MASTER CLASS Monday: facebook live SERIES

Tune in while you stay at home
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Join us via Facebook Live every Monday at 5 PM for a Master Class by Paramount School of the Arts teachers and Paramount Theatre artists and staff. Get your questions answered and continue your arts education while staying at home.

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Monday, April 20

Presented by Matthew Silar, Paramount Theatre and Paramount School of the Arts Education and Community Engagement Manager

Want to go to college for theater but don’t know where to begin? For both teachers and students, join Matthew Silar, Education and Community Engagement Manager at Paramount Theatre and Paramount School of the Arts, as he gives you tips on how to navigate an overwhelming college audition process. For juniors, seniors, teachers and parents, Matt will answer all of your pressing questions: where to look for schools, how to prepare for auditions, where to find audition material, etc. Let’s start at the very beginning.


Monday, April 27

Directing: The Process
Presented by Jim Corti, Paramount Theatre Artistic Director

Artistic Director Jim Corti will join us for a discussion on the directing process. Each production on stage starts in the mind of the director. From designs to casting, every decision has a director’s final okay. But how does a director even begin to start that process? Jim Corti will give us a peak inside his own.

JIM CORTI, a Joseph Jefferson Award winning actor, director and choreographer, started Paramount’s Broadway Series with President and CEO Tim Rater in the fall of 2011. Their critically acclaimed inaugural production My Fair Lady opened with a subscriber base of 12,500 patrons, and subscriptions have since risen to over 41,000 with a record-breaking 400,000 patrons in attendance this season. In 2015, the Broadway Series became Jeff Award eligible, and in three years, Paramount has garnered 71 nominations with 20 wins, including 3 consecutive Best Musical awards for Les Misérables, West Side Story and Sweeney Todd, each directed by Corti. He has directed Paramount’s Fiddler on the Roof, Miss Saigon, Rent, Tommy, Oklahoma!, Mamma Mia!, Million Dollar Quartet, Once, The Producers (Jeff Award,Direction) and Newsies. A Broadway veteran, he appeared in the original New York casts of Ragtime and Candide, joined the long-running A Chorus Line and has appeared in the Broadway national tours of Urinetown, Cabaret and Bob Fosse’s Dancin’.


Monday, May 11

Children Auditioning: What to Expect and How to Prepare
Presented by Amber Mak, Paramount Theatre New Works Development Director

In the last few seasons at Paramount Theatre, some of our most magical shows have been directed by Amber Mak, including The Little Mermaid, The Wizard of Oz and Beauty and the Beast. These magical shows have also had children in the cast. If your kids are interested in auditioning for any future productions, Amber is the perfect person to break down what to expect and how to prepare.

AMBER MAK is Paramount Theatre’s New Works Development Director. Broadway/World Premieres: SDC Observer/Assistant to Susan Stroman on Big Fish (Chicago WP, Broadway) and Director/Choreographer for Numbers Nerds at NYMF (NYC WP). Mak has produced many readings of new works including a reading of La Revolution Francaise with Claude-Michel Schonberg and Alain Boublil. Directing/Choreography credits: Beauty and the Beast, The Wizard of Oz, The Little Mermaid, Hairspray, and Elf (Paramount); Peter Pan, a Musical Adventure (Chicago Shakespeare); and many other regional shows. Favorite production to date, her beautiful daughter.


Monday, May 18

Presented by Jesse Gaffney, Paramount Theatre Props Manager

How do you get hundreds of newspapers on stage, create a magical rose, a drivable china cabinet, build an accurate printing press from scratch or get a jump rope to freeze midair? Every show requires many different kinds of props, from simple pens and pencils (period appropriate, of course) to magical creations that boggle the mind. This requires a properties master to become an expert in each time period that a show is set in.

But how do you begin to become an expert in these time periods? Paramount Properties Master Jesse Gaffney will show us some of the tools to help get you started in your research journey. Where do you begin to look, and how do you find the time to do it? Research isn’t just important to a properties master but to each person who is a part of every production.

JESSE GAFFNEY has been the Props Manager at Paramount Theatre since May, 2018. Before joining Paramount Nation, she worked as the Assistant Props Supervisor at Goodman Theatre for two seasons. Jesse also worked freelance in Chicago for six years as a props master with Victory Gardens, Silk Road, Theater Wit, Lookingglass, Northlight, 16th Street and Lifeline theater companies among others. Regionally she worked with Allenberry Playhouse, Notre Dame Shakespeare Festival, Peninsula Players, The Arrow Rock Lyceum and Stages St Louis. Jesse loves researching new worlds with every new show and believes that all the details are what bring the story to life – and also that engaging story telling is how plays change people, and those people change the world.


Monday, May 25

Drafting 101: How the Sets Appear on Stage
Presented by Kelly Steimel (Rescheduled from May 4)

Magic stair cases, flying sleighs, giant cell phones – we’ve certainly had some amazing set pieces over the years. A lot of work goes into creating magic onstage, and Assistant Technical Director Kelly Steimel will show us part of how that process begins. Before it can appear onstage, an entire set must be drafted. Kelly will tell us why that’s important, and show us some of her work live.

KELLY STEIMEL (Assistant Technical Director) has worked in technical theater for over a decade, and her work has spanned 7 states. She has been with the Paramount as ATD since 2013. She earned her BA from the University of Miami (FL) and her MFA from UNC School of the Arts. She is a native of Louisiana and enjoys singing, crocheting, cooking and going on walks around the neighborhood with her family.


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