teaching

Teaching from Heart & Soul Episode 2: Karen Oster & David McCarty

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Meet Karen and David, teachers who know how to play, and believe teaching begins by creating the space for exploration and deep enquiry through kindness and nurturing support.   

From the very beginning ‘Teacher’ was written in Karen’s future - she always felt a strong connection to other people, wanting to bring the best out of them. It was 9/11 that caused her to question her focus as a performer and ultimately shifted her into the rich and rewarding world of teaching. She is a hands on co-collaborator with her students: “We’re all playing in the same sand box!” Her tools of creativity and curiosity help bring a student’s voice front and center by giving room to explore the undiscovered aspects of themselves - the results can be surprising and joyous, challenging and life changing.  

David really enjoys teaching! He realized long ago the value of remaining open to receive the learning inherent in the act of teaching. “To teach is to learn twice” was the mantra of his mentor, and he has come to know this as a deep truth. He offers kindness and love of the art form, creating a bridge which opens up and expands to help others fulfil their dreams of becoming an artist. He knows from his creative endeavors that liberating your own voice can be an awesome thing - bringing exhilaration and joy - and he knows the courage it takes to find the deep well of who you really are, and go for it.


Meet This Episode's Guests


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Karen Oster

KAREN OSTER, has a BFA from The Boston Conservatory in Musical Theatre and Directing and an M.Ed from Cambridge College. She has facilitated, directed and coordinated the performances and involvement of young cast members in numerous productions including the Broadway/ National tour of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, and Paul Simon’s The Capeman on Broadway with Marc Anthony. Karen is a professional musician and actress as well, having performed throughout the country in various productions and studied with well known cabaret artists. Karen’s adaptation of The King and I is currently licensed for performance throughout the country as Getting to know… The King and I. She has also directed and produced the revival of The Baker’s Wife with composer/lyricist Stephen Schwartz Karen is currently the Chair of Performing Arts at Middlesex Community College in Massachusetts and is pursuing her PH.D at Lesley University in Education and Theatre.


 

David McCarty

 

David McCarty has directed and choreographed in the fields of Musical Theater , Opera and Dance for over 30 years and is currently a principal teacher and the Director of School Productions at the Academy of Performing Arts in Orleans, Ma.

As stage director in Opera, past productions include Faust with Cleveland Opera, Madame Butterfly with Syracuse Opera, The Elixer of Love with Indianapolis Opera, and The Merry Widow with Opera Providence. As Producing Artistic Director of Cape Cod Opera his productions include Cav/Pag, Carmen, Tosca, Cosi fan tutte, The Merry Widow, Die Fledermaus, and Don Pasquale.

 

 

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Teaching from Heart & Soul, Episode 1: Bill Fennelly & Sue Ellen Kuzma

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Bill teaches in the world of acting and Sue Ellen teaches in the world of singing: Both teach voice.

Bill came to teaching as a way to positively impact the world while continuing to do his own creative work in the theatre. He found he could bring the creative and the scientific together through open-hearted teaching. He encourages his students to bring all their senses into the study of craft and technique by creating a safe, challenging, and nurturing environment where everyone grows as an artist, himself included!

Sue Ellen came to teaching initially as an economic necessity, that necessity quickly giving way to become the “essential river that I walk in.” The epic journey of finding one’s musical voice, the bravery of continuing to show up and commit to the work of the lessons, the centered focus on the breath and the sound that comes out, the joy of watching the engagement of love when people come into song - all this and more make up the flowing river that Sue Ellen calls teaching.  “It’s all in how you love it,” she says. “It can change your life.”


Meet This Episode's Guests


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Bill Fennelly

Bill Fennelly’s work has been seen on Broadway, Off Broadway and regionally. Director Fly By Night (Bay Area Critics Circle Award nomination for Best Direction), Frankenstein the musical Off Broadway, A Christmas Carolfeaturing F. Murray Abraham and Lynn Redgrave, Original Assistant Director Jersey Boys, Resident Director The Lion King, staff director with New York City Opera at Lincoln Center, Phil Killian Directing Fellow at Oregon Shakespeare Festival as well as projects at Actors Theatre of Louisville, Syracuse Stage Company, Dallas Theater Center, TheatreWorks Palo Alto, Playwrights Horizons, Hartford Stage Company, Goodspeed Opera House, Manhattan Theatre Club, Roundabout Theatre Company, Portland Center Stage Company, Arizona Theatre Company, Fords Theatre, The Alliance Theatre, Glimmerglass Opera, American Musical Theatre Project, National Alliance of Musical Theatre, and Walnut Street Theatre among others. Associate Producing Artistic Director of The Acting Company and Assistant Artistic Director at Cirque du Soleil. B.M. from the Hartt School and an M.F.A. in Directing from U.C.S.D. Bill is an Associate Professor of Theatre at Drexel University in Philadelphia.


 

Sue Ellen Kuzma

SUE ELLEN KUZMA grew up in upstate New York. Her professional life as an actress and singer - opera, recitals, directing - took her to Europe, where she sang in Mozart's Da Ponte operas with director Peter Sellars, as well as leading roles in US opera companies (Miami, Boston, Portland). She was a
member of the Proposition Theater and taught for many years at Trinity-Brown Conservatory. She resides in Natick, where she maintains a voice studio. Her first book of poems "Aroused Angel" has just been published.

 

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Marc Zegans: The Creativity Whisperer

Photo credit: Mark Hanford

Photo credit: Mark Hanford

Marc Zegans is a living embodiment of the creative life. He lives it in his commitment to his writing life as a poet, in his consulting work with artists, writers, and musicians, and in his deep and profound knowledge of the many paths that can lead to a happy expression of who we are as creative beings.

Marc gets to the heart of many questions - What does it mean to live a creative life? How do you work through the challenges of that over the long run? How do you shape and maintain a creative identity that changes as you grow? He believes that to do his work with artists you have to have “some skin in the game” so he brings his whole self to the table, is open and willing to learn and be surprised. “Sometimes I lead the way, sometimes you lead the way, sometimes we walk hand in hand together.”

“Creativity keeps us curious,” he says, “it teaches us to be humble, it transforms self doubt, it takes us out of our heads and into our bodies and opens a channel to take something out into the world and grow by that experience.” Equally important is to have fun, laugh at our mistakes, and be silly! Practice relaxed alertness and discover dynamic balance. Marc encourages us to play and dance with the Muses - let them give us the courage to travel outside of the norm and find our passion.


Meet This Episode's Guest

Photo credit: Meri Jenkins

Photo credit: Meri Jenkins

Marc ZeganS

 

"Marc is the muse to the muse." ~ Jennifer Greer, singer-songwriter & recording artist

 

Marc Zegans is a creative development advisor who helps artists, writers and creative people thrive and shine. A former executive and research director of Harvard University’s Innovations program, he has spent more than twenty years helping individuals, arts organizations and creatively driven enterprises successfully follow their muse. Marc is a produced playwright and working poet with four collections currently in print.

 

For more about Marc and his work, you can visit his website:

 www.mycreativedevelopment.com

 

Read an interview with Marc on Artpreneur.com about his strategies for working artists...

...and an article he wrote for Grant Makers in the Arts called "The Five Stages of Creative Life and the Crises That Intervene"