Naperville, IL

(630) 243-5100

Same Programming, New Name! Academy of the Arts is now Illinois Conservatory for the Arts

Next event:

Velvet Social: For The Dreamers

with the Touring Cast of Back to the Future

Register Now:

IMPACT: Musical Theatre

Session 2: August 5-9

CURTAIN UP!

Academy of the Arts Blog

Latest news

Meet Broadway’s Samantha Pauly

Triple Threat: One Man’s Artistic Journey Through Creative Responsibility

Tell It to Our Hearts

Making an Impact

Call My Agent

Children of Eden in Chicago – a Heavenly Experience

Two Academy of the Arts students were not only chosen to take part in the recent Broadway in Chicago performance of Children of Eden, but they also got to meet its creator, the legendary Stephen Schwartz.

Main & Luxe

Naperville is known for its rich, artistic culture, with outlets for theater, fine arts, and music alike. However, for those looking for training in the performance arts, the closest options reside in the city. Enter the Academy of the Arts — a nonprofit educational institution that serves the Naperville area, coupling high-level arts and high-achieving academics. […]

Academy of the Arts launches 500 for 100 Challenge

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Stories that Need to be Told

ICA student Maya Meschi discusses the changing scene on Broadway with Casting Director Patrick Maravilla.

Meet Broadway’s Samantha Pauly

As 14-year-old Joshua Sanchez prepares to start high school, he took time out to interview one of his biggest idols, Samantha Pauly. The Naperville student is a massive fan of the hit show Six the Musical, so was thrilled to speak to her majesty Katherine Howard via Zoom.

Triple Threat: One Man’s Artistic Journey Through Creative Responsibility

Our Studio classes give students a taste of what’s to come when we open our Academy, but in an after school setting. They enjoy dance, acting, improvisation and writing. In our Exploring a Career in the Arts through Writing course, students practiced interview techniques before getting the opportunity to interview some of their idols over Zoom. Thirteen-year-old Maya Meschi from Naperville was thrilled to interview triple threat James T. Lane just before he opened in his own one man show off-Broadway. Like James Maya loves to dance, act and write, so who knows, one day she may be a triple threat herself!

Triple Threat: One Man’s Artistic Journey Through Creative Responsibility

Our Studio classes give students a taste of what’s to come when we open our Academy, but in an after school setting. They enjoy dance, acting, improvisation and writing. In our Exploring a Career in the Arts through Writing course, students practiced interview techniques before getting the opportunity to interview some of their idols over Zoom. Thirteen-year-old Maya Meschi from Naperville was thrilled to interview triple threat James T. Lane just before he opened in his own one man show off-Broadway. Like James Maya loves to dance, act and write, so who knows, one day she may be a triple threat herself!

Back to the Future

While young people planning a future career in dance are looking forward, experienced dancer and teacher Fana Tesfagiorgis knows that one day they’ll look back and see how far they’ve come. The Alvin Ailey artist talks about her career path while offering some advice to those about to put their best foot forward.

Academy of the Arts to launch first classes

A private school focused on the performing and visual arts will begin after-school classes this fall on the CityGate Centre campus at Interstate 88 and Route 59 in Naperville. Dylan Ladd, one of the founders of the Academy of the Arts, said programs will roll out progressively, with a goal of being fully open by […]

Stories that Need to be Told

ICA student Maya Meschi discusses the changing scene on Broadway with Casting Director Patrick Maravilla.

Meet Broadway’s Samantha Pauly

As 14-year-old Joshua Sanchez prepares to start high school, he took time out to interview one of his biggest idols, Samantha Pauly. The Naperville student is a massive fan of the hit show Six the Musical, so was thrilled to speak to her majesty Katherine Howard via Zoom.

Triple Threat: One Man’s Artistic Journey Through Creative Responsibility

Our Studio classes give students a taste of what’s to come when we open our Academy, but in an after school setting. They enjoy dance, acting, improvisation and writing. In our Exploring a Career in the Arts through Writing course, students practiced interview techniques before getting the opportunity to interview some of their idols over Zoom. Thirteen-year-old Maya Meschi from Naperville was thrilled to interview triple threat James T. Lane just before he opened in his own one man show off-Broadway. Like James Maya loves to dance, act and write, so who knows, one day she may be a triple threat herself!

Art and Soul

As the Director of Arts DuPage, Debbie Venezia is a champion for the arts, dedicated to sharing the county’s vibrant cultural environment with residents and visitors alike. She believes art plays an important role in academic studies but is saddened that it is the first area to get cut in tough economic times.

Children and Art

Immersive art may sound like something new, but it’s been around in different forms for years. From Sondheim’s Sunday in the Park with George to a new children’s exhibit at the DuPage Children’s Museum in Naperville, it’s a great way to strengthen our connection to all kinds of artists.

session 1 • june 10–14, 2024

session 2 • August 5–9, 2024

Check availability

IMPACT is popular and fills up fast! You'll be forwarded to the registration form to grab your spot.

