CCA eighth-grader attends Broadway camp, aspires to be actress

Torrence Brown was born to be an actress. She has most recently performed as the Baker’s Wife in “Into the Woods” and Annette in “Rumplestilskin.” She also has performed as Marta in “The Sound of Music,” Belinda Crachit in “A Christmas Carol” and the lead role in a production of “Annie.” She’s even taken her talents to Broadway.

Torrence, a Commonwealth Charter Academy eighth-grader from Cumberland County, has been in 24 productions — and she’s only 13. She knew early that she wanted to be a performer.

“From the time she was 2, we knew this is what she wanted to do,” said her mom, Crystal Brown. “We were taking her to see shows at 2 and 3 years old. When other kids are playing ball all summer, my kids were putting on shows.”

Enrolling the kids at CCA provided the Browns with the flexibility to let them pursue their theater dreams. But the decision to switch from a traditional public school wasn’t easy.

“I was very scared to go from [a traditional] school to cyber school five years ago,” Crystal said. “It took me a year to make a decision to go to CCA. But we really  glad that we made the decision and we enjoy it.”

Torrence likes the flexible schedule because it allows her to do schoolwork around her performance and rehearsal schedule.

“CCA has allowed me to be more flexible with rehearsals and everything because I don’t have to run to school in the morning,” Torrence said. “I can just run downstairs.”

Summer of 2015, Torrence participated in a weeklong Broadway camp in New York. The day camp allowed students to learn from and work with professional Broadway performers and producers.

“I really enjoyed the experience knowing that I was being taught by people who were on Broadway,” Torrence said. “Our main director was in “Mamma Mia!”, and I got to sing with her. They even gave me a solo.”

The Browns have been with CCA for five years and have two children enrolled in the school. Crystal said the school has exceeded their expectations and they are grateful that they made the switch from a traditional school.

“We recommend the school to everybody,” she said. “We really do like it. People don’t realize the opportunity that’s out there for them.”


High School Learner