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For more than 30 years, John Kiesewetter has been the source for information about all things in local media — comings and goings, local people appearing on the big or small screen, special programs, and much more. Contact John at

On This Date: SCPA Students' 'Taking The Stage' Premieres On MTV In 2009

taking the stage
Courtesy MTV
'Taking The Stage' starred SCPA students (from left) Shaakira Sargent, Malik Kitchen, Jasmine White-Killins, Tyler Nelson and Mia Carruthers

Nick Lachey had this crazy idea – making a Fame-style national TV series starring the talented students at Cincinnati's School for Creative & Performing Arts.

It became a reality 10 years ago today, when MTV premiered Taking The Stage on March 19, 2009.

Taking The Stage gave great exposure to SCPA,","_id":"0000017a-3b51-d913-abfe-bf55c6700001","_type":"035d81d3-5be2-3ed2-bc8a-6da208e0d9e2"}">","_id":"0000017a-3b51-d913-abfe-bf55c6700000","_type":"035d81d3-5be2-3ed2-bc8a-6da208e0d9e2"}">","_id":"0000017a-3b51-d913-abfe-bf55c6700001","_type":"035d81d3-5be2-3ed2-bc8a-6da208e0d9e2"}">" target="_blank">described in the show open as "this remarkable place" in Cincinnati.

MTV cameras started following five SCPA students the previous August for a real-life Fame, the 1980 fictional movie about New York performing arts students pursuing their dreams.","_id":"0000017a-3b51-d913-abfe-bf55c6700001","_type":"035d81d3-5be2-3ed2-bc8a-6da208e0d9e2"}">","_id":"0000017a-3b51-d913-abfe-bf55c6700000","_type":"035d81d3-5be2-3ed2-bc8a-6da208e0d9e2"}">","_id":"0000017a-3b51-d913-abfe-bf55c6700001","_type":"035d81d3-5be2-3ed2-bc8a-6da208e0d9e2"}">">","_id":"0000017a-3b51-d913-abfe-bf55c6700001","_type":"035d81d3-5be2-3ed2-bc8a-6da208e0d9e2"}">","_id":"0000017a-3b51-d913-abfe-bf55c6700000","_type":"035d81d3-5be2-3ed2-bc8a-6da208e0d9e2"}">","_id":"0000017a-3b51-d913-abfe-bf55c6700001","_type":"035d81d3-5be2-3ed2-bc8a-6da208e0d9e2"}">

The MTV show starred singer Mia Carruthers and dancers Tyler Nelson, Malik Kitchen, Jasmine White-Killins and Shaakira Sargent.

A second season aired in 2010 with a new teen cast which included some recent transfer students from other schools: Adam Calvert, Anna-Lisa Flinchbaugh, Aris Ray, Emily Silber, Carlton Totten and  Christopher Emerson. Both seasons were filmed in the old SCPA building, 1310 Sycamore St., before the school moved to Central Parkway.

Lachey, a 1992 SCPA grad, had pitched MTV the show two years previously. He was an executive producer on the series which wasn't officially made public until the Cincinnati Public Schools Board of Education discussed a contract with the TV network.

John Kiesewetter, who has covered television and media for more than 35 years, has been working for Cincinnati Public Radio and WVXU-FM since 2015.