Tag Archives: Webster University Conservatory of Theatre Arts

556

Lincoln, Nebraska.

International Thespian Festival.

556 auditions in 14 flights of students over four days.

That’s what I have been doing this last week.


Several years ago, my boss Peter Sargent asked me to join the theatre faculty in Lincoln so that we could better assess the musical-theatre prospective students.  I think that I’ve made this trip now six out of the last nine years.  And it’s always a treat.

My colleague Bruce Longworth and I sit at the table for the long flights of auditions, wherein students have 90 seconds to present one or two songs or monologues.  After a few flights of students, we issue a call-back list of those we’d like to see again.

These students then work with us individually in a hotel conference room, mostly on Friday and Saturday.

The follow-up for me is to send these students a personal note, and include links to various blog entries that may be helpful, including my listing of all the songs performed at auditions this week, audition tips, and a blog entry about contemporary musical theatre composers.

with Ben Love.

Five years ago this week, I met my beloved student Ben Love here at Thespians.  I hope that five years from now I’ll be able to say the same thing about one of these students we met this week!


P.S. — this is what Ben looked like when I met him:

And this is what I looked like when I met Ben:

I was thinner five years ago.

Nebraska state capitol

I’m in Lincoln, Nebraska this week, representing Webster University at the annual International Thespian Festival.

And on Tuesday morning I took some to visit the state capitol building, one that in all these trips to Lincoln I’ve never actually seen.  The morning air was lovely, and the 20-minute walk invigorating.

A small group toured the second-floor public spaces, in the unicameral legislative chamber and the old Senate chamber.

This building is quite the monument!

Love’s Labours

I attended this weekend a matinee of Love’s Labours Lost, presented by the Webster University Conservatory of Theatre Arts.  Five of my Webster voice students were in the show.

This show was exhilarating, fun, catchy, life-affirming.  (The show was a musical, based on the eponymous Shakespeare play.)

My two seniors:

Jacob Flekier.
Ben Love.

I love these guys so much, and I’m so happy for their choices, their growth, their drive, and their balance.

Proud teacher

Ben Love and Jacob Flekier performed their senior showcase in New York City this week.  Both are voice students of mine at Webster University.

I’m so proud of these guys!

Photos from the showcase performance:

Also this trip: I caught up with Webster University Department of Music alumna Jennifer Johnson Cano, who is tearing it up on the opera and concert stage, including this week at the Metropolitan Opera.

Monday in NYC

A full day!  11,415 steps, according to the iPhone.  That’s 3.6 miles of walking. I believe it, based on how my feet feel Monday evening.

Looking west from my hotel room window, morning and late afternoon:

And looking north on 8th Avenue:

Notice how the tall buildings do not cast a shadow north of Columbus Circle. That’s Central Park territory.
Happy Socks = happy man.

Yufei and I had drinks at The Aviary at the Mandarin Hotel on Columbus Circle.  And we had some incredibly good Iberico ham.

From my walk back to the hotel tonight:

I took Jennifer Johnson Cano to lunch on Monday, and also spent a couple of glorious hours at the New York City Public Library performing arts branch at Lincoln Center.  Walking across Lincoln Center plaza with Jennifer felt like something out of a movie. And I had drinks and a nosh with my former student Jordan Parente Monday evening.

From the Library today, Jerome Robbins‘ Lincoln Center Honors award:

Yufei reminded me of why I love NYC so much:

International Thespian Festival

I am once again in Lincoln, Nebraska for a week of student engagement at the International Thespian Festival.

We started the journey on Sunday morning, arriving in Lincoln less than 8 hours later.

And then the crew from Webster enjoyed a steak dinner at Misty’s, across the street from our Embassy Suites hotel.

I’ll have photos and updates throughout the week!