Musical Theatre Dance

Musical Theatre Dance | August 3–24

Jeffrey L. Page Program Director & Creative Team of Script Developer Jeremy O’Brian and Composer/Music Director Grant Richards are joined by Assistant Choreographer Justin Prescott and a host of Guests Artist Speakers to include Edgar Godineaux, Maria Torres, and others to be announced. | Read about the Artist Faculty

For 24 United States and international, early career professionals and advanced pre-professionals who are dance-strong musical theatre performers; minimum age 16.

Lush Life is the working title of a new dance-based musical about the life of Billy Strayhorn, conceived by director/choreographer Jeffrey Page. Page and his creative team will coach and prepare dancer/performers in the multiple skills and approaches necessary during the early developmental phases of musicals; the same skills necessary to succeed at Broadway auditions, 29-hour readings, and workshops.

Daily dance classes from African to jazz will be followed by Viewpoints-based acting explorations or vocal training. Afternoons will be devoted to the creative development of Lush Life during which performers will strengthen their abilities to collaborate as valuable, adventurous, contributing artists in the theatre-making process. Weekly seminars with guest artists will include time to network and ask burning questions.

Work-in-progress showings for Festival audiences will be held on the iconic outdoor stage August 8 and 15. On Sunday, August 23 the Musical Theatre Ensemble takes the stage in the Ted Shawn Theatre to present Lush Life as developed during the program; this performance, annually billed as Gotta Dance, is a benefit for The School at Jacob’s Pillow.

The School Experience at Jacob’s Pillow is fully dance-immersive. Stamina, perseverance, a collaborative and open spirit, and a voracity to live and work as a professional are expected of everyone. The curriculum includes seeing companies on the Pillow’s three stages, having meaningful career-building discussions with Festival artists, taking Master Classes, attending artist and scholar-led talks, researching dance interests and assignments in the Jacob’s Pillow Archives, discussing dance with staff and audience members, networking at Cast Parties, and much more. Through these experiences, dancers gain artistic growth, a unique artistic point of view, a vision of the possibilities that exist in dance, and an influential career network.

Festival companies during the program include Black Grace, LAVA Compañía de Danza, Alonzo King LINES Ballet, Brian Brooks Moving Company, MOMIX, and Liz Lerman. Learn about Festival 2020 and explore exciting program-related content, such as hearing a dancer’s experience of being in the 2018 Musical Theatre Dance Program. Ariel Triunfo dancing at Jacob’s Pillow, on PillowTV.


Program Director & Creative Team

Jeffrey L. Page

August 3—24
Jeffrey Page is an opera and theatre director of both classical and contemporary works. As director and choreographer, he spearheaded the 2015 and 2018 Tokyo productions of the musical Memphis, which received four Yomiuri Award nominations, including Best Musical. The first African American to be named the Marcus Institute Fellow for Opera Directing at The Juilliard School, he has also been nominated for an Emmy Award.

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Jeremy O’Brian

August 3—24
Jeremy O’Brian is a Mississippi-born, Brooklyn-based playwright who currently teaches writing and Black Atlantic Theatre at The New School Eugene Lang College of Liberal Arts and New York University. He is the 2019 recipient of Liberation Theatre Playwriting Residency Fellowship, 2018 Athena Theatre’s Athena Writes Playwriting Fellowship, and the Lambda Literary Emerging LGBTQ Voice in Playwriting Fellowship in 2016.

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Grant Richards

Grant Richards is an award-winning jazz pianist and educator. At the age of eight, Grant began playing piano, and by the time he entered college, he had won four DownBeat Student Music awards and recorded his first album as a leader. In 2009, Grant enrolled at Berklee College of Music on a full-tuition Jimmy Lyons Scholarship.

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Visit Jacob's Pillow Dance Interactive to view an ever-growing collection of dance videos filmed at Jacob's Pillow from the 1930's to today.