Following a successful summer run online, the Winnipeg Studio Theatre is hosting round two of its popular Made in Manitoba virtual masterclass series.
There are new instructors on the list, and people will be able to choose a drop-in option or take the whole series, according to Winnipeg Studio Theatre co-director Brenda Gorlick.
The nine-session program features top musical theatre artists from Manitoba who perform and create for the world stage, Gorlick said.
The roster includes artists Andrea Macasaet, a newly-minted Broadway star of Six the Musical, Alyx Andrushuk, a featured dancer on The Masked Singer, along with current associate artistic director of Shaw Festival, Kimberley Rampersad.
Others include Alexandra Frohlinger and Josh Assor of Broadway shows Hello Dolly and Newsies, respectively, stage and screen actor Markian Tarasiuk, plus Joshua LeClair, fresh from the Matilda world tour. Kathleen Moore from the Oz company of Come From Away, Samantha Jeanne Hill of Broadway’s Les Miserables and The Phantom of the Opera, plus seasoned veteran of Broadway, Vegas and Guthrie stages, Andrea Mislan.
"Our first masterclass went really well. We had students from across Manitoba, across Canada and from the US," Gorlick said. "That was our first chance to share the expertise of people from Manitoba. We found that everyone was hungry for a chance to improve their musical theatre skills, even if it was in a digital setting."
Round 2 of the musical theatre masterclass has already begun, for ages 10 through adult, although interested people can still register for the drop-in classes. These cover all aspects of musical theatre performance, from training, auditions, acting, singing and dance techniques for the professional stage.
Each live Zoom session includes instruction, as well as question-and-answer sessions with the guest faculty, according to Gorlick. "The students love to ask the instructors about their experiences on stage," she said.
The students are assigned homework, in small groups. "Each instructor will pick five students, to prepare a monologue, a dance or a song to perform at the next session," Gorlick said. "This allows students time to prepare, and it helps keep the classes tighter, in that not everyone is performing each session."
Each session is recorded and kept on a private YouTube channel, so students can review, take notes and then practice the techniques, she added.
Gorlick, who was honoured to receive an Evie award at the virtual ceremony hosted by the Winnipeg Theatre Awards on Nov. 5, in the category of theatre educator, said the masterclass will also be making a donation to the Movember charity for men’s health, including in the areas of mental health, prostate cancer and testicular cancer.
Winnipeg Studio Theatre is based in Tuxedo, but all in-person training and performances are on hold due to the pandemic.
For more information on the musical theatre masterclass, see winnipegstudiotheatre.com/workshop/
The Sou'wester community journalist
Susie Strachan is the community journalist for The Sou'wester. Susie got her first paying job as a journalist in the late '80s on the Free Press Weeklies, then followed that with 20 years as a reporter, photographer and specialty editor at the Winnipeg Free Press. She then spent 10 years working for WAVE magazine with the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority, before returning to her roots as the reporter/photographer for The Sou’wester.