Engaged Learning // August 7, 2020

To improve their musicality and to sharpen their audition skills, a group of FHU students participated in a theatre workshop at Playhouse on the Square. The venue is Memphis’ premier professional, regional theatre. They toured the facility and participated in a workshop with executive producer Michael Detroit and music director Nathan McHenry.

Later, students met the theatre’s cast of “Ain’t Misbehavin’”and saw a performance that evening. They observed in action the techniques learned earlier in the day.

Students were awakened to the number of positions that must be filled to run a professional theatre, Dr. Cliff Thompson, FHU director of theatre, said. They also gained a “better appreciation of the creativity and planning required to perform a musical theatre number,” he said.

Lakyn Woods, an FHU student, said,  “Participating in the workshop provided a different perspective on how to view a musical theatre song in performance and equipped me with specific tools to strengthen musical theatre auditions.”

As a side benefit, students developed a new interest in the music of “Fats” Waller, whose music is featured in “Ain’t Misbehavin.’”