Musical Theater Arts Blog by Timothy Maureen Cole | November 2018
Whether you are a wallflower or constantly searching for the spotlight, chances are you’ll have to be in front of an audience at some point. Who hasn’t had to give a presentation? It starts early with book reports and science fairs, and continues well into the workplace. If the prospect of speaking in front of a crowd sounds intimidating, that is completely normal. But what if there was a way you could train to be more comfortable in public speaking situations while still having fun? There is. It’s called Improv!
Improvisation helps students of all ages build confidence, learn to think on their feet, interact with others, project the voice, and speak in front of a group without needing a script in hand. Actors learn to work together and build scenes following these basic rules*:
- Say “Yes” – work together to create something instead of everyone doing their own thing
- Say “Yes, and…” – add to the scene as it happening to help tell the story
- Make Statements – not open ended questions
- There are no mistakes, only opportunities – acting and pretending is fun, and a chance to learn about what feels right and what to change next time
The rules that we follow in improvisation help us build skills in all aspects of life. Our amazing drama instructor, Lilli Markey, teaches an Improv class each semester for students 10+. The course is 12 weeks and packed with fun. If you missed this semester, the spring session begins on March 4 at 5:00 p.m.
If your student has stage fright, needs a confidence boost, or just loves acting, then this is the right class for you. Visit our website or contact the Student Services Office (908) 790-0700 for more information about this class and others. We hope to see you soon!
* Basic rules taken from Bossypants by Tina Fey (Reagan Arthur Books; 2011)
Paterson Music Project Blog: Voices of the Silk City by Danielle Lefebvre | November 2018
The Art in the Park Showcase is a free, public event featuring performances by local artists from the Silk City in the heart of Paterson’s Great Falls National Park. On October 14, PMP performed alongside other student and adult groups presented through different mediums of art such as dance, monologue, poetry, murals, and music. This was the second year that PMP has participated in the event.
New this year, was a collaboration with New York City-based salsa band, People of Earth (POE). POE is a dynamic world music ensemble creating an explosive blend of music from Cuba, Puerto Rico, Brazil and beyond. PMP performed the famous tune, “Oye Como Va,” alongside People of Earth.
PMP staff member Danielle Lefebvre sat down with POE’s director, Gabriel Globus-Hoenich about the event. Here’s what he had to say:
How was the experience performing with the PMP kids?
Personally it was extra special playing with my best friends, who I teach alongside, and to play for students and their families. It was great to interact with students and their families and seeing their reaction to the fusion music. We usually play for a general audience, so performing for families was special since we are trying to incorporate and develop a family audience in our program. Half the band are teachers and some students.
What was the significance of the music you chose?
We wanted to choose a mix of songs in English and Spanish because the families are mixed, so we performed, “Oye Como Va.” We wanted music about inclusion, sharing, and friendship. We played original songs as well as a Stevie Wonder cover that touches on socio-economic issues.
What was the significance of the Great Falls Festival to you?
“It was our first Great Falls Festival; it was beautiful, great production staff, super cool venue, and a beautiful place!”