About Us

Exceptional Opportunities in the Performing + Creative Arts for all ages • Homeschool-friendly + Community-minded • Built on a Foundation of Faith + Welcoming all

Welcome! Thank you for taking the time to learn more about us! If you don’t find what you are looking for on our site, contact us!

Mission Statement

The purpose of illuminate is to provide exceptional, enriching, family-friendly opportunities for all ages in the creative + performing arts while serving the community. These opportunities will cater to the homeschooling community, offering competitive pricing for high quality content. Illuminate allows students to discover and cultivate their artistic talents in a warm, encouraging, and inspiring atmosphere. We believe that everyone has God-given gifts and talents to be nurtured, trained, and challenged. Our goal is to provide high quality, thought-provoking programs + productions as we use our individual talents to Create + Collaborate + Shine Brightly to the Community. #LearnGrowShine

CORE VALUES

  • Learn + Create
    • To provide classes and workshops that gently encourage beginners and challenge those with more experience. 
    • To provide classes and workshops that cover all areas of the arts, from onstage to backstage, from fine arts to performing arts
    • To provide opportunities that are competitively-priced and fit within homeschooling schedules, from one-day master classes and workshops to full-semester courses.
    • To provide opportunities for all ages, preschool thru adult
    • To provide educational content that is age-appropriate and family-friendly
    • To nurture and empower students in an encouraging and respectful environment, without compromising their beliefs or values
  • Grow + Collaborate
    • To encourage students to implement what they have learned, onstage or backstage.
    • To offer a wide range of opportunities from high quality, pre-professional productions to smaller plays,  workshops, staged readings, and class presentations.
    • To provide opportunities for students to create new works through collaboration with, and coaching by, professionals
  • Shine  + Community
    • To provide opportunities for students to take their God-given gifts and talents and use them to encourage and serve the community, such as the Salt+Light Troupe and Outreach Troupe.
    • To provide opportunities for volunteers and interns to work within the company to cultivate leadership skills by teaching classes, coaching, and assisting the illuminate staff and creative team. 
    • To convey messages through the performing arts that are uplifting, hopeful, and redeeming for churches, youth groups, schools, and beyond
    • To serve the community at food pantries, nursing homes, soup kitchens, and more as needed.

Click here for our statement written July 2020 as we face unrest in our community.

illuminate: Our locations

illuminate: General Information

  • Regular classes are held on Tuesdays and Thursdays in the Fall (8-week sessions from September-October) and Winter/Spring (10-week sessions from Jan-Mar). Classes run all day for all ages.
  • Production classes (Mainstage in the fall; Junior Production in the spring) run for 12 weeks with a large production at the end
  • Special TIP Crew Tech Classes are held on Fridays at our Performance Location
  • summer workshops are held in June and July

illuminate: Instructors and Staff

How A Work in Progress became illuminate creative + theatrical arts co…

One of our first workshops
One of our first workshops

Jennifer Keating Roca grew up as part of a theatre arts company that changed her life’s path. After receiving a BA in Theater from UMass Amherst and living in NYC (working on Broadway and performing off broadway), she moved back to Massachusetts shortly after 9/11, where she spent a few years traveling the state, teaching theatre at performing arts centers, colleges, high schools, and community groups. But once she became a mom, that lifestyle was hard to maintain. She thought she may have to stop teaching theatre altogether, when she heard about a group of exceptional homeschool students that met just down the street from her. After teaching and directing these students for five years, she branched off to start A Work in Progress. The name was something she thought of as a temporary name- with the idea that she would come up with a better name once it was more established (see this video for the official name change announcement made in June 2020!).

And thus, in January of 2013, classes began with 15 eager students. By the fall of 2013, the company had discovered the beautiful theatre in Tolman High School, and “Singin in the Rain” was performed with a cast of only 15 students, none of which had ever performed on a stage of that size before. Yet AWIP managed to pull out all the stops- from professional lighting and costuming to special effects and intricate choreography. And it was then that it became real: that this ‘work in progress’ experiment had substance… and that the name was going to stick.

Now, the company has grown to serving over 100 students, is officially incorporated as a nonprofit organization, has an active Board of Directors and Advisory Team, and will be expanding to serve more than just homeschoolers in the area.

illuminate is Incorporated as of June 2, 2015, and officially became a 501(c)(3) corporation in July of 2015. At illuminate, we want you to feel warmly welcomed and comfortable from the moment you register to the moment you step on the stage. We want students of all ages and abilities to gain confidence while using their gifts and talents to shine. Our hope is that students will let their light shine- not just on the stage, but in class with each other, and in the communities that we perform for.


The Cast + Crew of “Beauty & the Beast” 2019

3 Comments

  1. Question: how much are these sessions? I am looking for more information.

    • Hi Barbara,
      My name is Jennifer Roca and I am the director of AWIP. I sent you an email this morning with more information. You can find all of our class prices, times, and locations (with directions if you click) embedded within each class webpage. Click around and see! Also, we do offer generous scholarships where there is need. Once registered, we will send a form to fill out for those needing scholarship assistance. Thanks!
      Jennifer

  2. What a great group!

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