Chrysalis is a personal development program that uses the performing arts to help people blossom and thrive. We currently operate as an independent ministry of Valley Church (10885 N. Stelling, Cupertino, CA 95014). Since starting in 2012, we have been blessed to perform both smaller musicals like Annie Jr, as well as larger ones like Les Miserables.
The Story Behind Our Name
In the great outdoors, a chrysalis forms a comfortable, protective shell in which an otherwise vulnerable caterpillar has the freedom to discover itself and transform into a magnificent butterfly. We use the performing arts as a way for young people to have that same kind of chrysalis environment.
We use the performing arts to lift up young people to be the best that they can be both on stage and in their everyday lives. Towards that end, we strive to create and maintain a positive, encouraging, respectful environment free from bullying, backstabbing, gossip, discrimination and cliques. We want this to be a place where young people can flourish and become the special and unique individuals God made them to be.
Each student is allowed grow at his own pace, while at the same time being encouraged and gently guided into new-found confidence, joy, and skill. We strive to help all of our students to find joy and confidence, to learn to set goals, to overcome obstacles, to work cooperatively as a team, and to discover the beautiful spirit and unique gifts that each of them were created with.
What Is “Chrysalis?” How Our Groundbreaking Approach Helps Students To Soar!
Every single day in the classroom is shaped according to the needs of students individually and as a group. We use their natural creative and playful instincts as we help them explore theatre skills and unlock their fullest potential personally and artistically. It all starts with creating the right kind of environment for students to develop a healthy foundation for learning. We utilize a variety of games and activities to help students to break through any nerves or discomforts that may be preventing them from performing and communicating in a clear, natural, and authentic manner. We help them learn to open up, to be completely comfortable and confident, so they can express themselves freely, clearly, and intentionally.
Our Core Teaching Principles
The Spirit Of A Child
No matter what age they are, we want to help our students to have the curiosity and the wide-eyed wonder of a child. We want them to be able to play, to have fun as they use their imagination and creativity and playful nature to portray heroes, villains, rocks, trees, dinosaurs, or whatever the situation calls for.
We encourage students to be at peace with where they are "in the moment". Not stressing about what may or may not happen next, not worrying about how they look, or what they're wearing, or what others might be thinking about them. Simply being in control of what they can control and letting go of the rest.
Working As A Family
The discipline to work together with others through all challenges. Peacefully resolve conflicts, work through differences, and conquer obstacles as a team. Can both lead and follow respectfully, diligently, and with humility.
Succeeding not by winning or losing, but by learning, innovating, conquering obstacles, achieving goals, and building up those around you. Creating and maintaining an environment where everybody involved can find success. Success measured not in money, fame, or awards, but by personal growth and positive impact on those around you.
The Fruit Of The Spirit
In all things, choosing to pursue love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, thankfulness, and self-control.
Finding Your Blank Slate
Ridding yourself of all tension, emotion, pre-conceived notions, and nervous ticks. Being able to build a character from a state of complete neutrality. Not holding yourself back, not throwing yourself forward, not otherwise getting trapped by yourself.
Healthy Body Conditioning, Awareness, And Control
Physical exercises through dance and play that naturally build up strength, flexibility, balance, and coordination. Training to isolate movements and be in control of your body. Encouragement to eat healthily and take care of yourself so you can perform to your fullest potential and enjoy life.
Developing a thorough, well-rounded understanding of theatre history and the various techniques, theories, philosophies, and skills. Learning to discover the history behind the story and character you are working on. Developing the curiosity and and enjoyment of theatre to pursue further knowledge and understanding, seeking to learn not only the "what", but also the "why", the "when", and the "how".
Multi-Faceted Performance Skills
Able to tell a story through both voice and body. Can be both dramatic and comedic, can play a wide range of characters. Develop a through understanding and control of physical and vocal dynamics.
Can truly "become" the character you are portraying, to the extent that the audience forgets you are an actor, and they see only a character in a story come to life. This transformation is not programmed like a robot. It breathes and flows. It is never quite the same twice. It grows and evolves over time. When the character speaks, the words sound real, like they were just thought of, rather than showing through as words that were written on a page by someone else. The audience is convinced that this character is a real person, instead of an actor in a show.
In real life, being authentic by telling the truth, meaning what you say, following through on commitments, etc. People know who you are, they trust you, and they know they can rely on you.