When we have Musical Theatre...      Want to develop your child’s “It Factor”, that extra pizzazz? Want to develop your child’s razzle-dazzle style, flamboyance, and flair? Want to infuse some spirit, energy, and excitement into classical ballet? This workshop series focuses on all aspects of musical theater-- a little acting, a little solo and chorus singing, a little dance and soft shoe, and an opportunity to explore and experiment with musical theatre choreography.      The workshops develop an understanding of musical theater and provide opportunities for self-discovery and personal growth. With structured teacher-choreographed exercises and student-developed dances, the learning environment cultivates self-discipline, critical thinking abilities, and enhances students’ chances for success, no matter what field of endeavor they pursue as an adult (unless they are going to be cloistered and sworn to a life of silence).


1. DANCING and INCREASING MOVEMENT VOCABULARY      Here is a sample of just one dance we have done in Musical Theatre. Click on the arrow to play the video or click on the link below the video to watch it in YouTube.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JQOA25a8Jxc&feature=youtu.be Sample Dance Video from Cirque du Soleil 2. SINGING and INCREASING MUSICAL UNDERSTANDING "Talking to Myself"      Here is an example of what we do in our Musical Theatre workshops. This "Talking to Myself" performance is from Karen Carpenter's classic song that went to #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 and was certified Gold by the RIAA. It was also the Carpenters's fourth #1 song. It was composed in 1971 by composers Roger Nichols and Paul Williams.      There are solos, duets, trios, quartets, quintets, etc, but what is it when a trio sings with itself? A tri-uet? A dueo-tri? A Tri-due-o-et? What ever it is, you can click here to watch our performers in Youtube or click on the arrow below to watch the video here. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=On4BZzW1FK4&feature=youtu.be Suessical      Here is another singing example, a song from "Seussical". Seussical, a musical by Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty, is based on the books of Dr. Seuss. It debuted on Broadway in 2000. The play's story is a complex amalgamation of many of Seuss's books. After a Broadway run, the production had two US national tours and a United Kingdom tour. It's a favorite for school, community, and regional theatres, and this song about Gertrude McFuzz is a great little "bit" for our Dance Island Musical Theatre performers. Click here to watch our performer in Youtube, or click on the arrow in the video below to watch it here.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1AW7L6xe-G4&feature=youtu.be You can practice the song with this instrumental track. Just click here to sing along with the instrumental track for Gertrude McFuzz. Clicking on the link above will take you to a very plain looking gray YouTube player. The player has a start button over on the left that turns blue and white when your mouse cursor gets close. There is also progress bar in the middle of the player. 3. SCENE STUDY and SCENE IMPROVISATION Improv (When you improvise) [im-pruh-vahyz] 1. compose, perform, deliver without previous preparation; extemporize: 2. compose, play, recite, or sing on the spur of the moment. 3. make, provide,  arrange from whatever materials are readily available 4. compose, utter, execute, arrange anything extemporaneously       Is it, however, really without previous preparation?       When accomplished musicians, after years of study, improvise,       is it without preparation?       When, after four-years of rigorous study and receiving a degree in art       from a prestigious art academy, an artist makes a work of art from        materials readily available, and when the artist does this on       the spur of a moment's revelation, insight, and inspiration,       is the artist creating without preparation?       After all the work on verbal fluency, all the performance experience,       all the study to improve vocal, movement, and concentration skills,       are our Improv Scene Studies without previous preparation?      In Musical Theatre we use improvised scene, dialogue, and monologue studies, to develop and explore acting skills. In the preparation and study, revision and performing, and evaluation and feedback of scenes, actors get more than just an experience of taking direction, more than just a chance to practice learning lines, and more than just a couple minutes to “be” someone else.      Students develop their own unique style and technique; they strengthen emotional connection and character development skills. Improv and scene studies are opportunities for students to make something real out of nothing but imagination, to engage in open, honest, and dynamic dialogues, and to create performances of depth and meaning. (Oh, really, all that??)      So, first, is the old myth about the ugly old witch turning the handsome prince into a frog true? If a beautiful young princess kisses the frog, will he turn back into a handsome prince and take the princess to the prom? Watch this improvisation and find out. Just click on the link below the picture to view the video in YouTube. Click here to watch The Frog Prince in YouTube      Second, another performer found the same frog. A kiss could maybe change the frog back into a handsome prince, but the warts might be a problem, Click on this YouTube link to see if warts might be a problem. or click on the arrow below to watch the video here on our web site.