Creating a Musical Role

“This program is a fantastic opportunity for growth and learning for performers of all levels of experience.''

This double-session course takes students through the entire process of rehearsing and performing a major musical. The course replicates a typical professional production experience, from learning the notes through taking the bow. Issues explored include vocal production, how to act a song, how to sing a scene, defining the arc of a character, and all other aspects of singing and acting a musical role. No experience is necessary, but major roles will be assigned by audition. Chorus roles will not require auditions, but prospective students will have to demonstrate that they can carry a tune. This year the course culminates in six public performances of Working, the celebrated musical by Stephen Schwartz and others, based on the book by Studs Terkel. Many roles for actors and singers of all types, at all levels of experience. Because we plan to perform in person (safety permitting) cast size will be limited. Sign up to audition.

Rehearsals will be both online and in-person (at the time we deem it safe to do so) with live, socially distanced in-person performances planned, safety permitting.  Performances will take place in front of a very small audience and will also be livestreamed to a larger audience.  Actor safety is a priority--masks will be required for all rehearsals.

Price: $680.00

Online Class: Classes require live participation at the scheduled times using your own device. Zoom is most effective when used on a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet. Students using a cellphone to access class are likely to experience reduced functionality that may limit their ability to participate fully in class. Please review the technical requirements necessary to take part in an online class before enrolling. If these requirements pose any difficulties for you, please let us know.

Financial Aid: In an effort to make more classes financially accessible to students during the COVID-19 crisis, we are offering more financial aid than ever. If attending our courses at this time at full price would be difficult for you, please apply for assistance. Early Spring 2021 financial aid applications are due by February 22, 2021.

Course Schedule:

Tues 7-9 pm ET; Thurs 7-9:30 pm ET; Sat 10am-1pm ET
March 9 - June 12
Plus Wed May 26, 7-10 pm ET
Final Dress Rehearsal Wed Jun 2 at 7:00 pm ET
Brush-up Wed Jun 9 at 7:00 pm ET
Perform June 3, 4, 5, 10, 11, 12
No class Sat Apr 3 (Easter)


Creating a Musical Role - Early Spring
Price: $680.00
Start Date: 3/9/2021 | End Date: 6/12/2021
Day of the week: Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday
Time: See Above
Instructor(s): Buzz Mauro & Deb Gottesman

Tues 7-9; Thurs 7-9:30; Sat 10-1 March 9 - June 12 Add Wed May 26 Final Dress Wed Jun 2 Brush-up Wed Jun 9 Perform June 3, 4, 5, 10, 11, 12 No class Sat Apr 3 (Easter)

Buzz Mauro is a founder and Co-Director of The Theatre Lab and a Helen Hayes Award nominee who has performed with Signature Theatre, Ford's, Studio, The Shakespeare Theatre, Woolly Mammoth, and many other companies. He received his B.A. from Yale University and has an M.F.A. in Acting from Catholic University. In 2003 he received the Linowes Leadership Award for his contributions to arts education in Washington. Along with Deb Gottesman he is the founder of Center Stage Communications, a consulting firm specializing in the application of acting techniques to the business world. Together they are the authors of three books on applied acting: The Interview Rehearsal Book, Taking Center Stage, and The Best Answer, all published by Berkley Books, a division of Penguin Putnam. Buzz is also composer and co-lyricist of The Kids’ Table, and composer and lyricist of Alix in Wonderland.

Deb Gottesman is a founder and co-director of The Theatre Lab. She is also a professional actress who has performed frequently at Woolly Mammoth Theatre as well as at Arena Stage, Signature Theatre, Keegan Theatre, Theater Alliance, and with the Washington Shakespeare Company, among many others. She has directed more than fifteen productions at The Theatre Lab, including Ragtime, The Crucible, The Grapes of Wrath and Jane Eyre, as well as productions for National Geographic and Catholic University’s Musical Theatre Department. Deb received her M.F.A. from Catholic University and has taught drama at the Round House Theatre, Woolly Mammoth and American University. She is a 2003 recipient of the prestigious Linowes Leadership Award for her contributions to arts education. Along with Buzz Mauro, she has co-authored three books on applied acting, all published by Penguin Putnam