The Artist's Crossing launches its first conservatory July 11-24, on the campus of Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio, where Blazer (Titanic, Seattle 5th Avenue's new Yankee Doodle Dandy) has taught and where co founder Joseph Bates serves as music director and coordinator of voice for the Department of Theatre Arts.
Founded by artistic director Blazer, producer and associate artistic director Bates and administrative director Landon Scott Heimbach, "the program encourages teachers and students to work together as artists exploring the application of various art forms and integrating numerous techniques."
Blazer told Playbill On-Line she styled the project after her experiences with Sundance Theatre Lab, where a wide array of theatre artists meet and interact, sharing work, techniques and ideas (all while working, usually, on separate projects).
By day, students in The Artist's Crossing will participate in classes with such professionals as actors Blazer, Malcolm Gets, David Garrison, director Tina Landau, singer Lee Merrill and composer Joseph Thalken (Harold and Maude). At night, students and faculty develop ideas toward a presentation that will emerge at the end of the two weeks, to be directed by Tina Landau (Dream True, Bells Are Ringing).
Blazer said the emphasis in this first summer session is on performers, but she sees The Artist's Crossing as expanding to include students of directing, designing and writing. The not-for-profit project is wholly independent of Wright State, in Dayton, and is "portable," Blazer said — it could easily be presented anywhere. "The goal down the line is to have some big beautiful farm somewhere," Blazer said, adding that the immediate goal is to help change the lives of emerging artists in two weeks.
Application deadline for The Artist's Crossing is April 15. The eligibility age range is 18-27.
"We're looking for 20 talented, playful, fun, nice people to come and join us — and we promise we will spend every waking hour with them," Blazer said. "In a way, it's also a mentoring program of guiding them in terms of their relationship to art and their lives, talking about and the longevity of their lives as artists."
Classes will be taught by The 2004 Company and will include "From Shakespeare to the American Musical Theatre," "Acting the Range from Camera to Stage," "Song Analysis," "Musical Theatre Repertoire," "Anne Bogart & Tina Landau's Viewpoints," private voice lessons, musical coaching, various warm-ups and physical improvisations, panel discussions about art and the industry and personalized consultations."
For more information, visit The Artist's Crossing online at www.artistscrossing.com.