Imagine that you are sitting in the audience of a dark theater. You are feeling the emotion of the lighting and the simplicity of the set. You’re blown away by the costume designs, surrounded by the pure sound, you’re moved by the live instruments, and you observe the honest and believable skill of the performing artists. Each of these different art forms comes together on stage at the same moment to create something so good that you, the theater patron, have to stand up and applaud and shout, “Amazing!”
Many of us have been there, but only a few have been on stage and know what it takes to get an audience to their feet.
As with any art form, the best way to learn is from a master. You may ask, what is a master? A master is someone who has invested more than 10,000 hours in their skill, watching them while working and performing alongside other artists. A master performer loves the tedious process of repetition, learns even when rejected, and shows up anyway.
My experience working in the Broadway community taught me the meaning of the mantra, “trust both on and off the stage”.
There are no “divas” on Broadway; if you dare to be one, you’re easily replaced. You can’t serve and take away audiences without each other. As performers, we depend on each department hitting their cues at the same time; from quick-change dressers to batons, they’re all interdependent. Musical theater has been the basis for producing many famous music, television and film stars. While artistic mediums may differ, collaboration is essential in any medium of performing arts.
This summer, I am honored to share my beloved Broadway friends with the Sheridan community. These artists not only perform on Broadway, but also in film, voice-over, television and more. Together we sing for presidents and professional sports. At one point, we all looked at each other and wondered “how did I even end up here?”
Answer? Inspirational guidance, courage to show up and love the process.
This June, Sheridan College will host a two-week Broadway musical theater intensive. The purpose behind this opportunity is to teach young artists the trade of musical theater while they develop their personal best, training and performing alongside working industry professionals and Sheridan College performing arts faculty. By learning from industry masters, in addition to improving their skills in acting, dance and vocal performance, participants will also be exposed to the business side of show business. To hone students’ audition skills, participants will also be tested during a mock audition (open to the public) on June 17, where they will receive valuable feedback from our expert panel.
As a creative producer, I will assemble the production team from the stage crew to the choreography. I’m excited to connect artists who are in the best position to do wonders. When I create this show, I will build it around the talents of my students to bring out the best in them. Sheridan and the surrounding areas are full of talent, and I hope to bring the “big city” knowledge and skills here to the foot of the Big Horn. I can’t think of a better place for a creative retreat!
All of these skills will culminate in My Love Letter to Broadway, Broadway Past and Present, as students perform alongside professionals on the Kinnison Hall stage on June 23-24. The show will focus on Broadway from the 1940s to the present, while reflecting on the musical theater’s impact on the music and film industries.