December 7, 2011
Webster University and The Muny Announce Historic Partnership
Webster University and The Muny today announced the establishment of a new partnership that will blend the renowned Muny theatre with Webster's nationally acclaimed Conservatory of Theatre Arts.
The partnership is a sharing of resources and opportunities to develop and train performers and production staff for careers in American musical theatre. The end result will enhance both organizations and further promote St. Louis as a performing arts center.
"This partnership brings together two extraordinary organizations," said Webster President Elizabeth (Beth) J. Stroble. "I am thrilled to see this example of the power of partnership – one that will strengthen The Muny and provide opportunities for Webster students to excel. It is this kind of creative collaboration that transforms lives and enriches communities."
Webster Provost and Senior Vice President Julian Schuster said the partnership will elevate the academic experience for Webster's Conservatory students. "The unique partnership will allow our students to gain experience through internships alongside the most talented professionals in musical theatre. We believe that this outstanding opportunity will have a lifetime impact on our students."
Peter Sargent, dean of Webster's Leigh Gerdine College of Fine Arts added, "This is the first partnership of its kind between a conservatory and a professional musical theatre."
Through the partnership, Webster's musical theatre performance students will participate in master classes offered by Muny choreographers and directors and in workshop development projects for future seasons. They also will audition and be selected for Muny chorus opportunities.
"When I was named executive producer, I immediately reached out to Peter and Lara (Lara Teeter, head of Webster's musical theatre department)," said Mike Isaacson, The Muny's new executive producer. "I have such respect for the Conservatory and its students. It just seemed right that The Muny connect these talented students with our esteemed directors, choreographers and designers."
"We are excited to partner with Webster in this historic endeavor," said Muny president and CEO Dennis M. Reagan. "The partnership is an exciting collaboration between a great musical theatre training program and a great musical theatre."
"We are always striving to offer our students the best in training, development and hands-on experience," said Sargent. "With the leadership of faculty member Lara Teeter, head of Webster's musical theatre program and a regular star of Muny productions, there are natural opportunities for our students to contribute to the performances on the incredible Muny stage. Further, our outstanding design and production students will gain important creative opportunities while assisting The Muny's creative team in preparation for each season."
Conservatory production students with majors in design, production support and stage management will be selected through interviews and portfolio reviews for internships at The Muny to assist with season planning in casting, scenic and costume design, and production operations. The internships will offer Webster students unparalleled experience and opportunities in musical theatre. Upon graduation, these Webster Conservatory alumni will possess some of the most advanced job portfolios of any musical theatre students in the country.
The Muny is the nation's oldest and largest outdoor musical theater, and a summer tradition in St. Louis since 1918. Built in just 49 days on a hill between two giant oak trees in St. Louis’ grand Forest Park, The Muny has attracted some of the country’s biggest stars and served as a training ground for future stars.
The Muny's 2012 lineup for its 94th season in Forest Park – the first for Executive Producer Mike Isaacson – introduces several musicals new to the Muny stage and re-imagines classic favorites. The season includes: Disney’s Aladdin, Chicago, Dreamgirls, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor® Dreamcoat, The King and I, Pirates! (or, Gilbert & Sullivan Plunder’d) and Thoroughly Modern Millie.
With its home campus in St. Louis, Webster University is the only Tier 1, private, non-profit U.S.-based university providing a network of international residential campuses. Founded in 1915, Webster University's campus network today includes metropolitan, military and corporate locations around the world, as well as traditional campuses in Asia, Europe and North America. The university is committed to delivering high-quality learning experiences that transform students for global citizenship and individual excellence.
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