Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Sunday in the ARK with...

For the next two weeks, Overtures student Alexandra, a graduate of Colby College, is taking over our blog. Check back for daily updates!

Dance instructor Karma Camp gives Overtures students
feedback following their morning dance class.
Sunday, June 16

Eleven hours ago, I sat groggily at one of the tall tables in the second floor lobby of Signature Theatre, glancing at unfamiliar faces, flipping through sheet music one last time, and anxious to step into the ARK theater for the first day of unknown challenges and explorations. Behind the glazed eyes indicative of not enough coffee for a Sunday morning, I caught the glimmers of excitement. Here was a group of sixteen budding artists that shared at least one thing in common – we love musical theater. And, because of that love, we are spending two weeks of our much-coveted summers (at least for those in undergrad and high school where those still exist) back in the classroom at Overtures: Signature Theatre’s Musical Theatre Institute.

Whether we came to Overtures hoping to find more technique and training than a school program could provide, to realize true potential that lay dormant after college careers ripe with extracurricular promise, or to explore ulterior motives (gasp) and make the jump to a professional career in Washington, the Overtures class of 2013 has set our individual bars high. And so have the instructors. Diving in first thing this morning with pre-prepared songs ala an audition (albeit in front of three instructors, our Education Director, two Education Interns, and the entire Overtures class), we certainly gave it our all.

Overtures students Nina (left) and Ines (right) review their music.

For anyone who has leapt back into a classroom setting after a long time, after day jobs, and after a couple of years nurturing bad habits and trying to look like you know what you’re doing, the smacking sensation of a full day’s work in a class (and, more specifically, critique) will certainly remind you of  “the good old days”. “Make discoveries.” “Find focus.” “Be a sponge.” Ahh, the wise words of seasoned professional and teachers ready and eager to work every skill, every dance step, every high note, every riff, every conceived notion of dramatic interpretation. The dance warm-up alone might have been enough to scare away the faint of heart if not for the outgoing, sensitive, fun, and loving personalities in the program. 

Today was only a glimpse of all that Overtures undoubtedly has in store for us over the next two weeks.  Pleasantries aside, we are prepared for a difficult experience, an experience that might even make us cry (according to Tracy Lynn Olivera’s un-minced introduction), but an experience that ultimately will prove incredibly rewarding.

Don't miss the Overtures Showcase! Saturday, June 29 at 11 AM in the MAX Theatre. Admission is free and seating is on a first come, first serve basis.


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