Recently, 15 teen performers from Palm Beach County’s KWP Productions took part in a workshop sponsored by Disney in Orlando. The training event, which was on Beauty and the Beast, took place Saturday, June 14.
A professional Disney performer took the group through the same rehearsal process used for Disney Broadway musicals, during which they learned to emphasize the importance of a proper warm-up before any performance or rehearsal; rehearse choreography by lyrics rather than by counts; focus on breath control and diction integrated with movement; make appropriate vocal/acting choices for a musical composition and its lyrics; analyze what makes a musical different from a play; examine how body language, facial expressions and vocal dynamics are key elements in defining story and character; discover techniques for quickly learning and remembering movement and lyrics; discuss the roles of director, music director, stage manager, technical crew and choreographer; and understand the purpose of blocking and staging and learn theater-staging terminology.
The instructor had high praise for the professionalism of the group.
Created in partnership with Disney on Broadway, this workshop blends Disney magic with the glitz of live musical theater. Students performed a number from Beauty and the Beast and learned about the elements required to bring the show together, including music, staging, costuming and props.
The performance, scheduled for the open-air Waterfront Stage in Downtown Disney, met with a major thunderstorm. The performance had to end early because of the weather, but the KWP company teens made the best of it, visiting all the theme parks, bowling at Splitsville USA and attending a special VIP seating and student/performer discussion at the Beauty and the Beast show at Disney Hollywood Studios.
Company members who attended the workshop and participated in the performance were: Elli Brown (NYC/Palm Beach Gardens), Neena Caperna (Jupiter), Sydney Carbo (Stuart), Jaycie Cohen (Lake Worth), Angelo Ferraro (Lake Worth), Alfredo Gonzalez (West Palm Beach), Sarah Hardwick (Lake Worth), Jake Howard (Boynton Beach), Kyle Kniseley (Jupiter), Raina Rodriguez (West Palm Beach), Laura Romero (Palm Beach Gardens), Alec Ruiz (Wellington), Analisa Ruiz (Wellington), Amisha Russell (Palm Beach Gardens) and Savannah Schneider (Palm Beach Gardens). The teens’ director and musical director also attended: Kim Rommel-Enright (Jupiter) and Helen Buttery (Lake Worth).
Proceeds from the group’s spring fundraiser show, Pure Magic, provided bus transportation to and from Orlando. Two of the performers left for college immediately following the trip: Jake Howard (UCF) and Alec Ruiz (FSU). Elli Brown is headed to Italy in July to perform.
KWP Productions is dedicated to inspiring the next generation of performers and theatre goers, and strives to teach actors about the craft of acting, as well as the process it takes to create a full-scale production. Auditions are open to the public and there is no fee to participate in shows. For more information, call (561) 339-4687.