During the weekend of May 6 & 7, the Lucia De Conz Foundation hosted the first edition of the American Musical Theatre Workshop, an intensive masterclass led by Dr. Karen Veloz, Dr. Stephannie Moore and Ms. Nuria Camino from the Musical Theatre program at the Florida International University (FIU) located in Miami, Florida, U.S.A.
These three professors are accomplished singers, musicians and actors themselves, and Dr. Veloz is the director of the Wertheim School of Music & Performing Arts at FIU. The Wertheim School trains 220 undergraduate and graduate students each year, and faculty and students give over 100 performances annually on campus and in the community including orchestral, band, choral, jazz, large and small chamber ensembles, fully staged operas, and cutting-edge new music.
The lively workshop began Saturday afternoon with a brief history of musical theatre in the United States and a discussion of the evolution of styles.
The seven young actors then learned a dance combination from the celebrated West Side Story, a musical that premiered in 1957 at the National Theatre in Washington, D.C. The masterclass continued Sunday morning with scene work and from The Lightning Thief (music and lyrics by Rob Rokicki) and a group musical performance of the ‘Campfire Song’.
In the afternoon, the participants presented a contemporary monologue and two song cuts and then worked one-on-one with the professors to prepare the same pieces for future auditions. The weekend finished with seven remarkable final performances by the enthusiastic and talented participants.
This workshop was the first project resulting from an international collaboration with Florida International University and the Lorenzo Da Ponte Theatre Academy in Vittorio Veneto, Italy. Casa Coste’s newly renovated classrooms were the ideal spaces for both the lectures and live performances, and this was the first of many cultural events and workshops planned for spring and summer 2023!