Farmington Players’ members are in for a real treat on Saturday, March 16th. After the membership business meeting that evening ends around 8:30, a musical workshop extravaganza will take center stage at the Barn, featuring songs from Les Mis, West Side Story, Wicked, Cabaret and other classics performed by fellow Barn members, including workshop co-directors Taylor Alfano and Rachael Rose.
Several months in preparation, the workshop is Rachael’s brainchild: “The dream for me for doing this workshop was to basically say to the membership of The Farmington Players: if you've ever been too afraid to do anything like a musical; or if you've just been out of the saddle for too long; or if you're just a performance junkie ... come join us as we put together a performance that will teach the basics of how to read music, how to prepare and audition for a musical, and be inclusive of all elements of performing a musical. I wanted to keep the membership engaged and really teach them the skills and build their confidence for auditioning for musicals, especially at the Barn. I think we've met this goal for sure because of the 11 people out of the workshop that auditioned for Legally Blonde, eight were cast, so that's really huge!”
Long-time member Karen Southworth talks about the evolution of musicals at the Barn: “Back in the 90's, the Farmington Players began doing musicals again. If you wanted to be in the chorus, you just had to sing in a small group. Now, we are doing musicals every year and even ensemble parts are more competitive. Through the workshop, I have learned to sight read music, sing harmony, learned about my own vocal range, and gained confidence! I wanted to be able to have the courage to sing a solo for an audition, and I did that for Legally Blonde ... And was cast! It has been a lot of fun, and I have so many new friends. Rachael and Taylor have given us so much encouragement, and the workshop members have also been very supportive!
New member Barb Bruno echoes this sentiment: “I joined the workshop when I joined the Farmington Players. I hadn't done any singing in over fifteen years so it seemed like a great way not only to get to know Barn members, but also to get back into music. This interlude of getting my feet wet has developed into more than I could have imagined!” In fact, Barb recently showed off her vocal talents in Ruthless!, the Barn’s entry at Michigan AACTFest.
Similarly, Dave Reinke said, “the workshop has helped me better understand my vocal range and give me more confidence as a performer. In the past I would never bother auditioning for a musical cause I never felt confident in my ability as a singer. Working with Rachael and Taylor has given me that confidence.”
Jill Heffron had the best analogy: “Singing is sort of like golf ... a whole bunch of bad shots, then a moment of brilliance that makes you know you are capable (and keeps you coming back)! I have hit notes that I never thought could come out of my body. It doesn’t happen every time, but just knowing I am capable some of the time is a huge achievement for me!” Jill credits Rachael and Taylor with instilling the “power of positive thinking into all of us. I've learned to open my mouth and let the power of the breath sing the notes. Taylor and Rachael are two of the most professional and positive people I have ever met. Their words of encouragement and continual belief in the whole group have made this journey so much fun.”
In summary, Rachael said, “I can't wait for the membership to see just how hard everyone's been working and truly how much talent we have at the Barn! We have really become a family... much closer than I would ever have imagined from my initial thoughts of putting something like this together.”
Farmington Players’ members, friends and family are all welcome to enjoy the free musical workshop performance, which starts at approximately 8:30pm, right after the business meeting.