FoCo high school students can take center stage at new performing arts center

John Thompson
Get ready for musical theater this summer.(Photo/Forsyth County School System)

(Forsyth County, GA) A taste of Broadway is coming to the Forsyth County Arts and Learning (FoCAL) Center this June. That’s when the beloved musical "Guys and Dolls" brings its "illegal floating crap game" to Forsyth County residents.

The musical, based on short stories by Damon Runyon and songs by Frank Loesser, will be the first summer show at the recently opened arts center. FoCAL Center Director Dawn Phipps is excited to bring it to the community.

"We wanted to do something that interested the kids and 'Guys and Dolls' was high on a survey of shows," said Phipps.

Auditions for the show are on April 15 and 16, and for all county high school students from the classes of 2022-2026. More information can be found here.

The FoCAL center opened in December 2021.. The main facility features an auditorium with a capacity of 1,800; a black box theater at the Center seats 250, Phipps said.
The FoCAL Center.(Photo/Forsyth County School System)

In addition to musical theatre productions, the venue serves choirs, bands, and arts groups and has a rental venue for the community.

The March production of "Annie Jr." featured special needs students in all the roles.

"Each student had a mentor in case a line was dropped or something unexpected happened," said Phipps.

The facility also provides a valuable resource for the county's students.

"There's a flip side to STEM education, and that's STEAM," she added.

The “A” stands for arts, and Phipps said the facility gives students access to a first-class performance venue.

Phipps said the fall calendar has opened up for the facility and expects to book various programs.

In the meantime, residents can head to the center in June and get a Broadway experience far more accessible than a trip to New York.

If you have a news tip in Forsyth County, contact John Thompson at

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I've been writing articles around the metropolitan region for 30 years. My work has appeared in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the NY Post, and other regional newspapers.

Senoia, GA

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