Musical Theatre: Acting the Song

All the best performers bring to their role something more, something different than what the author put on paper. That's what makes theatre live. That's why it persists. - Stephen Sondheim

The musical is widely regarded as America’s greatest contribution to the world of theatre—and for good reason.  It synthesizes the sass and verve of Vaudeville and Tin Pan Alley with the nuance of Jazz, the complex richness of classical composition, and the emotional intensity of popular culture.  Its stories embody the joy, sorrow, hilarity and virtuosity that make us human. We will explore both the creative and analytical processes that lead to thrilling, truthful musical theatre performance as we delve into key aspects of acting technique, scene analysis, musical idiom, movement, and vocal technique. Through individual and group coachings, rehearsals, and creative collaboration, students will gain mastery and confidence as actors, singers and movers: the classic musical theatre triple-threat.  The session is capped with a full company performance, including scenes, solos and ensemble numbers.

Along the way, students will investigate the impressive scope of Musical Theatre from the golden age of Rodgers and Hammerstein to the contemporary innovations of Hamilton, Hansen, and Hadestown.

The goal is simple: Each student will discover their own unique theatrical voice, the power of their own experience and a renewed focus and freedom as a performer.

Academic Director

Carys Kresny

Carys Kresny has directed theatre, physical performance and opera for stages that range from A Christmas Carol on a tabletop to baseball’s opening day celebration at San Francisco's Giants’ stadium. She has collaborated with a diverse range of performers and producers, among them opera singers, jugglers, juvenile detainees, jazz musicians, a marching band, and inanimate objects. Carys's direction and choreography have been seen at Seattle Children’s Theatre, The Scottsdale Museum of Modern Art,  Berkeley Rep, Annex Theatre, Seattle Opera, The Village Theatre, ACT Theatre, theater simple, Wooden O, Earshot Jazz Festival, Printer’s Devil, The Group Theatre, BookIt, and festivals in Seattle, Edinburgh, New York, and Vail. She’s taught and directed at colleges and conservatory programs throughout the Pacific Northwest, among them Cornish College of the Arts, University of Washington, Echo Glen Children's Detention Center, and The Annie Wright School. Carys spent her formative years in Las Vegas, Nevada in a house at the edge of the desert and grew up believing, incorrectly, that she was going to become an oceanographer.