Young Upstate actors have an opportunity to learn directly from some stars of the stage.

South Carolina Repertory Theatre (formerly known as Performing Arts Renaissance Theatre) is relaunching with two upcoming master classes. The organization is a nonprofit, professional-community theater founded by sisters Kimilee Bryant and Candice Bryant. Both Kimilee and Candice have performed extensively throughout the Upstate, in New York, Los Angeles and around the world. 

The master classes will bring the sisters’ connections straight to their students, beginning Feb. 1 with Polly Baird, current cast member of the “My Fair Lady” tour coming to the Peace Center, followed by a second class March 7 with Broadway, film and TV actor, Jimmy Smagula, who is a current cast member of the tour of “Les Miserables” also coming to the Peace Center. 

“I’ve been trying to do this since I came back to Greenville,” Kimilee Bryant said. “I still have so many great connections and friends. They end up coming to the Peace Center. As a touring actor, I always loved participating in the community. My students have heard things from me, but it’s good to hear from other people and people who are doing it right now.”

Bryant said she has known both Baird and Smagula for years and this gives her a chance to share their talents with young performers. Baird’s Feb. 1 class is an open level dance class – pointe shoes are encouraged but not required – for dancers ages 8 – 25. 

Smagula’s class in March will focus on singing and will be limited to a group of 10 participants, but it will be open to those who want to audit the class.

“You can still come and learn and ask questions,” Kimilee Bryant said. 

Want to learn more? 

·      The Polly Baird Master Class for ages 8 – 25 is 9:30 – 11:30 a.m. Feb. 1 at Heather’s Dance Academy in Greenville. A question and answer session will follow the class. The cost is $25. 

·      The Jimmy Smagula Master Class is 9:30 a.m. – noon March 7. Greenville location to be announced. The cost is $50 each for singing participants (limited to 10) and $20 each for audience/auditors (limited to 30). 

For more details or to sign up for either class, email, call 917-453-8951 or visit

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