At this point in the semester, most classes are moving quickly toward a resolution, usually a final exam or a term paper, which can be stressful for many students.
But for students in Grove City College’s inaugural Music Theater Workshop class, there’s a different – and literal – sort of performance anxiety accompanying their final.
At 7 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 6, the students will take to the stage in the Little Theater of Pew Fine Arts Center on campus to sing and act their way through the material they’ve learned over the last several months under the tutelage and direction of Becki Toth ’96 and Sasha Piastro-Tedford, both of whom teach studio voice and voice-related courses in the College’s Department of Music.
The Music Theater Workshop Final Performance features duets and scenes from “The Sound of Music,” “Jekyll and Hyde,” “Fiddler on the Roof,” “Wicked,” “Little Women,” “Quilters,” “A Chorus Line,” “Closer Than Ever,” and “Jane Eyre.”
The performance is free and open to the public.
The workshop is a new two-credit course open to students of all majors, in which they learn scenes from the music theater repertoire and perform them in a final, end-of-semester performance.
“This has been a fantastic first semester for this course. The students have worked hard and met some real vocal and acting challenges. I really appreciate the enthusiasm they bring to class and how they have supported and encouraged each other throughout the semester,” Piastro-Tedford said.
“It’s so important to stress the mechanics of musical theater. The nuts and bolts of technique are less glamorous, but so fundamental to creating good work. We have emphasized the process with our students, laying the foundation for a lifetime of appreciation and – we hope – a passion for creating good musical theater,” Toth said.
Music Theater Workshop is a key component in the College’s Musical Theater minor, which was introduced this fall and grows out of Grove City College’s long and proud stage history. Each academic year, the Theatre Program mounts two major productions – one a full-scale musical – and several smaller shows, including a one-act festival, a 24-hour theater project – in which short plays are written, cast and staged in a single day – and a Children’s Theatre show that never fails to delight audiences packed with area schoolkids.
Without a theater major, cast and crew for all the shows are drawn from the entire student body, providing students from all disciplines with an artistic outlet. In recent years, the College stage has showcased productions of “Les Misérables,” “The Music Man” and “Oklahoma!” In 2014, the College’s production of “Red” was selected for the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival, an amazing achievement for a small liberal arts college.