Mid Maryland Performing Arts Center



Acting Up is a  student repertory program designed to train and prepare the serious musical theatre student seeking pre professional instruction. This class is directed by Ms. Nicole Ruark and will focus on increasing and balancing technique in the disciplines of acting, singing, and dancing through weekly instruction, as well as performance opportunities and real world experiences.

The 2017-2018 auditions are Thursday, May 18th, at the Weinberg Center in downtown Frederick, beginning at 6:00pm by appointment only. Please call 301-694-5105 to schedule your audition time slot.





         It is time for you to start ACTING UP! After a very successful season, Mid Maryland Performing Arts Center is pleased to announce auditions for our student theatre company for the 2017-2018 year. Acting UP focuses on training the triple threat performer interested in building strong technique in a fun and supportive environment. Take your talent to the next level!


  • Open to young artists aged 11-17, the program will involve a weekly lesson incorporating concentrated acting and vocal technique as well as dance training and choreography.


  • Students will receive individual audition coaching and learn how to put together an audition portfolio.


  • Several performances will be held per year. Company members will present monologues, scenes, vocal selections, and musical theatre repertory.


  • This year’s plans include attending auditions, master classes, and performances. Participation in our annual NYC trip with a master class and Broadway show is another great opportunity!


  • Company one members have already made their mark having been accepted into major summer programs with The Broadway Theatre Project, Signature Theatre, and Young Artists of America.


  • Members will be chosen by audition only and space is limited.


 A 1-minute monologue and short vocal selection are required. Due to the space, those auditioning will need to bring a backing track or come prepared to sing acapella.


We are looking for potential, not perfection so please relax and have fun. You bring the dedication and we will provide the training to achieve your goals.

For more information contact MMPAC at (301) 694-5105.





Nicole Ruark has had the honor of performing and choreographing throughout the country as well as internationally.  Her work as a professional performer includes favorite roles in Cats, The Will Rogers Follies, A Chorus Line, Crazy for You, Guys and Dolls and Sweet Charity.  Ms. Ruark has staged ballets for numerous professional companies both in the US and abroad.  Her contemporary work has landed her several awards including Top Honors and Outstanding Choreography at the Youth American Grand Prix in New York and Outstanding Contemporary at the Prix de Lausanne in Switzerland as well as gold and silver medals at the 2013 New York City Dance Alliance.  She has extensive experience as a director and choreographer for universities, regional, and touring companies including such productions as: Pippin, Urinetown, Annie, Seussical, Little Shop of Horrors, Swing It! (national premiere) and Once on this Island.  Ms. Ruark recently traveled with the cast from The American University to St. Petersburg, Russia for the international debut of the reworking of Jane Martin’s Talking With.

In addition to her directorial and choreography work, she currently oversees the musical theatre program she created for The Mid Maryland Performing Arts Center where she is also an instructor.  Now in its 12th year, the program has produced students currently working in Broadway workshops, in national touring companies, and in major US dance companies. In 2012, Ms. Ruark became a resident artist with the prestigious Broadway Theatre Project where she works with such luminaries as Ben Vereen, Lloyd Culbreath, Terrance Mann, John Parks, Donna McKechnie, Christopher D'Amboise, and Debra McWaters.  Later that year, she joined the dance faculty of the renowned Imagination Stage in Washington DC where she instructs and choreographs the next generation of musical theatre performers.

Most recently, Nicole has created a new student repertory company, Acting Up, with the goal of providing pre professional training and career coaching for students aged 13-18 seeking a career in musical theatre. 

Ms. Ruark graduated cum laude from The American University with a Bachelors of Arts in Theatre.  She attended The Joffrey Ballet School on full scholarship and is the recipient of the Herbert R. Brent Scholarship, the Herb Edelman Acting Award, American University’s Outstanding Musical Theatre Performer award, and the Greenberg Scholarship for the Performing Arts.



35 Questions to Determine the Perfect Audition Song:  HERE (pdf)







MMPAC  •  5901 Enterprise Court  •  Frederick, MD 21703  •  301.694.5105