James T. Lane / Dance

West End: The Scottsboro Boys, A Chorus Line – Revival (Palladium Theatre). Broadway: Chicago (Billy Flynn and Amos Hart) Kiss Me, Kate (Paul), King Kong the Musical ,The Scottsboro Boys (Ozie Powell/Ruby Bates), Chicago and A Chorus Line (Richie Walters). Tours: Jersey Boys, Cinderella, Fame the Musical. Regional Theatre: Guys and Dolls ( Nicely Nicely) Virginia Stage Company, Mary Poppins (Bert) Aint’t Misbehavin ,Drury Lane Theatre, The Wiz (Tin Man), Broadway at Music Circus,The Old Globe, The Little Mermaid (Sebastian) The Muny, A.C.T and Dallas Theatre Center. Encores/Off Center:Promenade,Grand Hotel, Don’t Bother Me, I Can’t Cope Concerts: Carnegie Hall with The New York Pops, Ottawa Symphony and many more. James is the creator of and the 2023 Audelco Award winner for Best Solo Performance for “Triple Threat” that played Off Broadway to great acclaim at Theatre Row in New York City. Mr. Lane teaches music theatre dance when and wherever anyone will let him! Instagram: @jamestlane www.jamestlane.com

Melissa Foster / Voice

Melissa Foster is a Professor of Instruction in the Department of Theatre at Northwestern University, specifically teaching voice and topics in musical theatre such as Pop/Rock Vocal Style, and Pop Rock Musical Theatre. At Northwestern, she is the recipient of both the 2021 Galbut Outstanding Faculty Award and the 2022 Charles Deering McCormick Distinguished Professor of Instruction Award. She values her time inside the classroom just as much as she does outside, and simultaneously serves as 1 of 5 Faculty in Residence on Northwestern’s campus, mentoring students via their residential experience. When not at Northwestern, Melissa has been a Resident Vocal Consultant for LYRIC UNLIMITED (a division of the Lyric Opera of Chicago), and teaches for the CCM Vocal Pedagogy Institute at Shenandoah University. She has been guest faculty for Broadway Evolved, Artsbridge, Broadway Breakthru, IHSTA, ArtsLink and NATS. She has also taught countless masterclasses around the world. Highlights include: co-teaching a live-streamed, sold out masterclass with world renowned opera legend Renee Fleming and recent talks at schools and conferences in  San Diego, San Francisco, New York City, Ithaca, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Madison, South Bend, Goshen, Milwaukee, Detroit, Chicago, Birmingham, Palo Alto, Xi’an, Guangzhou and Hong Kong. Foster has consulted for the companies of numerous National Tours, including Miss Saigon, Fiddler on the Roof, and A Bronx Tale, and has recently enjoyed consulting for pop/rock projects like working with the NPR Tiny Desk series and for the multi-Grammy winning band Coldplay. Her book, “Don’t Sweat the Technique; A Performers Guide to Hip-Hop and Rap” (Rowman and Littlefield Publishers) was released in November 2023. Foster currently lives in Evanston, IL, with her husband Matt Boresi, their daughter Vivian, and their 2 adorable bunnies, Cinna and Rue.

Caitlin Kinnunen / Acting

Caitlin Kinnunen Is a Tony nominated actress for her work in THE PROM on Broadway, having originated the role of Emma Nolan. Most recently you can hear her as Juniper on the podcast The Callisto Protocol: Helix Station starring Gwendolyn Christie. Caitlin was nominated for an Audie Award for narrating the audiobook MaryJane, and was handpicked by Judy Blume to narrate her book Forever. Film/TV credits include The Intern, Sweet Little Lies, It’s Kind of a Funny Story, We Need to Talk About Kevin, “Our Ladies” (pilot for The CW), “Suck Hole” (pilot for FX), “Younger”, “American Vandal”, “The Knick”, and “Law & Order: SVU”.

Peter Van Dam / Casting

Peter is the recipient of four Artios Awards for excellence in casting. He joined Tara Rubin Casting in 2018 as a Casting Director, and previously was an associate at Jim Carnahan Casting / Roundabout Theatre Company.

Broadway: The Heart of Rock & Roll, Six, The Phantom of the Opera, Tootsie, Head Over Heels, Angels in America, Farinelli and the King, The Cherry Orchard. National Tours: Six, The Band’s Visit. Off-Broadway/New York: Dead Outlaw (Audible Theater – World Premiere), Pal Joey (New York City Center), Whisper House (The Civilians), Sing Street (New York Theatre Workshop), Something Clean (Roundabout), The Beast in the Jungle (Vineyard). Regional: Summer Stock (Goodspeed – World Premiere), Sing Street, (The Huntington), 42nd Street (Goodspeed), Kismet (Granada Theatre/Santa Barbara Symphony), Chasing Rainbows (Paper Mill Playhouse), Chess (The Kennedy Center), Wonderful Town (LA Opera). Canada: Beaches, Six, The Louder We Get. West End: Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Nice Fish. Benefits: I’m Still Here (New York Public Library for the Performing Arts), Julie Halston’s Broadway Belts for PFF, Thoroughly Modern Millie (The Actors Fund).

JOIN THE FALL 2024 INTEREST LIST

Evening & Weekend Classes
Individual Courses & Conservatory Tracks

Fill out the form below to get on the interest list for The Studio: Fall 2024. We will update you with schedules and registration information mid-summer.

JOIN THE INTEREST LIST

The Pilot Program for ICA’s K-12 day school is launching Fall 2025.

Fill out the form below to get on the official interest list and access the survey form. Applications will open in Early Spring 2025.