Bookmark and Share
Arts & Entertainment, Community Outreach, General Information

LSU’s Performing Arts Academy & Osher Lifelong Learning Institute Launch ‘Academy for Adults’ Program

12/15/2011 11:08 AM

BATON ROUGE – On the heels of its recently launched New Horizons Band, the LSU Performing Arts Academy has teamed up with the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, or OLLI, at LSU to announce the “Academy for Adults,” a significant expansion of its performing arts programming for older adults.


Beginning in the spring of 2012, the Performing Arts Academy and OLLI will offer three new courses for older adults: “Actors of a Certain Age,” “Jazz Piano for Beginners” and “Theatre Appreciation.”


The new Academy for Adults represents a response to the growing demographic of older adults not only in Baton Rouge, but nationwide.


“We’re thrilled to team up with OLLI for this,” said Performing Arts Academy Director Blake Wilson. “We’ve had so many adults come to us saying ‘I’ve always wanted to learn to play an instrument or to be on stage,, and it’s great to work with an organization like OLLI that has such a strong reputation for providing excellent adult programs. We really believe that the arts are for everyone and that it’s never too late to learn something new. The arts are not just for kids.”


“Actors of a Certain Age,” led by Swine Palace Artistic Director George Judy, will give participants a chance to get on stage and learn acting techniques. For those less inclined toward performing, “Theatre Appreciation,” led by associate professor Leigh Clemons, will provide participants with new ways of watching and interpreting theatre as audience members.


“I anticipate a really fun and relaxing time sharing about theatre with a group of people who also love theatre,” said Clemons.


The course will culminate in a viewing and discussion of LSU Theatre’s production of the musical “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.”


For those interested in learning a new instrument, the “Jazz Piano for Beginners” course offers participants with no prior experience playing a musical instrument the chance to learn in a fun, supportive setting. The class will be held in LSU’s state-of-the-art piano lab, a classroom that allows multiple students to learn piano simultaneously while only hearing themselves and the instructor.


“This class is great for folks who want to learn how to play because it takes away the fear of embarrassment that many beginners feel, without sacrificing the fun, social aspect of being in a group class,” Wilson said.


The program is targeted to adults 50 years of age and over, but all adults are welcome. OLLI at LSU members can take advantage of a discounted course fee. Dates and times will vary. For more information, visit the Performing Arts Academy website at or contact Wilson at 225-578-3531 or


To learn more about the LSU chapter of Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, visit the LSU Continuing Education website at and find the institute under the “Enrichment” tab.

LSU Media Relations