The East End Kids is a non-profit group founded in 1990 by Larry Cervi. Mr. Cervi, the East End Kids Artistic Director, created the group to provide kids between the ages of 12 and 18 the ability to pursue their interest in singing, dancing, and acting. In fact, many of the performers come away with a lot more than singing and dancing; they come away with a strong sense of self confidence and poise.
Mr. Cervi taught speech and drama at Churchill High School for 22 years and is a board member of The Conservatory of Performing Arts (COPA) at Point Park University. He has directed more than 70 musicals for local high schools and community theatre. Many of the East End Kids have received lead roles in their high school musicals, and many have gone on to study musical theater at prestigious universities including Carnegie Mellon, New York, and Point Park, and some alumni perform on Broadway and in other theater-related careers.
The East End Kids also utilizes the expertise of voice and dance teachers from the Larry Cervi School of Performing Arts to assist with vocal training and choreography, and some of the choreography is put together by former East End Kids participants. Students do not have to take classes at the school to join the group. Many of the students are from the Plum, Gateway, and Franklin school districts.
A 20th anniversary celebration for East End Kids alumni was held in November 2010, with more than 100 alumni in attendance. According to Mr. Cervi, some of the alumni are choreographing high school musicals and that some who ultimately chose careers outside of theater still maintain a passion for performing.