-Sharon Murch

"In sixth grade, my daughter suffered from depression and extreme self consciousness. Then she walked into Michael Lushington's theater workshop. Much later Mr. Lushington told me that when she first walked in, he thought a storm had entered the room, and he was intrigued to know what was at the center of it. This is a testimony to his intuitive abilities, and even more than that it is a testimony to his compassion.  My daughter has participated in every workshop Mr. Lushington has held since, through middle school and on into high school.  It has transformed her life, has given her something that makes life worthwhile, and has transformed her into a lovely and confident young woman always eager to take on new challenges. One of the great things about this workshop is that rather than just throwing the kids up on stage and telling them to play a part, it teaches method acting, which helps the kids to learn more about not only their characters, but themselves, and their lives, all done in an atmosphere of encouragement and acceptance. There are not enough good words I can say to convey how wonderful Michael Lushington is as a teacher, and the tremendous blessing he is to our children."

-parent of CVDAA student

Many of CVDAA's productions are developed and written by the students in collaboration with an instructor. This creates opportunities for young writers to grow in their craft. Students are encouraged to write and when they do they have the opportunity to see the result of their work realized in performances. All students in our programs are encouraged to think about their work from the writer's perspective and to approach performance creatively and collaboratively.

When CVDAA started its first after school program with a group of fourth and fifth graders at Independent Elementary, a question arose: what material to work on with the students? It's not easy to find material written for young people that's age-appropriate, sounds genuinely like them, has circumstances they can relate to, and which provides enough meaty roles for 20-25 students. The simplest solution seemed to write something new. 

So that's what we did. 

CVDAA has continued to provide students with the opportunity to write and perform their own work throughout its history. In fact, the majority of the shows we produce were created solely by or in collaboration with our students. After all, who knows what middle school students are going through better than middle school students? 

Here's how one of our pieces typically get created: 

1)      A theme or topic is presented to a group of students

2)      Students are asked to either write or improvise a short scene or monologue around that topic

3)      The student-written material is reviewed by our staff and workshopped in class

4)      Students who express a particular interest in helping to write are mentored and supported by a staff member

5)      Additional scenes are fleshed out and added by staff members who have been listening to this particular group of kids, and who can write for their particular "voice"

 6)   The script is finalized, rehearsed and performed!

Sponsored with thanks by 

Alameda Arts council

Amelda arts

Contact Details

Michael Lushington, President,
Castro Valley Dramatic Arts Academy

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Cell: (925) 216-8344 :

Equal Opportunity Organization:

Castro Valley Dramatic Arts Academy is an equal opportunity institution with respect to both education and employment. CVDAA does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, or handicap in admission, or access to, or employment in, its programs and activities as required by federal (Title VI, Title IX, Section 504) and state laws and regulations.



You can make a 100% tax deductible, secure, online donation thru our friends at PayPal.

What your donation to CVDAA can do:

  • $100 pays for sets and costumes for one production
  • $200 pays script photocopying costs
  • $500 provides full tuition for our fall and spring scholarship students
  • $1000 pays for one summer teaching position
  • $2500 pays for space rental for one class

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