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PUkwEVEU0LQ&feature=youtu.be     In Musical Theatre, there are many ways to put together an improvisation. In this third set of Improvs, "Where Is My Body", we 1) Start with a Premise (I just lost my body) then 2) Ask ourselves, if this Premise is true, then what will follow and what else is true, and 3) when a situations is fantastical and ridiculous, we respond realistically and are very specific with “If this is true, then what else is specifically true?” 4) and at the same time, we provide reasons for anything the audience sees that, of course, does not make any sense, (even when our reasons are unreasonable and illogical, and, finally, 5) we, unlike in our everyday lives, do not follow the voice of reason. In our Improvs, we escape the mundane logical world and explore what might happen if the barriers of logic were broken. There is a liberating effect of breaking these barriers in the safe and accepting environment of a Theatre class. Being creative and working with "what ifs" and "flights of fancy" are essential for the development of our Musical Theatre performers. Click on there two lines of text (this link) to watch "Where Is My Body? Improv 01" in YouTube
http://youtu.be/53iQUHK2NVI           Here is a fourth example with one of our students doing a Scene Improv. after having been given only the premise and title, "How Was My Day". The student is using the scene study to practice her: 1. Ability to perform in front of a camera, 2. Verbal Fluency and accelerated speech, and 3. Ability to make up a beginning, a middle, and a great ending.      Yes, Musical Theatre Scene Improvs need a beginning, middle, and end (a period at the end). Unlike talking in eveyday life that can drone on and on, a Scene is a little entity in and of itself, a little slice of life~ condensed and amplified. Click on this link to watch "How Was My Day~ Fine" in YouTube, or click on the arrow to watch in here.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_smUHLuVfeg&feature=youtu.be      In Musical Theatre improvisations we often practice "going over the top". In this fifth Scene Improv., one of our performers stretches reality (and the truth). That, though, is what we do on stage: we create, for an hour or two, a heightened, often exaggerated, "reality". Click here to see "The Perfect Child" in YouTube. or click on the video below to watch her here. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xAW5NUXvKF0&feature=youtu.be      Here is a simple sixth example just using hands. Whether we call them Icebreakers or Warm-ups, Games or Exercises, Performances or Improvs., the goals is the same: To provide our performers opportunities for practicing invention, creativity, and spontaneity. We have many such Musical Theatre, drama and theater performance activities from the Freeze Game to this Green Screen Improv. Performers try to include a beginning, middle, and end in less than half a minute. Click here to watch a sampling of three 30-second Improvs in You Tube or click on the arrow below.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ayC8fRAmZ5g&feature=youtu.be 4. VERBAL FLUENCY PERFORMANCES Improvisation      There are many ways to strengthen the connection between the brain and the "jaw bone" and increase Verbal Fluency. And, our performers learn more from each other than they could ever learn from just one Director or Acting Coach. We delight in our students' artistic input and creativity.      Short performances need a beginning, middle, and end (they need a period at the end). Actors need to develop accelerated thinking and add distinct modulations in their fast talking. Think it is easy? Try doing an improvisation with someone choosing from this list. Then, without a script, and no preparation, do 30 seconds on "How Was School?", or "What'd You Learn In English?", or "Did You See How Fast The Price Went Up?", or "Can You Or Can't You Go With Us On Monday?", or "What'd You Have For Lunch?". In this performance we use: "What did you have for lunch?" Click here to watch our "How Was Your Day" performer do an improv. on "What Did You Have For Lunch in Youtube or click on the arrow below to watch in here. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DSR3WBGZNyU&feature=youtu.be Matching Dialogue to Music      Here are two Verbal Fluency performances of the same dialogue. It is in the style of the climactic speech at the end of the award winning film, “The King’s Speech”. The performers are matching their dialogue (5 quatrains) to an abridged version of the second movement from Beethoven's Seventh Symphony.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zP4oQ00rlUA&feature=youtu.be This link will take you to YouTube for the video above-01
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I8I0KHimrYk&feature=youtu.be This link will take you to YouTube for a second performance of "The King's Speech" 5. DEVELOPING STUDENTS' "IT FACTOR"      There is something extra that performers and "show people" have. There is a self-discipline and flair, an extra dimension, and a delight in "the more that might be" that they definitely have. And, ALL THAT can be practiced and developed in Musical Theatre.