Woodruff Middle School Music Director Spencer Lau got some tips from Broadway greats on working with child actors and singers recently. The Upper Deerfield Township teacher spent four days in New York City as a winner of the fourth annual Freddie G Broadway Experience.
Broadway directors, producers and performers watched him and other winners work with child actors, then discussed ways to improve, said Lau, 35, a graduate of Rowan University with a degree in music.
He watched Tony Award winner John Rando, who directed "A Christmas Story" on Broadway, stand behind a child actor and talk back to her as she did a monologue, "so she'd know when to pause and give facial reactions," Lau said. Little things such as that were extremely helpful, he said.
Lau was one of eight teachers across the U.S. selected for the free program from the dozens participating in the 2013 Junior Theater Festival in Atlanta in January.
"It was surreal. My mom was a music teacher, so I grew up in theater and music," Lau said. "The best way to describe it would be someone going to their favorite team's football game and meeting the top coach and players."
Lau said the district has always made performing arts a major priority. The music program has a choir and marching, concert and jazz bands and media and audiovisual clubs, and puts on two major shows a year. Fifty-five of its 289 students participate in the demanding ACE music program, for which they audition.
"Basically we're a high school program in a middle school," he said.
The Woodruff school also receives $5,000 to enhance its arts program from the program, underwritten by theatrical licensor Freddie Gershon and his wife, Myrna.
Scholarship for LBI teacher
The American Association of University Women, Barnegat Light Area Branch, awarded its annual $1,000 scholarship to Kelly Turner, a first-grade teacher in the Long Beach Island School District, for study toward her master of arts in reading education.
Collage artist to show work
Glynnis Reed, of Egg Harbor Township, will exhibit digital collage and mixed-media collage works in a solo show called "From the Earth to the Skies" at the Ocean City Arts Center, 1735 Simpson Ave., from Sept. 3-30. There will be a reception 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Sept. 13.
Her work is currently in a members show at the Crane Arts Building in Philadelphia through Aug. 24; and will will be part of the Photographic Self exhibit at Women Made Gallery in Chicago from Sept. 6 to Oct. 24.
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