Summerscales Performing Arts

Director: Tracey K Summerscales FISTD

Co-Directors: Gemma K Summerscales-Heard FISTD & Laurretta Summerscales ARAD

Established in 1984 as the Karen Clarke Theatre School by Tracey K Summerscales (FISTD Examiner) the Summerscales Performing Arts  has grown from what was once just a school of 7 pupils. The school built into a part time performing arts centre where students aged 3-18 are able to train in Ballet, Tap, Modern, Musical Theatre, Jazz, Singing, Pas de Duex, audition technique and much more.  Training children to an exceptionally high standard to be able, if desired, go on to full time colleges in Dance and Musical Theatre to perform on the professional stage, or train to be qualified teachers.

Traceys Father, Donald Clarke introduced her to late 30-50’s films of Ginger Rogers, Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly from an early age, which has a significant influence on her.

With this love of Golden Age Musical Films, Tracey went on to form The Karen Clarke Theatre Company, with a debut performance of Half a Sixpence in 1986, due to another dancing school had pulled out of the theatre and she was offered the booking to fill single handed.  Since this date the Theatre Company has not looked back expanding into two weekly productions which become more lavish and spectacular as they progress.

The ‘Performers Society’ was formed after being chosen to perform at the Sydney Olympic Games in 2000 and the elite pupils of the school are chosen to be part of the troop and perform throughout the UK.  Disneyland Paris have also offered Karen Clarke an Open Invitation to perform as part of their Magic Music Days program because of the Performers standard of performance.

The Inspiration

10/09/31 – 03/07/06

Don was the life and soul of every show, making sure that he would attend every performance he could. He loved musicals.  From as long as we can remember, musicals were all he would talk about, whenever any musical came on the television we all would have to watch it, usually the ones that made you cry at the end.  He brought the amazing world of music into our lives.  We all know that he has educated members of Karen Clarke, in every 30’s 40’s and 50’s film that existed.

When it came to Karen Clarke’s annual show, he would advise his daughter Tracey how the roles should be played.  He had a real passion for musicals, which he certainly has passed on to his children and grandchildren which they will pass again to their children.  Daily he would use quotes from many shows such as, ‘Carousel’, “You’ll never walk alone”, and ‘Singing in the Rain’, ‘Sound of Music’ and ‘42nd Street’, and many more.  He would use these quotes over dinner and in conversation, even up to his last words, the day he passed away with “Be Back Soon” from Oliver  His passion will carry through his daughter and granddaughters work within Karen Clarke and his soul will live on.