Act Two @ Levine Announces its New Season and Collaboration With Signature Theatre and Arena Stage

Act Two @ Levine announced that visiting artists Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, Cynthia Kortman Westhphal, and an exciting new collaboration with Tony Award-winning Signature Theatre, in addition to a continuing relationship with Arena Stage.

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Benj Pasek and Justin Paul .
Benj Pasek and Justin Paul .

Tony Award-nominees Pasek and Paul will work with Act Two at Levine’s Pre-Professional Program on November 24 at Strathmore’s Education Center. During their visit, the acclaimed composers of A Christmas Tale (Tony Award-nominated for Best Musical and Best Original Score, 2013,) Dogfight, Edges, and James and the Giant Peach will present a private master class for Levine’s musical theatre students in the PreProfessional Program. The closed master class will be followed by an open, ticketed concert benefitting Levine’s musical theatre department. Purchase tickets to the Pasek and Paul concert.

Kevin Kuchar.
Kevin Kuchar.

Musical Theatre Department Chair Kevin Kuchar remarked Act Two has a strong history of giving its students access to exceptional visiting artists. “We are thrilled to have Pasek and Paul come teach these young artists. We’ve been so lucky to be visited by artists like Adam Ben David, Sutton Foster, Jason Robert Brown and others. Bringing in artists like these and major university programs is a major part of what makes us unique…it’s about the consistent quality you can expect here.”

Act Two will also be joined once again this season by Cynthia Kortman Westphal of the University of Michigan Ann Arbor, whose Broadway credits include The Lion King, Miss Saigon, and The Gershwins, among many others. Westphal will work with Act Two students in a closed master class on February 23rd.

“The truth about becoming a working artist today is that virtually no one jumps a Trailways bus with their chapstick and tap shoes and becomes a Broadway star,” Kuchar said. “To work in professional theatre, there’s a pretty specific formula for success and that involves university training. Paying your dues in theatre used to mean working your way up, now it’s about going to a school that has a reputation for producing the working artists of today. Among those is the University of Michigan Ann Arbor. We were really excited to send three of our alumni there last year and we are equally excited to travel to Ann Arbor later this season to help develop our own curriculum at Levine. I think real curriculum, taught by qualified instructors like Duane Moody (Associate Professor at the Berklee College of Music), Dr. Nakia Verner, graduate of the Peabody Conservatory, and Sarah Ewing of CityDance helps us do that.


We have to be consistent and creative about how we teach these kids. I think you have to produce full-scale shows to really teach theatre.


After all, you wouldn’t teach a kid to drive without a car. We are also grateful for the teams at Woolly Mammoth and at Arena stage for supporting these kids in their training.”


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Act Two at Levine is thrilled to also announce a collaborative partnership between the Pre-Professional Program and the Tony-Award winning Signature Theatre. This season, Signature Theatre’s Walter Ware III and David Zobell will work with the cast members to stage their juried showcase presented at Arena Stage.

“Amidst all that, we are looking forward to some really amazing theatre and we hope people will come see what these young artists are busily creating,” Kuchar said.

Levine and Signature are also looking toward potentially developing a summer program for Pre-Professional Program students.


act two @ Levine new logo

“We are looking forward to some really amazing theatre and we hope people will come see what these young artists are busily creating,” Kuchar said.

Act Two @ Levine will open the 2014-15 season with Sweeney Todd at Georgetown Preparatory School’s Figge Theater, November 14-16th.

Rehearsals are under way for the Pre-Professional Program‘s productions of Spring Awakening, January 9-11, 2015 at Arena Stage’s Kogod Cradle, Big Fish, March 20-22, 2015 at THEARC, and Cabaret, May 22-24, 2015 at Woolly Mammoth Theatre.

First Act, the training program for middle-school aged artists, will perform Honk JR. January 30 -February 1, 2015 and Cinderella April 24-26, 2015. Both productions will take place in Strathmore’s 405 Black Box.


For tickets and more information, click here.


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