Cross-Collaboration among and between
Music, Theatre, and Cinema
Oh, Kay! - Summer 2017
Faculty from music and theatre along with students from both programs collaborated on this Summer Arts Festival production. This 1926 musical comedy by George Gershwin and Ira Gershwin, is a rarely performed work. While the show itself is unfamilar to most contemporary audiences, songs like "Someone to Watch Over Me," and "Clap Yo' Hands" are considered Gershwin standards. Full houses and enthusiastic audiences made this a particularly exciting collaboration for the School of Performing Arts.
Babes in Arms- Summer 2016
Produced in just three weeks as part of a new summer intensive course called "Rarely Heard: Reviving Musical Theatre from the Past," this production featured a collaboration between music and theatre programs. This "rarely" staged musical by Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart (1937) is filled with well-known songs from the American songbook.
The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee- April 2016
With music and lyrics by William Finn; book by Rachel Sheinkin; conceived by Rebecca Feldman; additional material by Jay Reiss, this musical tapped the talents of students in from the School of Performing Arts and across campus. The production was mounted in the new Moss Arts Center on campus.
Spring Awakening- April 2014
"A famously hot-blooded musical." Winner of eight Tony Awards (including Best Musical), Spring Awakening was described by critics as, “Like nothing that has ever been heard on a Broadway stage.” The score and lyrics of this groundbreaking rock musical capture the excruciating and transcendent yearning, fear and frustration of newfound adolescent sexuality and rebellion against the backdrop of 19th century Germany. Inspired by Frank Wedekind’s provocative 1891 play.
Faculty and students from the School of Performing Arts (music and theatre) and across campus, collaborated on this wildly-popular production. Sold-out performances and an additonal peformance being added to the run highlighted the production's success.
Direction by Theatre and Cinema Faculty Chair Susanna Rinehart
Musical Directon by Lee Heuermann
Costume design by MFA student Crystal Firman
Set design by Mary Sader (senior Theatre major)
World Premiere - The Three Feathers: A Children's Opera - Fall 2014
This new one-act children’s opera was commissioned from composer Lori Laitman by the Center for the Arts at Virginia Tech in collaboration with the School of Performing Arts and the Roanoke Opera. The work premiered in October 2014 at the Moss Arts Center at Virginia Tech.
Based on a Grimm’s fairytale and brilliantly retold by librettist Dana Gioia, The Three Feathers creates a mysterious world inhabited by a king, his three princess daughters, courtiers, and the fantastical underworld kingdom of the Frog Prince and his chorus of rats, bats, and frogs.
Students studying music and theatre performed in the production and worked behind-the-scenes. School of Performing Arts faculty lended their design expertise, including Randy Ward (Sets), Jane Stein (Costumes), and John Ambrosone (Lighting).
The opera’s commission was made possible in part by a grant from the Virginia Commission for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts.
For students in the School of Performing Arts we're making efforts to encourage interdisciplinary study. We now offer a special section of Introduction to Acting for Music Majors, and theatre majors can now take a Special Study course in Basic Music Skills and Voice (singing) lessons.
Additionally, the First Year Experience class (required for all entering freshmen) is now taught together by both music and theatre faculty to ensure that students from the three disciplines have the opportunity to meet, mingle, and study together.
And, select courses are now being cross-listed including Introduction to Arts Marketing to better assist our students in finding, taking, and exploring new topics that are relevant to their majors.