Rema Webb comes home for Center for Theater Arts gala

Published Mar 3, 2014 at 12:41 pm (Updated Mar 3, 2014 at 12:41 pm)

When it comes to success stories, Broadway star Rema Webb has penned quite the book – and the first chapter takes place at Mt. Lebanon’s Center for Theater Arts. The professional performing arts academy is where Webb honed her craft, before graduating from St. Francis Academy in Castle Shannon and heading to the Big Apple, where she has starred on Broadway’s “The Lion King,” “The Book of Morman” and most recently, NBC’s “The Sound of Music Live.”

“I had a great mother who kept me involved in the arts, beginning when I was 6 years old,” Webb, a former CLO Mini Star, said. “Being at the Center for Theater Arts – back then it was the Mt. Lebanon Center for the Arts – helped augment that. And, it helped me as a kid who was an artist, to be around other kids who were artists.”

It was there that she took voice lessons, learned choreography and blocking, while forming lifelong friendships, such as the one she has with then student and now CTA Executive Director Billy Hartung.

The school was such an important part of Webb’s upbringing, that she’s opened a similar school in New York City, On Broadway: Performing Arts Training Program. Webb says that she has more than one student that reminds her of herself as a child. “They have this old spirit about them, it seems to come second hat to them,” she said. “They follow direction really well, they’re just natural and they’re also interested in absorbing any information we have to give to them.”

Webb will return to Pittsburgh for the Center for Theater Arts annual Reach for the Stars Gala, March 7 at the Southpointe Hilton Garden Inn. She will perform a number with the students, and will be mixing and mingling with guests at the patrons reception.

“I’ve known Billy since we were in CLO Mini Stars together, and we kept it going at the Center for Theater Arts,” Webb said. “I was 13, maybe 15 when I met him. It’s been a long time that we’ve all been dreaming and walking this journey together.”

The Patrons Reception takes place from 6:30-7:15 p.m., with cocktails and a silent auction beginning at 7 p.m. For more information, call 412-563-5080.

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