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Gualala Arts

Promoting public interest and participation in the arts since 1961.

Archive of past events: 2004 through 2014


Gualala Arts Workshop
Musical Theater and
Rehearsal & Performance Techniques
Instructors: Jan Harris & Bryn Harris

Musical Theater
Tuesday and Thursday
August 23 to October 6, 2011
6:00 - 9:20 p.m.

Rehearsal and Performance
October 8 to 15, 2011
Time: Times vary, Check Syllabus or calendar

To register
Call Gualala
Arts Center

Register by:   August 23, 2011
Tuition:   $160 members; $175 non-members
Age level:   High school and up
Requirements:   Previous theatrical experience helpful, but not required.

This Musical Theater Workshop is an introduction to musical theatre performance, styles and history through the study and practice of musical scenes from the Broadway stage. Emphasis is placed on the application of vocal techniques, movement (dance and stage combat) and characterization to create a convincing performance. Audition skills as they relate to musical theatre will be included. The course culminates in a class "showcase" open to both students' family and friends and the general public.

This workshop will encompass two distinct sections:

Part One: Musical Theatre Techniques. Students will learn (and/or reinforce) basic theatrical techniques, including: auditioning for a musical, physical & vocal warm-ups, theater professionalism, stage direction, comedy technique, musical choreography, beginning stage combat, singing ensemble harmonies, using period styles in acting and using a dialect. Numbers will be chosen from a variety of Tony award-winning Broadway shows.

Part Two: Rehearsal & Performance Techniques. Students will discover how to assemble the various numbers to create a showcase performance. Students will act as production staff for the showcase by participating in the technical aspects of the show including lighting, sound, settings, properties, costumes, makeup, house management, publicity and more.

NOTE: It has been a dream of mother and daughter, Jan and Bryn Harris, to work on a theatrical project together. Their collaboration as co-instructors of the Musical Theater Workshop will be an exciting beginning to this process. Bryn will also be choreographing and directing the stage combat scenes in MTW.

About Jan Harris

Jan Harris Jan has extensive education and training in music, dance and theater arts from SF State University and several theatrical venues including: Marin Shakespeare Festival, Circle Star Theater, SF Opera Ring, Ashland Oregon Shakespeare Festival, American Conservatory Theater (ACT), Pasadena Playhouse, Marin Mountain Play, Mill Valley Center for the Performing Arts, College of Marin and Ross Valley Players, all before arriving in Gualala in 1979.

Here on the coast, she directed the coastal choir for two seasons, played bells with Ernest Bloch Bellringers, was Instructor/Director of three Musical Theater Workshops (MTW), including Gualala Arts MTW in 1981 and directed the book musicals, "Of Thee I Sing" and "Bye Bye Birdie." Locally, she also directed the play "The Shadowbox," three productions of the children's opera "Amahl and the Night Visitors," designed costumes for "Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum" at Gloriana Opera Co., was co-creator of the Gualala Arts' Midsummer Faire plus directed and performed in the Faire Shakespeare Fest at Bower Park. Jan has also performed in local shows by other directors, the dramas "White Liars" and "Song at Twilight" and revues "Broadway Babes," "Black White & Silver Revue" and "Broadway Babes are Back."

About Bryn Harris

Bryn Harris Bryn's education in theater includes degrees with Dean's Highest Honors from Santa Rosa Junior College (A.A. in Theater Arts), Pacific Conservatory of Performing Arts and University of North Carolina School of the Arts (B.F.A in Directing). She has also performed professionally with the Wilde Irish Theater, Oregon Cabaret Theater as a guest artist with PCPA's Theaterfest in Santa Maria and Solvang, California and Insight-Out Theater Collective in Portland Oregon.

She studied at the Broadway Dance Center in NYC, and attended the National Stage Combat Workshop ('09-10), training in unarmed combat and eight weapons. She was Choreographer/Fight Director for UNCSA's Summer Youth Program ('09) and the Children's Theater Summer Program ('10). At UNCSA, she was mentored by the legendary Gerald Freedman, and throughout her studies has taken courses and Master Classes with dozens of theatrical luminaries including Mandy Patinkin and Jason Robert Brown.

Her extensive performing resume includes acting, singing and dancing in numerous roles in plays and musicals including Miss Hannigan in Annie, for which she received an Irene Ryan nomination; Babette/Choreographer in Beauty and the Beast; Petra in A Little Night Music; Nancy in Oliver!; Dukka/Choreographer in the World Premiere of One with Insight-Out Theater Collective. She has directed over a dozen plays and was tour director in the Open Dream Ensemble's children's residency program, playing Diana/Fight Choreographer in Peril on the Red Planet and acting in a kids' web series.

Following her return to the Mendonoma coast, Bryn jumped right into the performing arts scene. She was guest entertainer Gualala Arts' NY New Year's Eve, performed and choreographed in Love on the Edge at Arena Theater, sang An Evening of Acoustic Soul at 215 Main in Point Arena, choreographed the Frog Scene in Honk!, is Fight Choreographer for One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, and will be conducting Master Classes in Stage Combat and Auditioning in the near future. Harris will also be choreographing the next ACT musical, The Music Man.

See also: Gualala Arts Workshop Registration, Payment & Cancellation Policy.

Gualala Arts 50th anniversary logo

The Gualala Arts Center, located at 46501 Old State Highway in Gualala, CA,
is open weekdays 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., and weekends from noon to 4:00 p.m.
Please call (707) 884-1138 for more information, or email

Join us in celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Gualala Arts, 1961 - 2011

Serving the coastal communities of northern Sonoma & southern Mendocino Counties.