For more than a month this summer, Assistant Professor Anne Healy (Theatre Arts) shadowed Broadway’s elite at the historic Goodspeed Musicals.
Located in central Connecticut, the Goodspeed Musicals has served as an incubator for new musicals over the last five decades, contributing to award-winning productions like Annie and the current hit Amazing Grace. Healy applied for Goodspeed’s Observership Program and was granted a front-row seat to the creation of a Broadway musical.
“My only expectation [in observing at Goodspeed] was to be in the room and watch the creative, collaborative process,” said Healy, who directs plays, musicals and operas each year at The University of Texas at Arlington. “The caliber of the artistic team and cast was phenomenal. These were leading artists in every level of musical theatre. To have the opportunity to watch them work was amazing.”
Healy spent most of her time shadowing Tony-winning director and choreographer Kathleen Marshall as Marshall’s team worked on “My Paris,” a new musical about the life and times of Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, the French artist who captured the gaiety, color and heartbreak of Montmartre, Le Can-Can and the world of Le Moulin Rouge. Healy sat in on production meetings, script-writing sessions and daily music and staging rehearsals and was impressed by the “artistic decisions” that went into each detail.
Healy said watching the directors, designers, musicians and actors resonated with her experience back home in Arlington.
“Not only was I inspired, but the experience was affirming; to watch the processes they utilize, and know that we are modeling that here at UTA was wonderful,” she said. “Our production process moves in the same way as commercial theatre. We are working to teach our students the industry standard. The difference is, we are working with students who are at the beginning of their skill development.”
With the notes from her observership, Healy is actively working on a research article about the impact of mentorships and internships.
Healy’s trip to Goodspeed was supported by funding from the Department of Theatre Arts.
“Providing Dr. Healy with the opportunity to work next to artists who are at the top of their field in commercial theatre helps to ground the work we do with students here at UTA, in a way that a classroom-only experience cannot,” said Kim LaFontaine, professor and department chair. “Further, the insight and connections that Dr. Healy gained at Goodspeed Musicals will carry over to her students and the classroom for years to come.”
Healy’s next project is a contemporary musical called “The Theory of Relativity” by Neil Bartram and Brian Hill, which runs Oct. 7-11 in the Mainstage Theatre. For more information, visit the Theatre Arts website or call the box office at (817) 272-2669.
(By James Dunning, Communications Coordinator, firstname.lastname@example.org)
About the College of Liberal Arts: The College of Liberal Arts at UT Arlington serves more than 4,000 students enrolled in 26 undergraduate and 21 graduate programs. National accreditation includes the Department of Art & Art History through the National Association of Schools of Art & Design and the Department of Music through the National Association of Schools of Music. The College of Liberal Arts employs more than 300 faculty across 12 departments; faculty awards for research and creative activity include a Guggenheim Fellowship, two Pulitzer Prize nominations, a winner of La Cruz Andina de Oro [Andean Golden Cross] from the Bolivian Government, and multiple awards from the Fulbright Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Science Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts.
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