INSIDE BINGHAMTON UNIVERSITY
The King and I performances showcase local youths
By : By Marnie Wrighter
About 60 area theater students selected by audition last May appeared to be veterans as they sang, danced and acted their way through four performances of The King and I earlier this month. The youths, ages 12 to 18, were participants in the third season of the Summer Youth Musical Theater Workshop sponsored by Binghamton University’s Department of Music and Office of Continuing Education and Outreach. The performers were split into two casts, each performing twice.
Workshop founder Aaron Nicholson, a 1988 graduate of the University’s master of music in opera program, was artistic director; Brenda Dawe was musical director; Elaine Tamaru served as director and Todd Robinson conducted. The performers received individual and group voice training, acting and improvisation lessons, movement classes and stagecraft experience.
This year’s performance marked an addition to the workshops of the past. An entire scene, “The Small House of Uncle Thomas,” was devoted to a group of dancers choreographed by Jo-Ellen Hansen from Hansen Dance Studio in Owego. The theater and dance groups didn’t merge until just days before the show.