Big Star Studios owners, Kathy and Corey met when their girls ended up in the same Kindergarten class back in 2006. They quickly established a strong bond and friendship which later lead them into working for the same non profit organization where their girls performed in theater and dance. When that non profit went out of business they discovered a need for performing arts in the ever growing Snoqualmie area. On a wing and a prayer and a little bit of crazy, together they decided to take a leap of faith and open Big Star Studios.
Big Star was born out of a shared passion for watching their children perform combined with a strong bond of friendship. Kathy and Corey’s joy and enthusiasm for watching these children develop a love of the arts lead them to believe they could make a long time dream of owning their own business come true. They are each strongly dedicated to ensuring the experience at Big Star is one of love, warmth and friendship followed by an amazing and inspirational experience in theater and music. Big Star Studios opened its doors for business in 2011. Owners , Kathy Gehrig and Corey Schwarz had a vision for a performing arts school that not only provided its students with quality theater and music instruction, but also a place that gave students a place to show off the skills they had gained and build confidence through the art of performing.
Seven years later, with a growing student base and staff, Big Star Studios is holding true to that original vision. Students who walk through our doors are given so much more than just music and theater training. Students are given confidence, team-building skills, lasting friendships, positive role models, and memorable experiences. Our approach to teaching is about nurturing the individual qualities each student has to offer. One student may have just picked up the guitar for the first time or another may be a seasoned theater student. Big Star remains a place that has something to offer everyone! Our staff is made up of experienced, positive adults, dedicated to making your child’s music and theater experience unique and fun.
Meet Eric Ankrim
A quick message from our Creative Director:
I want everyone in the Snoqualmie area and beyond to know that Big Star is a place to learn and grow in all aspects of performance and storytelling, not only musical theatre. We help develop versatile, skilled young artists who will thrive in whatever environment they find themselves in later in life. From acting, to songwriting, instrumental lessons to music video editing… whatever passion our students have, we have a class to help grow and refine it into a professional level skillset! Plus, we are going to have a great time and make some incredible friendships along the way! We pride ourselves on helping our Big Star students become not only better artists, but better people as well! And if there’s something you’re passionate about that you don’t see on our current class list, let us know! We want to grow our studio to fit the needs of this incredible Snoqualmie area community!
Frequently Asked Questions
When do classes start?
We have four sessions that run throughout the school year. Our fall session begins Sept 6th 2022. Our winter session begins December 5th 2022. Our spring session begins March 13th 2023. Our summer session begins June 19th 2023.
How do I get my child enrolled?
Register your student online at: www.bigstarstudios.com
How do I pay tuition?
You will be prompted to put in a credit card when you register. Your card will be billed monthly on the 1st for tuition.
Can we do one session, or is it a school year-long commitment?
When you enroll, we assume you are staying enrolled for the 2022-2023 school year. You are welcome to just do a session, you simply need to let us know you want to drop by the 15th of the month prior to the new session.
How do you communicate with parents?
All of our instructors communicate at a minimum of once monthly about our class curriculum and events. Often you will hear from them more than that. Teachers are always available to talk to before and after classes as well as by email. We are always available in the office via email or phone with any questions or concerns as well.
What does my child need to wear to class each week?
Comfortable clothing that the kids can move in. If you are taking a dance class certain shoes may be required ie: tap shoes, character shoes, jazz shoes. If there is any specific clothing piece or shoe required that will be clearly communicated to you.
Do I get to watch my child in class each week?
No, we do not have parents in the classes with our kids. It is very distracting for the kids and when one parent comes in the other kids wonder where their parent is. We have a big performance opportunity at the end of each session (approx. every 12 weeks!) so that you can see all the exciting things the kids have been working on!
Will my child get to participate in a recital or other performance opportunities?
YES! We love showing our families all the incredible things the kids are learning in our classes. We perform at the end of every session in December, March, and June for our school year community classes and CPT. We perform in January, June and August for our full-scale musical productions. If you are taking private lessons we will also have performance opportunities in December and June!
What happens when there is bad weather? How will I know if class is canceled?
We will email all our classes to let you know if classes have been cancelled. We follow the SVSD school district in the AM hours but often roads are better by later in the day. We will update our families via email and also post on our Facebook and Instagram pages with inclement weather updates.
Is the studio closed for all the same holidays as our school district?
Big Star follows the same winter, mid-winter and spring break schedule as SVSD. We are closed M-F Thanksgiving week. We will send reminders of all breaks and closures.
