October 12, 2016

Broadway performers Lorraine Goodman and Rema Webb at Princeton University

Rema Webb, a Broadway performer who has starred in critically acclaimed musicals such as The Color Purple and The Lion King, and Lorraine Goodman, Princeton Class of 1983 and a Broadway performer who has appeared in Cats and Les Misérables, will visit Princeton University to take part in Theater Professor Stacy Wolf’s course “Isn’t It Romantic: The Broadway Musical from Rodgers and Hammerstein to Sondheim.” Both events will take place on Tuesday, October 25 in Room 219 at 185 Nassau Street. The conversation with Webb focusing on her 18-year career will begin at 1:30 p.m., and Goodman’s workshop on performing musicals across gender, “The MisCast Masterclass,” will begin at 3:00 p.m. Presented by the Lewis Center for the Arts’ new Program in Music Theater and cosponsored by Princeton’s Program in Gender and Sexuality Studies, the event is free and open to the public.

Wolf’s course examines the performances of gender, sexuality, and romance in the Broadway musical theater since the 1940s, including, for example, In the Heights and West Side Story. The semester includes a trip to the Performing Arts Library at Lincoln Center in New York City, as well as discussions with visiting figures in musical theater.

rema webb

Broadway performer Rema Webb. Photo by Dennis Johnston

Rema Webb has been performing professionally since the age of 15. Trained in classical voice, she has performed on Broadway in musicals such as The Lion King, The Color Purple, The Book of Mormon, Ragtime, and Violet, and with regional theaters throughout the U.S. Webb has also performed classical repertoire such as Rossini’s Petite Messe Solennelle and Mozart’s Requiem in D Minor. In the past, she has served as musical director for Philadelphia’s Freedom Theatre Performing Arts Training Program Summer Camp, taught voice and diction at the Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera Academy, and instructed classes on musical theater for the Friends Central Summer Camp in Philadelphia. Webb also founded the On Broadway Performing Arts Training Program, a project dedicated to the performing arts, mentoring, and education of young aspiring artists, and currently serves as its executive director.

 Lorraine Goodman

Broadway performer Lorraine Goodman, Princeton Class of 1983. Photo courtesy Lorraine Goodman

For nearly twenty years, Lorraine Goodman made her career as a professional performer. Highlights include Terrence McNally’s Master Class, where she covered the role originally played by six-time Tony Award-winner Audra McDonald and performed the role over 100 times with each of the three Broadway “Marias”: Zoe Caldwell, Patti LuPone, and Dixie Carter. Other major roles include The Mystery of Edwin Drood, and the original Broadway productions of Les Misérables. Her performances have often taken her abroad as well—she performed as Grizabella in Cats in Austria and Carlotta in The Phantom of the Opera in Germany. Having later earned her Masters in Performing Arts Administration at New York University’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development, Goodman has worked with The Red Hot Organization, which produces record albums and donates the proceeds to AIDS-related charities; the Paley Center for Media; Theatre for a New Audience; and The New York Musical Festival.

Wolf teaches courses in American musical theater history, dramaturgy and dramatic literature, histories of U.S. performance, performance theory, and performance studies. She is the author of Changed for Good: A Feminist History of the Broadway Musical (recently named one of the “top ten books every theater lover should read” by Marissa Friedman); A Problem Like Maria: Gender and Sexuality in the American Musical; and the co-editor of The Oxford Handbook of the American Musical. She is currently working on Beyond Broadway: Four Seasons of Amateur Musical Theatre in the U.S., which examines amateur musical theater at high schools, summer camps, community centers, and afterschool programs across the country. Wolf is also director of the Princeton Arts Fellows program in the Lewis Center.

Wolf’s course will be hosting one last guest on November 15, the musical director, composer, and conductor Paul Bogaev, who will teach a master class, which will be free and open to the public to observe.

The new Program in Music Theater is a collaboration among the Lewis Center for the Arts’ Program in Theater and Program in Dance and the Department of Music, which brings together students, faculty, and guest artists in the creation, study, and performance of music theater to support and develop all forms of music theater—that is, any theatrical form that combines singing, acting, and movement—as both an artistic practice and a field of scholarly study.

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