Hamilton!

Click here to check out the amazing Wynn Sisters (aka the Schuyler Sister) featured on NY Times Video about Hamilton! This amazing family camped out for over 30 hours for their mom’s birthday, and all 5 of them got to see the show. They also got their own chance to entertain the public with their performances!  The Wynn sisters are members of our inaugural Dream Team and we hope they’ll continue to be a part of DMR Adventures for a long time.


Dance, Dance, Dance!

We have many different dance and movement opportunities coming up in the next few weeks and months with DMR Adventures. Below are a handful of the educational dance opportunities you will find in our new studio.  We are still in the process of scheduling classes  and plan to offer improv, modern, yoga, and choreography classes as well. We’ll be making an announcement soon about free community classes on Saturday, June 4th!


New 2016 Summer Camps JUST Announced!

New 2016 Summer Camps JUST Announced!

Click here to register for our incredible 2016 Summer Camps/Classes. Check out the descriptions below for more information.


Mowgli’s Musical Adventure
June 13-June 17, 9AM-12:30PM ($180)
Class presentation at noon on Friday, June 17  at the DMR Studio (1117 E Market Street)
Open to rising 1st graders and up!
Campers will explore the characters and story from Rudyard Kipling’s famous novel, The Jungle Book, in this musical theatre class.  Directed by award-winning professional actor/director, Melissa Charles this mini-camp will challenge and delight students. Students will gain confidence in singing, acting, and dancing, and will have the opportunity to put their work into performance for family and friends, complete with costumes, props and set!
Final class performance will take place at noon on Friday, June 17. 

Camp-Cabaret-Logo-with-backgroundCamp Cabaret
taught by Melissa Charles, Heather Hightower, and accompanist TBA, with NYC guest teaching artists
June 13-June 17, 1PM-5PM ($225)
*Performance at 5:00 on Friday, June 17 at the DMR Studio (1117 E Market Street)
Open to rising 4th grade and up, younger students with permission/audition only

Learn how to present an exciting evening of music through a cabaret theme that students choose with their fellow cast members. Students will work on group songs and solos, and will spend time with professional coaches from the area, as well as with NYC Cabaret Artists via Skype. Camp size is strictly limited to 12 students.

Gleeked-Out-Logo-no-backgroundGLEEKED OUT!
June 20-24, 9AM-2PM  ($275)
*Performance at 1:00 on Friday, June 24 at the DMR Studio (1117 E Market Street)
Open to rising 3rd grade and up, younger students with permission/audition only

Campers will learn songs and dances inspired by the Fox television hit, GLEE!, and will have the opportunity to perform for family and friends at the end of the camp.  At Gleeked Out Camp, young adults will be immersed in their favorite songs as they work on both large and small group numbers. They will be coached in healthy vocal technique and style, stage presence, choreography, movement and staging. Many of their numbers will be coached and choreographed by other young adults! Interested students also have the opportunity to submit a song or dance for consideration and to be involved in the staging of that number. Gleeked Out Camp provides kids with a chance to form friendships and confidence in a challenging, supportive setting, while giving them skills to bring back to their own school theater groups, choruses and glee clubs.

July 11-15, 1PM-5PM  ($225)

*Performance at 4:00 on Friday, July 15 at the DMR Studio (1117 E Market Street)
Open to rising 5th grade and up, younger students with permission/audition only

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve heard about Lin Manuel Miranda’s groundbreaking Broadway hit Hamilton, an inspiring example of wordplay. In this new DMR camp, Word/Play, campers will deconstruct classic and contemporary scripts, poetry, and music to create their own exciting performance. A combination of traditional acting techniques mixed with storytelling, spoken word, and hip hop makes this an unique educational experience for aspiring actors and writers. Campers will take away from Word/Play the skills to quickly analyze and breakdown text, tools to improve cold reading skills, the ability to improv and think on their feet, and the basics to enhance brainstorming and creativity. Word/Play will be led by the closing speaker in the Tedx conference, Bernard Hankins, with assistance from DMR Artistic Director, Melissa Charles.

Noble-Gnarble-logo-full-Mini-Musical Camp, The Journey of the Noble Gnarble
August 1-5, 9AM-2PM  ($275)

(early bird pricing of $220 ends June 13)
*Performance at 1:00 on Friday, August 5 at the DMR Studio (1117 E Market Street)
Open to rising K-5 students

This mini-musical theatre camp will be led by professional actor/director/choreographer, Becca Vourvoulas, along with a the wonderful Tara Scott as Music Director. Students will learn about acting, singing, dancing, and teamwork in the form of putting on a production, The Journey of the Noble Gnarble. The ocean floor is filled with the rarest of creatures, but none are as rare as gnarbles. Their fins are small, their tails are floppy, and they have never strayed far from their homes…until now. Journey of the Noble Gnarble is a story of a little gnarble with a big dream, who tries to make it past doubting blyfish, sneaky subbalubbles, and hungry plinks on his way to the surface of the sea. Along the way he befriends the glinny glims who teach him the importance of positivity and determination!

Broadway at the Paramount Basic BW Draft4DMR Summer Musical Theatre Intensive –  Broadway at the Paramount
This is THE CAMP they’ve been talking about all over town, the only camp that is NOT a new announcement (spaces are EXTREMELY limited)
August 8-12 at Peabody School, August 13 at the Paramount Theatre
*Production starring Broadway Performers and featuring our DMR Students takes place at 7:00PM at the historic Paramount Theatre on the Downtown Mall in Charlottesville, VA 

This camp is not just any theatre camp, itʼs the MOST INCREDIBLE SUMMER MUSICAL THEATRE INTENSIVE for grades 2-college that you will find in Virginia! Campers will train in singing, acting, dancing, and audition technique, and and will have the opportunity to train with multiple Broadway Teaching Artists. We will walk the red carpet, and you will get to see your child perform on stage at the Paramount Theatre, alongside our Broadway performers.

Grades 2-6 M-F from 9-2, Sat. call time is 1:00* ($395)
Grades 7-College M-F from 11-5, Sat. call time is 11:00* ($430)

On-Camera-Acting-IntensiveOn Camera Acting Intensive (A Collaboration between DMR Adventures and The Actor’s Training Studio with Jon Emm)
August 15-19, 9AM-3:00 ($360)
Open to rising 4th grade and up, younger students with permission/audition only. 

Our On-Camera Acting Intensive focuses on heightening your auditioning skills and acting technique, utilizing actual sides from recent Film, TV  and Commercial auditions. Students will have the opportunity to work on-camera, and to see and adjust their work after playback. Students will come out of this camp with properly formatted acting resume, an understanding of auditioning for and working on television and film, and knowledge about the hard work that goes on behind the camera.  Team Teaching by professional actors and teaching artists, Melissa Charles (DMR Adventures) and Jon Emm (The Actor’s Training Studio with Jon Emm), with assistance from Bernard Hankins (Cypher, winner of TEDx competition, and closing speaker at this year’s conference). 

Stay tuned for possible additions of a Shakespeare Camp and Drama Day Camp!

Announcing the Guest Artists for the Summer Musical Theatre Intensive (Broadway at the Paramount)

It is our great honor to announce the Guest Artists for the Summer Musical Theatre Intensive (Broadway at the Paramount)! Register here.

Meredith Akins, Brad Bass & Matthew Steffens


Click here to find out more about the most incredible musical theatre intensive in Virginia, a once in a lifetime experience for your child!