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Advanced Musical Theater Workshop

[Music] Singing – “Still I can’t explain, why he should be…” [Music] Singing – “…Just the one, one man in the world for me.” When I was hired here about thirty years
ago, I found out later that the code word for Kowalke was musical theater. They thought that musical theatre would give an identity to music on this campus
that Eastman didn’t have at the University. So, I think the next year
after I got here in 1986 we started these musical theatre workshops. [Music] Singing – “A shadow pass. A shadow pass. Yearning. Yearning.” We sat down and we put together a very
intensive program. Starting with the 133 beginners class, going to the 233 advanced class. [Kowalke] It’s basically something for people who may not be planning careers
in musical theater, but who want to have that experience of pre-professional
training in a very concentrated way. [Music] Singing – “Every day it gets harder to somehow believe.” I wanted more with the arms. I wanted you to fly. [Kowalke] David Runzo and I believe that musical theater is precisely that: Music and theatre. And so
I come at it from the musical point of view. And David comes from the theatrical
point of view. [Runzo] Basically it’s learning the art of acting a song. As opposed to just singing a song. One thing that I really wanted to work on was my confidence on stage. And just like being able to play a character and be able to sing not as myself or not one person all the time. But to just be able to get comfortable on stage. [Kowalke] The two workshops are entirely performance oriented. And a lot of one-on-one coaching. I love the process of when you go
in with Dr. Kowalke and Mr. Runzo and you get to pull apart the song and really
hammer out the emotions you’re trying to convey and the story, to bring it to where
it’s ready to be performed. [Kowalke] Some of the assignments for the students are solo things like the audition or their monologue songs. But then others are
scenes where they may be working with two or three other students in the class. [Runzo] Their last assignment is to do a monologue song. In other words a song where the character is speaking out loud [Music] Spoken – “He walked in, mind made up. With the air of a god on holiday.” [Kowalke] Well I think every student in the class learns a lot about themselves. [Runzo] Mostly it’s building confidence. It’s building self-esteem. Not being afraid to take chances. [O’Reggio] This workshop just channels my
creativity altogether. And I have like more confidence about me. I’m more focused.
I like being creatively challenged. “I know you’ve been ignoring me all these years. Because deep down…” “…you like me just as much as I like you. Probably even more!” [Music – Comical piano riff] [Kowalke] It’s my favorite course. And
partially because I don’t think there’s another one like it in the country. And I
love to watch students grow. And then to see the pride they take in what
they’ve accomplished during the semester. [Music] Singing – “It’s just my Paul.”

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