Meet our TEMPEST Community Partners: Atumpan Edutainment

August 30, August 31, and September 1, more than 100 Hampton Roads artists from all walks of life will assemble on the Wells Stage via Public Works Virginia’s initiative to present Shakespeare’s The Tempest adapted by Patrick Mullins with music by Jake Hull.

This fully-realized production will be an inclusive, audacious work of theatre presented by Virginia Stage Company, the region’s leading professional theatre company, in collaboration with local artists. Check out our interview with one of our community partners for The Tempest, Atumpan Edutainment—and get your FREE tickets to The Tempest here.

Tell us about organization for someone who has never heard of it before.

After losing his sight at the age of 19, Old Dominion University alumnus Corey Staten found that his passion for theatre and music were the perfect platforms to inspire others to achieve their dreams against all odds.  While en route to graduating Summa Cum Laude with a BA in Intercultural Communication and Sociology in 2003, Corey’s high-school sweetheart, now wife, LaQuita Marie encouraged him to turn his passion into an asset for the entire Hampton Roads community.  Together, the couple founded Atumpan Edutainment, Inc. in 1998. Atumpan Edutainment is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that provides educational an performance opportunities in the field of theatre arts. Atumpan Edutainment has two components:  

    • Atumpan ED!- Provides educational resources for educators in the form of digital downloads, audiobook publications, dance theatre classes, and brain training games.  “Atumpan ED!” has also developed interactive corporate staff development training seminars featuring music and story development to increase productivity and team cohesion in the workplace.

    •  “Atumpan LIVE!”- Ensemble performances of original productions that feature world music, folklore, and dance that tour educational venues and corporate celebrations throughout the Mid-Atlantic region.  Since 2017, Atumpan’s partnership with the Director of Education at the Bronze Kingdom Museum has expanded the ensemble’s reach to Orlando, FL.

      (Here’s a video of PBS coverage of founders Corey and LaQuita Marie in action.)

2018 Harambe for the Holidays. Atumpan’s Founders Corey & LaQuita Staten

2018 Harambe for the Holidays. Atumpan’s Founders Corey & LaQuita Staten

How did you begin to collaborate with Public Works VA?

Atumpan’s previously established reputation and relationship with the Salvation Army Kroc Center of Hampton Roads made Atumpan Edutainment a natural selection by Virginia Stage Company to be a partner in Public Works VA.  Atumpan Edutainment has a 21 year reputation of providing high quality educational resources, dance theatre training classes, and touring performances at educational venues throughout the Mid-Atlantic Region.  

Atumpan Dance Theatre has an established theatre training curriculum that develops performers of all ages and abilities into confident public speakers, actors, dancers, musicians, and productive team players in all aspects of life.    Beginning in October 2018, Public Works Virginia partnered with Atumpan’s annual Harambe Project (2011-Present). The Harambe Project is a year-round project based learning program where participants construct an original production that is workshopped from January-December as it tours the Mid-Atlantic Region.  The project culminates each year on December 26th with Atumpan’s “Harambe for the Holidays” stage-play production--Hampton Roads largest Kwanzaa Celebration, garnering 600 attendees annually.

What is the impact your organization wants to have on the Hampton Roads Community?

Atumpan Edutainment wants to build a stronger Hampton Roads by helping people of all ages, genders, and abilities to strengthen their self-confidence, increase their self-efficacy while helping them discover their skills to bring positive energy and cohesiveness to any team that they may be a part of.

This video testimonial tells the impact of Atumpan on the community from parents and players of Atumpan Dance Theatre 

Atumpan’s dancers at rehearsal for THE TEMPEST.

Atumpan’s dancers at rehearsal for THE TEMPEST.

Atumpan Edutainment provides affordable and accessible artistic opportunities. How can people get involved/support your organization?

Performers and/or patrons of the arts can join Atumpan’s team by visiting to view dance theatre plans to enroll in Fall classes or to donate to the dance theatre.

Describe The Tempest in five words or less

Describing the Production- Shakespeare revisited via collaborative creativity.

Describing the Script- A whirlwind of magical romance.

Learn more about The Tempest, and get your FREE tickets, here.