Just a quick note to thank you and Kathy and all of the people at Big Star Studios. Ally is getting more out of this than we ever thought possible. She looks forward to performing in front of large groups. Her work in the Annie performance was amazing for a then 6-year-old. We love everything she's done since as well and look forward to her and Ryan (who is loving his start at Big Star) performing in Willy Wonka in March
With praise and gratitude for Big Star Studios, we put our highest recommendation on Little Stars Preschool. Coming from a family of educators, with three kids who have been benefited from the programs at Big Star, our hearts are always filled with joy seeing our kids smiling ear-to-ear at drop off and pick up. We love how Big Star puts an emphasis on creative learning, learning by doing and discovery, and really plays off students' individual interests and desires which makes learning fun, interesting, and desirable. In addition to the learning and creative atmosphere that we love , the staff at Big Star are always so willing to work with individual family's needs and schedules and have made the preschool experience for our family such a positive one. We are grateful for everyone at Big Star Studios and our kids LOVE the preschool and programs they offer.
"I am still grinning from ear to ear from the performance today. It was the perfect culmination of hard work and love that Chris put into the entire week for all of our children. I cannot thank your team enough for giving Tessa this experience. As you know, this age is critical for how a person will develop confidence and individuality later in life. What I saw today was a group of children who trusted their teacher, respected one another, and found immeasurable joy in sharing who they are as individuals. So, THANK YOU! This mom is so grateful."
I just wanted to take a minute to let you know what an amazing experience we have had a Big Star. Our son Zach has absolutely blossomed being a part of your Musical Theater Class. Before taking classes at Big Star, Zach was very shy and lacked self confidence. We find it absolutely amazing what Kathy has been able to get Zach to do on stage. Sing, dance and monologues, he is in his element on stage. Sports were never Zach's 'thing', but with Big Star, he finally feels like he is a part of something special. He would be there every day if he could!
Big Star, Bright Futures. My son has Asperger’s, which means despite the amazing things he can do, relating to other kids his age in social situations can be awkward for him as can trying to find a way to express himself creatively…except for this little game he played on Expert since he was 2 called Rock Band. If you have ever played an instrument, you understand that giving the gift of music to your children means so much more than a catchy cliché. Music is a language of its own that allows you to communicate in ways that words cannot. The money that we would otherwise be spending on action figures and weekend camps is being put towards teaching him this language and giving him a gift that he can pass on to others and his children. Yes, I also want him to become a rock star. Big Star Studios, with its cool environment, warm atmosphere, and expert instructors, has given him confidence in his abilities, and inspired him to talk with others about his passions (not to mention convince mom and dad to equip his room with a 5-piece acoustic drum set). Thanks to music, my son is now on a path that is as amazing to behold as it was hard to imagine he’d ever take. Give your kid their recommended daily dose of creativity. Give them the gift of Big Star.
When we first made the decision to join CPT, I did so with the belief that this studio was a positive environment that would help my daughter grow. However, truth be told, I was taking your word on that and was slightly apprehensive going into this first competition weekend that behind the scenes negativity might appear in the competitive environment. Who is going to present that side of things when asking people to join their program, right? I can now say that is not even the remotest fear any longer and that you all, this program and the culture you have created has exceeded my expectations.
The moment of truth appeared right out the gate as my daughter struggled in her first performance. I know she is a resilient and amazing human being, but that was a moment that could change the trajectory of many things as she walks off stage to the reactions of her teammates, teachers and mentors. What I witnessed was absolutely everything. Everyone, absolutely everyone, wrapped their arms around my girl and supported her. Loudly, boldly and without a moment of hesitation. What could have been devastating, turned into a positive connection and growth moment, especially as the day continued. It wasn't brushed aside and ignored, it was celebrated as she successfully moved through the next performances. That was true of not only each of you, but her "Big Sis" was right by her side supporting her too. The other moms were also super supportive for me as were all of your staff, as I worried about my daughter in those moments. That, as well, is a testament to the culture you have created within your studio.
Sunday afternoon as we enjoyed our last moments on our little girls weekend, I asked her "When you look back on this weekend, what will you most remember? What was your favorite part?" She didn't have to think for very long. She said "How much everyone supported me when I forgot my words." It brought tears to my eyes, I'm not gonna lie. We are here initially because of my daughter’s passion for singing and acting, but it isn't my job or my goal to create a star, even if it is hers. My job is to create environments and situations that help her find and grow into the best version of herself. I appreciate every one of you for contributing positively to that environment. I have no doubt now that she is in the right place and I am so very grateful.
I've spent 20+ years on sidelines and bleachers cheering on sporting events from little league to state wrestling competitions (and all the hours of ER visits along the way lol.) As I move from bleachers to cushioned theatre seats and backstage dressing rooms for the first time in parenthood, I cannot adequately express how immensely grateful I am to take this new journey with you all supporting my daughter and I. You are all very special and what you are doing matters. The environment and culture you are creating matters. And it all has a tremendous impact on those lucky enough to find you and to be involved.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart for everything you are and everything you are doing.