Friday, July 1, 2011

Students gear up for LOL: the Musical

Skating and singing? This might be a first for the Patel Conservatory.
While we do offer acting classes, we haven’t yet offered acting classes on roller blades...but in a recent rehearsal for LOL: the Musical, students were circling the stage on their skates, warming up for the their class.

LOL: the Musical is evolving, with roller blades in one number, and is sure to entertain.
Students circle up to listen to the director as class gets started.
The first challenge in dreaming up this musical was brainstorming potential story lines.
“When I first heard LOL, I though laugh out loud, and thought it’d be a comedy,” said Luis Colon, a Patel Conservatory Youth Theater (PCYT) veteran.
Colon has been in PCYT’s productions of Willy Wonka in 2009 and in Fame in 2010. On summer break from the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York City, he returns to the Patel Conservatory in Tampa this summer as both a student and intern.
“Then I thought it could be deeper, like how people sometimes hide behind laughter,” said Colon.
The story has developed into a comedy, and will include a musical number created by Colon interestingly called This Angry Tap Dance.
Ryan Santello
As the show progresses, so do the actors.
Ryan Santello, 14, of Lutz, recently moved to the Tampa area from Clermont, Fla. Having been in a community theater production of Pirates of Penzance there, he thought it’d be fun to join PCYT.
The first week, however, proved more than just fun. It’s been a challenge he didn’t anticipate.
“We’re trying to put together plot and write dialogue,” said Santello. “I knew we were going to write, but I drew a blank.”

But he's gotten past it as the students have become more comfortable with one another.
Overcoming hurdles, including writer’s block, and pushing past moments of uncertainty are all part of the creative process that help the actors grow and ultimately become more confident, experienced performers.
As the class started, director Rob Nash got them going on an improv exercise, which helps the group think on their feet, play off of each other and gain confidence.
“I’ve learned you have to trust yourself,” said Santello.

The students’ work will culminate in a full-scale production of LOL: the Musical, accompanied by our Summer Pit Orchestra.
The show will be July 14 and 15 at 7 p.m. Click here for tickets.

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