University of Rochester

EVENT: Stage, not Classroom, is Setting for this Final Exam

December 3, 2002

The final in Kim Kowalke's musical theater workshop at the University of Rochester will take two days, and the public is invited.

That's because the "exam" is a revue that will be staged at 8 p.m. on both Friday, Dec. 13, and Saturday, Dec. 14, in lower Strong Auditorium on the River Campus. Titled "I Wish . . .", the show will feature selections from more than 20 musicals, including Les Miserables, Into the Woods, Guys and Dolls, Little Shop of Horrors, West Side Story, and Oklahoma! Admission to the program is free.

The musical theater workshop is an intensive performance class in which the students learn the basics of musical theater performance as well as how to sing and act theater songs, all in preparation for the end-of-semester revue. The class is led by Kowalke, professor of music and chair of the Department of Music at the College, and by visiting instructor David Runzo. Runzo is known in the Rochester area for his direction of musicals, including productions at Blackfriars Theatre and the Jewish Community Center. Jonette Lancos, associate professor of theater and dance at SUNY Geneseo, has choreographed some of the revue's numbers.

The 22 members of the musical theater workshop include students from both the College and the University's Eastman School of Music. Though only some of the students plan to pursue stage careers and many are not music or theater majors, all were admitted to the class by audition.

Students attended class twice a week for six hours while also rehearsing and receiving extra coaching from Kowalke and Runzo on their own time. The group included an advanced level and a regular workshop, and the students videotaped themselves throughout the semester in order to self-critique.

For more information, contact the Department of Music at (585) 275-2828.