A 10-week vaudeville training course and performance dedicated to providing 5th through 8th grade performers with fundamental skill building in the areas of acting, voice, and dance towards the pursuit of their craft.
Over the course of 10 weeks, students will work under the guidance of professional coaches, production staff and guest artists from The Shedd’s Magical Moombah and Theatricals programs on the fundamental skills of vaudeville: song, dance, clowning, acrobatics, and comedy. Repertoire will showcase students’ performance strengths, performing songs and more! Enhancing the core training, participants take part in workshops for puppetry, improvisation, stage combat, and general stage presence, creating a strong foundation for a future in performance and public speaking The course culminates with the The Vaudeville Hour performance in the Jaqua Concert Hall on Sunday, November 20th at 5:30 pm.
Enhancing the core training, workshops in dialect study, elocution, audition preparation, and technical production skills will be sprinkled throughout the schedule, creating a rich & multi-faceted sampling of the kind of professional training required to succeed in a college program and beyond.
A limited number of merit-based Ed Ragozzino Scholarships are available upon application. Financial aid is available upon application.
The Vaudeville Hour
Sunday, June 18, 2023
The Spring 2023 E. Y. Harburg Academy Vaudeville program culminates with a performance of ”The Vaudeville Hour”, in classic vaudevillian style, filled with song, dance, tricks, jokes and the wide variety of various theatrical knickknacks of American vaudeville legend. There will be 1 performance of The Vaudeville Hour in the Jaqua Concert Hall on Sunday, June 18th at 5:30 pm.
Theatre professionals recognize the attributes of serious performers--those who have mastered the basics of their craft, and gone on to hone their acting, voice, and dance skills in equal measure. Harburg Academy participants receive intensive professional instruction in the 3 essential aspects of musical theatre performance through daily core sessions and specialized workshops. Students will polish essential performance and presentational skills through the preparation of a staged, costumed revue-style show.
Dance & Movement
From vaudeville and revue to musical comedy and classic musical theatre, a dance can connect scenes to characters, and is one of the most important means of entertaining your audience. In addition to learning choreography, solo, and ensemble work, every entertainer must learn how to perform the dance. In these sessions, students will receive training in theatrical dance choreography and technique through integrating dance into a scene, learning to lead and follow, developing natural stage movement while acting, and more. Students will emerge from this session with the foundation to become a “triple threat”.
Voice: Singing and Speech
One of the most important skills that performers must develop is their voice. Beyond simply being able to sing in tune or keep a rhythm, singers must convince an audience that their songs are not just “performance” but rather, extensions of story, tone, and character. Learning how to be not just heard, but understood by audiences while both singing and speaking is a skill many underestimate. In this session, students will be coached in the art of refining their voices for musical theatre in all its forms. Over the course of the 10 weeks, they will participate in Group Voice sessions as well as receive individual coaching should they choose to perform in a duet or solo piece.
Acting, Improv, and Clowning
Designed as an “actor bag of tricks” for the developing performer, these sessions will cover fundamental acting techniques utilized in the professional world of theatre from stage presence and actor engagement to physicality and character development. Acting is an integral part of musical performance, and not just when speaking your lines! Harburg Academy Vaudeville students will learn the importance of all aspects of acting, while talking, reacting, singing, and dancing. Whether shining in the spotlight or filling in the chorus, acting requires a specific level of consciousness and a certain degree of engagement (both contextually and physically) that each call for a precise spectrum of skills. This class will provide aspiring actors with the tools they need to excel in musical theatre and the confidence to perform in front of any audience.
Lyricist and poet E. Y. “Yip” Harburg gave us some of the most memorable lyrics of the 20th century. With songs including "It’s Only a Paper Moon", "Brother, Can You Spare A Dime",
"Lydia the Tattooed Lady", "How Are Things in Glocca Morra?", and, of course, "Over the Rainbow", the lyrics of Yip Harburg continue to be loved by performers and audiences alike.
Harburg’s career spanned over 5 decades, and included the lyrics for over 600 songs. He won several awards, including an Oscar for The Wizard of Oz and several Oscar nominations for Cabin in the Sky and Can’t Help Singing. In 1972, Harburg was inducted into the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame and two of his songs were included in The American Film Institute’s 100 years…100 songs: “Ding-Dong! The Witch is Dead” at #82 and “Over the Rainbow” at #1.
The E.Y. Harburg Academy for Musical Theatre is supported by an ongoing gift from Tom Harburg in honor of E. Y. “Yip” Harburg.
A limited number of merit-based Ed Ragozzino Scholarships are available to applicants through the generosity of Shedd Institute donors in honor of Eugene musical theatre legend Ed Ragozzino (1931-2010).
To apply for a Ragozzino Scholarship, request an application form and submit along with your Academy registration form.