Riverside Theatre Announces Backstage Access

With the success of last year's Backstage Access classes, Riverside Theatre continues the series of adult courses that take a closer look at the professional productions being presented at the Theatre.

"Along with all the great programming we have for young people, we wanted to expand our educational opportunities to adults as well," says Allen D. Cornell, Producing Artistic Director of Riverside Theatre. "We explored theatre as an art form by examining each specific play on the Riverside calendar, studying its past production history, and learning about Riverside's production through visits with guest artists. Class members discussed each play and were introduced to the various design elements that converge to make our productions possible."

Led by Kevin Quillinan, Director of Theatre Education, Backstage Access classes are part lecture, part seminar, part participation, part discussion, and seek to build a greater awareness of the many facets and collaborations involved in mounting a show.

"It was truly inspiring to witness the enthusiasm for these Backstage Access classes last year by our adult students and also the staff, directors, designers, and actors at Riverside," says Mr. Quillinan. "Each class left the participants, and myself, energized and excited to discover more about our productions in the next class. The slate of shows on our schedule for this coming year will lead to some incredibly interesting discoveries as we journey to the past of the show's history and the future with Riverside's plans for our production."

Two classes remain for the 2017-2018 Season. They are as follows:

Gypsy - This course will look at one of the classic plays from the American stage and one of the most famous characters found in American musicals. As with other musicals adapted from plays and films, the class will explore the source material for Gypsy as well as the various casting choices over the years incorporating such names as Ethel Merman, Angela Landsbury, Bernadette Peters, and Bette Midler. Costumes will be a highlight of the discussion as we examine the costume design and build processes taking place here at Riverside.

Course Dates: Meets Wednesdays 10am to 12noon (2/21, 2/28 & 3/7)

Mamma Mia - This class will explore the songs from the musical group ABBA as the source material for the stage musical. The concept of the "Jukebox Musical" will be examined as the class looks into the script, production history and storytelling style of the play. Along with our discussion, this will also be an opportunity for the class to learn about the co-production between Riverside and Walnut Street and to hear from actors, directors, and designers about the challenges and possibilities that come from mounting a production in two different parts of the country.

Course Dates: Meets Wednesdays 10am to 12noon (4/4, 4/11 & 4/18)

Tuition for each class is $70. Class sizes are limited. Generally all Riverside Theatre members receive a 25% discount on the tuition price. Patron Producers and Upper Level members can attend classes for free. To purchase a course, call the Riverside Theatre Box Office at 772-231-6990 or online at www.riversidetheatre.com.

Riverside Theatre is located at 3250 Riverside Park Drive, Vero Beach, FL 32963. Riverside Theatre programs are sponsored in part by the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs and the Florida Arts Council, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Riverside Theatre is a member of the Cultural Council of Indian River County, the Indian River Chamber of Commerce, and the Sebastian River Area Chamber of Commerce.

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