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Tulsa, OK, United States
This blog is a record of the Senior Class from the University of Tulsa's Musical Theatre Program as we develop a Showcase to perform in New York. For more information, including how to donate, click on 'Who We Are' under the Pages sidebar!

Monday, February 28, 2011

"So Much to Do" at TU!

Courtney's back for another week. :) This has been a particularly busy beginning of spring for all of us! Just yesterday, Sean, Jonathan, and Natalie drove down to Dallas to audition for the southwest premiere production of Next to Normal. This upcoming weekend, we have students heading to NETC auditions, Lyric Theatre auditions, and our production of Hay Fever is opening.
Even around all this business, it is wonderful to see that our showcase is really starting to take shape. We all have material we love, and now it's just down to working and polishing. In other words, it's time for the fun stuff! :)
I've been working on "I Wanna Be a Rockette." As the dancer of our crew, I'm singing a little, and then taking it to town in my ladcucas! I'm having so much fun choreographing this. Not only is it a variety of dance styles I love and adore, I also get to have a dance break whose music is also tailored to my choreography. Jim Gregory, our musical theatre specialist and accompanist extraordinaire, has been helping by arranging the song around what I create. I've always worked with set music or cut recorded music when choreographing, so this is new and so much fun!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Prospectives and Our Own Prospectives

Hi! My name is Courtney Chilton, and I am also a senior musical theatre major. Today we had  scholarship auditions for incoming freshman. The prospective students come to TU and bring their headshots, audition packets, design books, and hopeful dreams and lay them out before the faculty as their knees shake with nerves underneath the table. It was weird to think that we wouldn't be there as they started their college journey next year. Their hopeful yet nervous faces were so like younger versions of our own as we think about the future ahead of us.
We get cards signed for our work hours each semester, and as I got my card signed at the end of the day I wrote something on it in jest. "The beginning of the end." But now I look and realize it isn't the beginning of the end. It's the beginning of the beginning.
As we leave TU, we are the next generation of theater artists. It is to up to us to keep our art form going and still relevant. We need to keep theatre more than just relevant; we need to keep it alive in people's lives and hearts. There are so many different things we can do as we leave. The possibilities are beyond endless. And I am ready to go out and do them all.
This showcase is so important to our futures. Not only is it our first step out in the world, but it is also our first step out together. Who knows what will grow from some of these collaboration? Steppenwolf started with a bunch of graduating classmates bonding together in a (cue melodramatic music) seemingly harsh and hostile world. Look at what they've done. Here's to the start of the next generation of theatre!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

The Beginning!

Hello, I'm Sean Stewart. I am one of the Senior Musical Theatre Majors at the University of Tulsa. If you didn't read the top of the page, we are heading to New York the week of May 1 through May 6 to put on a showcase with the help of Actor's Connection. At our school, in order to be involved in the showcase, we have to enroll in a two-part course of that name, Showcase. The first section is entirely devoted to the research and business aspect of producing a showcase, from fund-raising, to marketing, to finding a venue. The second section is devoted to searching for and developing material for the actual performance. This is the first post of many as we work through the second half of this course.

As I look for material I've discovered something extremely important: you have to please yourself. Our department recently had the privilege of having Chet Walker, the much lauded Broadway choreographer and director, in for a two-week residency. This is something he kept stressing to us, but it only recently hit home for me. If I want to make an impression, I need to consistently connect and open myself up to the material I am performing. Mr. Walker told us something that I am going to make my mantra: If you're not pleasing yourself, then what's the point? At the end of the day, you will be performing for a panel of auditioners with their own opinions of what you are doing. The only way to guarantee success after every audition is making sure you are pleased with what you did. If you are doing something to please others, that won't happen.

Thanks for taking time to read! Stop by next week to hear from another student!