The Moon Area High School (MAHS) Drama Club hosted a unique opportunity on July 12, 2018.
Andy Kelso, Broadway veteran and television actor, came to Moon Area High School to teach a masterclass for 20 MAHS students spanning grades K-12 and recent graduates. Participation for the class was available on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Kelso’s masterclass focused on theatre confidence, storytelling, bringing yourself to the material, vocal technique, and overall performance.
Students were able to bring their own material/songs to class, or they could use material/songs provided from Elf Jr. and The Addams Family, which will be the two shows produced in the 2018-19 school year.
The day started with a question and answer session with Kelso. The discussion covered life as a professional actor, his experiences performing in Wicked, Mamma Mia!,and Kinky Boots.He spoke about performing at the Tony Awards and also spoke in detail about working with Cyndi Lauper.
Afterwards, the whole group participated in an acting exercise; however, a majority of the day was spent on vocal performance. Students sang through a song once and then Mr. Kelso coached students by adding students to create a scene and having them try different methods of vocal delivery.
Mr. Kelso also taught a few vocal exercises so that students can keep their voices conditioned. He stressed the importance that "cooling down" and "warming up" are equally important for every performance.
“It was interesting to see so many students come alive during their individual coaching sessions based off of the feedback that he provided,” said MAHS Drama Club sponsor and English Teacher, Mr. Robert Michael.
“I believe many students who participated gained new insight into developing a character and telling a story through song - not to mention, this experience truly provided a real world glimpse into the life of a professional actor for students who plan on pursuing a career in the arts,” Mr. Michael said.