Lively Arts Closes Fall Semester Outreach on High Note

Posted on 1/22/2013 9:31:11 AM

The final two Fall semester educational outreach sessions for the Lively Arts’ Ovations! series took place on December 10, 2012, completing a very successful run of nine major outreach activities in just under three months. The sessions featured the cast members and musicians from the highly acclaimed Broadway show, Shrek the Musical. 

Arranged by IUP trumpet professor Kevin Eisensmith, the afternoon session featured trombonist James Yardley and trumpet player Paul Stodolka, who spent an hour talking with music students on a variety of topics related to being a musician in a touring Broadway show, as well as general questions on music itself.

The second session, facilitated by ArtsPath associate director for arts-in-education services Jeff Wacker, was a post-show discussion involving eight cast members. It was attended by a variety of theater and other interested students from IUP, as well as by theater students from Indiana High Area School with their teacher, Gretchen Barbor.

These 40 students were treated to a lively hour-long discussion with cast members Whitney Winfield (Fiona), Christian Marriner (Lord Farquaad), Jeremy Gaston (Donkey), Jeffrey Zicker (one of three pigs, Papa Ogre), Michael McCrary (one of three pigs), Tony Johnson (Pinocchio), and Courtney Daniels (voice of Dragon, Mama Bear, Mama Ogre). A surprise was also made by Perry Sook, who played the title role of Shrek.

Each cast member had the opportunity to talk a little about their own backgrounds and how they became a cast member of Shrek the Musical, as well as answer a variety of questions from the students, ranging from wanting to know about life on the road to where each went to school. The overall message from the cast, though, was that any of the students attending could succeed in whatever career path they chose as long as they were wiling to work, sacrifice, and believe in themselves.

ArtsPath is the arts-in-education program of the Lively Arts. It facilitates educational outreach for the Ovations! series events, as well as presenting artist residencies in schools and communities throughout Armstrong, Butler, Clarion, Indiana, and Jefferson counties. Active in the region for over 12 years, it is one of the 13 arts-in-education partners in the state that partner with the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts in facilitating a variety of educational services related to the arts. For more information on ArtsPath, e-mail, or call Jeff Wacker at 724-357-2787 (ARTS).