The many happy faces that you see in the photo were the participants of a 3 day masterclass that I taught called "Booked It!: Auditioning for Musical Theatre". The masterclass took place at the Elizabethan Education Centre in Taipei, Taiwan. Many of these students were current students at the National Taiwan University or working professionals. They were the kindest, most enthusiastic bunch that I have had the pleasure to know. The workshop started with us dissecting the elements of an audition, then they got a chance to audition with a song of their choice. I then assigned songs belonging to some of musical theatre's best composers including Rodgers and Hammerstein, Jule Styne, Frank Loesser, and Irving Berlin. We had the opportunity to analyze and perform these songs for each other. We then talked about the business of theatre as it pertains to auditioning and how to organize one's book.
A highlight of the masterclass for me was hearing a song from a brand new Taiwanese musical based on the Mulan story but instead of a woman disguised as a man it was a young man trying to understand his own sexuality. The language and score was melodic and emotive. I encouraged the students to continue contributing new work to the musical theatre canon that was unique to their culture, history and language.
This experience will always be close to my heart and I look forward to the next time that I get to visit this beautiful country.