For those of you who didn’t make it to the arts and theater New York City trip this break, I’ll give you the 411 on what you missed. While the performances and art exhibits were the highlights of the trip, the hardest part for us Californians was handling the new sensation of freezing. With temperatures falling below 20 degrees Fahrenheit on most days and at about 40 on nice days, it was, needless to say, a change in routine for most of us. We began the days by layering ourselves in our warmest attire which included two pairs of pants, rain jackets, coats, hats, scarves, earmuffs, and gloves, only to strip down to our last layer whenever we got inside. Despite the drastic change, we seemed to adapt quite nicely to the change in weather, especially when we all got the chance to have a snowball fight and take artsy pictures.
Aside from playing in the snow and shivering our faces off, the theater students participated in “The Broadway Student Summit,” where students participate in workshops involving choreography, stage combat, improv, and acting. Each year the Summit chooses one Broadway show to showcase and allows students to learn the choreography and music from as well as meet actors who star in the current production. This year the Summit chose the most recent revival of “Fiddler on the Roof.” Of all the workshops we participated in, the most entertaining would have to be the one involving stage combat, where we learned how to convey the impressions of punching, pulling hair, pushing, and falling on a stage.
While the theatre students participated in daily workshops, the art students took time discovering forms of art they could find nowhere else. Students participated in activities such as street art (graffiti) and paper making. They also travelled to the Museum of Modern Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Of course, the daytime activities were a blast, but what I looked forward to each day was seeing a different performance each night. The theatre students saw “School of Rock,” “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime,” “Fiddler on the Roof,” “Shear Madness,” and “Fun Home.” Every show had its positives and negatives, but the show that really blew me away was “Shear Madness,” an interactive comedic murder mystery where each night the audience, who is involved in helping the detectives solve the crime, votes on who they think the murderer is, and, consequently, chooses who the culprit is for that night’s performance. It was a perfect example of improv in the theatre.
While the trip was brief, I know that both the theatre and art students can agree it was well worth it. I hope that those of you who missed this one will join us on our next adventure.