Dirty Dancing opens its North American tour from Elliott Hall of Music on Saturday, September 10 at 8:00 PM. The production has been in residence at Purdue for two weeks as it prepares for the upcoming tour. As part of that residency, Purdue students in dance and theatre have been able to participate in master classes and observe a tech rehearsal.
Our students got to experience a professional working in the field that pursued what he was passionate about after receiving his marketing degree
Students in Jazz Dance 1 learned a portion of the choreography to the closing number. Led by cast member, Michal Kolaczkowski, students danced to ‘(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life’. At the end of the session, students had the opportunity to ask Michal about his dance and theatre career. Instructor Kathleen Hickey stated, “I think my favorite part was the fact Michal did not receive his undergraduate degree in musical theatre, dance, or acting. Our students got to experience a professional working in the field that pursued what he was passionate about after receiving his marketing degree.”
Stage management and technical theatre students had the opportunity to learn from industry veteran, Trinity Wheeler. Trinity is currently the production stage manager for Dirty Dancing, and has also worked on Les Miserables, Rent, Young Frankenstein, and The Producers. In his master class, theatre students were able to ask questions from how he chose his career path, getting started in the industry, to advice on touring versus Broadway companies. When asked what his favorite aspect of being a production manager was, Trinity stated, “It is a personal challenge to figure out how to work with everyone as an individual; that’s my favorite part.” Trinity added, “I always say as a manager you’re a bit like the captain of a ship. Everyone looks to you and if a storm is coming and you panic, they panic. But if you’re steady and calm, even if things get crazy around you, everyone falls into that same line and chills out.”
Both theatre and dance students had the opportunity to view a full tech rehearsal on stage in Elliott Hall. This allowed students to get a rare glimpse of the process behind a major touring production and the work it takes to bring it to live audiences.
Join us on Saturday, September 10 at 8:00 PM and don’t miss your chance to see this record-breaking and adventurous theatre sensation. You’ll have the time of your life!