Western Nevada College creates virtual dance ensemble, offers class
The Western Nevada Musical Theatre Company is used to building big Broadway productions this time of year, generally drawing from 6,000 to more than 7,000 people from 20 states and Canada. But there’s a bit of a problem.
Performers need to be six feet apart, can’t sing and can’t have an audience.
There’s no stopping them, though.
When the state sheltered in place in March, the company responded by creating an extraordinary virtual choir, “Broadway Rising!”
WNMTC directors combined some of their core performers with roughly 40 singers from several states to bring stunning performances into the homes of their audiences. Find their performances at wnmtc.com.
Now the company is lining up some of their core professional dancers to lead an electrifying song and dance ensemble, “That’s Entertainment,” creating virtual sensations of Broadway classics, starting with “One,” from the musical “A Chorus Line.”
Director Stephanie Arrigotti is working with WNMTC choreographer Gina Kaskie Davis, vocal director Judy Monson, recording engineer John Shipley and graphic designer Tara Burke, gathering musical theater performers eager to strut their skills with the group. With virtual instruction, performers can participate even if they have complex work schedules or if they live in another state. They sing and dance in their living rooms on their own schedules and become part of a slick, virtual Broadway revue that warms the homes of those in the substantial reach of WNMTC audiences and beyond.
Are you tempted to be one of these WNMTC performers? Both Broadway Rising!, a one-credit course, and That’s Entertainment, a variable two-to-three credit course, are offered this fall through Western Nevada College as MUSE 101 and MUS 176, and are open to all without audition.
The rest of the performing arts program is following suit, keeping performers active and learning through this pandemic. Those who have wanted to learn to play the piano can now learn from their own homes in a Zoom section of class piano on Tuesday and Thursday evenings.
Arrigotti, who taught the course on campus for 20 years, will teach beginning piano in this virtual platform. This Zoom course is listed as MUS 111, section 4001. Intermediate students should attend the socially distanced, face-to-face afternoon sections taught by Shipley or Tristan Selzler. Micah Dunn is teaching class guitar on Zoom (MUS 107 and 108) on Monday evenings.
Those eager to discover the treasury of musicals written since the 1900s will enjoy the online course, History of American Musical Theatre, MUS 124. Arrigotti, who was recently honored by Musical America magazine as one of 2019’s top 30 performing arts professionals in the nation, draws from her 30 years of producing musicals for WNMTC to share this world through online lectures. The course is offered both as a three-week section before the start of fall semester and also as a semester-long course.
Kaskie Davis is offering dance classes in tap, ballet and flex-and-tone both socially distanced in her studio and remotely on Zoom.
All performing arts classes apply to the fine arts core requirement and qualify for Pell grants, Millenium Scholarships, the Nevada Promise Scholarship and the Jump Start program. They are open without audition to everyone who is a high school freshman or older.
For more information, email Stephanie.Arrigotti@wnc.edu.