About RAPA

The Rochester Association of Performing Arts, (RAPA) is Upstate New York’s oldest and largest professional school of performing arts for all ages having served our Greater Rochester Area since 1978. RAPA, a non-profit 501c3 corporation, primarily trains students in theater, music/voice, and dance.

RAPA’s mission reflects its commitment to all persons interested in the arts, ages 4-adult, including disadvantaged youth and the community at large.

RAPA Tony AwardsFounded in 1978 by Executive Director, Judi Andreano. The school was started in a 1,300 sq foot building in rural Webster, NY where it served all ages in dance, acting, voice, piano and guitar. After 10 years RAPA moved to the City of Rochester for a more central location, at the Auditorium Theatre Complex, to better serve inner city disadvantaged youth. In 1998, RAPA purchased a 20,000 sq. foot building on East Main St, in the theatre district, RAPA’s current location.  After 30 years of serving the arts community, Judi Andreano gracefully resigned early 2011. This past year was a rebuilding year for RAPA and leading those efforts was Board President, Jim Vollertsen. Jim has been diligently working to reorganize, regroup and reopen RAPA as a quality teaching facility for the performing arts. With the support of Hillside, investing over $200,000 worth of renovations into the facility, RAPA now has a newly-refurbished 240-seat theatre, in addition to the many rehearsal studios used for programming, to welcome the community back through the doors once again.

RAPA’s “Next Chapter” opens it’s doors this Fall with a full schedule of programming beginning September 2012, with the same mission in mind.  However, this time as a partner with Hillside Family of Agencies, a strong Management team, newly developed brand, quality-curriculum based programming, several Artist in Residence, as well the communities full support.

In an effort to achieve RAPA’s higher purpose, Jim Vollertsen set about to recruit a multi-talented, focused and, most importantly, driven management team. He invited Judith A. Ranaletta to serve as Artistic Director.  Having recently retired from the Greece Central School District after 29 years, Miss Ranaletta had served as Vocal Music and Drama Director, as well as being the founder and director of the Greece Athena Show Choir, an award-winning group of high-school students under her direction. Judith has an outstanding reputation in the Rochester area for inspiring young performers and cultivating careers for those interested in pursuing the arts beyond high school. 

RAPA has always and will continue to encourage and welcome local minority groups to visit the theatre and participate in RAPA programming, productions and work-study opportunities.  It is within RAPA’s mission to provide a safe environment for students, artists and performers of all nationalities and financial backgrounds.  With an open door policy to provide arts education and opportunities to all who share interest; What is good for one is good for all.

In addition to the array of theatre, vocal and dance classes there will be numerous new programs introduced, including but not limited to, instrumental instruction, Shakespeare for kids, all male dance classes, ballroom for all ages, a regional show choir- the Roc City Singers, public speaking, confidence building, resume construction, college audition preparation and more. Also planned is a re-introduction of RAPA’s once very successful repertory company for those more serious about his or her training, representing all ethnicities. 

1376482_519051928176813_1648598224_a RAPA is a part of THEATRE ROCS. 

TheatreROCS is a dynamic not-for-profit consortium of Rochester’s finest live theatre organizations dedicated to highlighting Rochester as a respected, economically-viable community of culture, learning and prosperity.

Formed in the fall of 2008, the members of TheatreROCS are supported by an excess of 250,000 arts patrons in and around Rochester.