Category Archives: Musical Theatre

Musical Theatre Directing Team

 IMG_5148-732x1024Katherine Baranowski (Co-Director/Choreographer)

Kat Baranowski has previously performed in Binbrook Little Theatre’s Pinocchio and also co-choreographed Puss n Boots the Panto. She has danced with multiple studios including Broadway Bound Dance Studio for over fifteen years in jazz, ballet, hiphop, tap, musical theatre, modern, lyrical and acro. She also participated in many shows in the Hamilton,Burlington and Binbrook area in venues such as Hamilton Place, The Sanderson Center, Burlington Performing Arts Centre and many supportive schools. She has recently been seen in her first professional show that was an aboriginal dance showcase gala called Dream Catchers. Kat also completed a specialized performing arts program called ArtSmart where she learned a variety of skills for both on stage as the Scarecrow in The Wiz, and dance ensemble in Beauty and the Beast. She has also gained experience behind the scenes in cotsumes, props and set design. This past summer Kat played ‘Kitty’ a Kit Kat Klub dancer in Cabaretpresented by The Neverland Project. She also choreographed for multiple musicals like Hairspray and Beauty and the Beast, alongside being the Dance Captain of Saltfleet High Schools Competitive Dance Team. Kat has now been working at Broadway Bound Dance Studio for 6 years teaching competitive and recreational classes. She is excited to be involved with Relever Performing Arts Academy this season and looks forward to working with all their lovely students!
Read about how much Miss Kat loves Musical Theatre Here

IMG_5002-732x1024Danielle Viola (Co-Director/Musical Director)

Danielle has been teaching dance, voice and directing for children’s productions for five years and loves every minute. She has participated in competitive dance for fifteen years including Jazz, Tap, Ballet, Musical Theatre, along with completing exams in both Jazz and Tap. She has studied in classical and contemporary voice for 12 years and now has her own private students, Danielle has also studied piano and theory for multiple years and has completed Royal Conservatory exams for voice. She has recently been Vocal Director of Brock Musical Theatres production of Little Shop of Horrors, has choreographed Once on this Island Jr. and 13 The Musical while directing drama productions at Saltfleet District High School including Fame the Musical. She has been involved in theatre productions with Theatre Ancaster and EBP Productions musicals and vocal reviews, she has also participated in the ArtSmart Co-op program playing various characters and has recently been seen in Cabaret (Frauline Schnider), The Wiz (Wiz/Evilene) and Les Miserable (Mme. Thenardier) Currently she teaches song and dance at Broadway Bound Dance studio, is Assistant Director for Theatre Ancasters Peter Pan JR and is Stage Managing for ArtSmart. Danielle is in her third year of University where she is studying Theatre as well as completing her Bachelors of Education. She has always been involved in theatre and is looking forward to sharing her love of arts with the students.
Read about how much Miss Danielle loves Musical Theatre Here!


Muscle Memory in Acting

In sports and in dance, we talk a lot about muscle memory and how the body remembers and grows more capable.  Every time you do something physical, it gets a little bit easier.  We grow and improve through constant stretching and repetition.
In many physical disciplines, the body can be thought of as a performer’s instrument.  They need to practice with it and really get to know the limits of its physicality.  Many young performers I work with see a separation between the physical and mental sides of performance.  They believe that dance and vocal music are physical disciplines with a smaller mental side and assume that acting is largely mental with a much smaller physical side.
I would argue that the physical and mental sides of performing need to be much more closely connected in every aspect of performance, and this is an idea that I would like to touch on further in future posts.  For today, I want to focus a bit on being familiar with your own body, especially your face, and using your “acting instrument” to its fullest.
For so many of us, our face is the primary way we show emotion.  In this way, we are all performers.  We use our faces to both show and hide emotions depending on the situation, and we are used to reading emotions from other people’s faces  So many of us, though, are unaware of what our own faces actually look like when we make a face.  We know how to read things in the looks we see around us, but because we don’t spend nearly as much time studying the looks we give other people, the expressions we use when we are performing may not be as clear and readable as we think they are.
Many people can tell the difference between “smug” and “overjoyed” on another person, though both reveal themselves through a smile.  On our own faces, I think we are less capable of expressing more subtle emotions consciously as performers because we do not spend the time physically practicing and examining our own faces to capture the emotions we want to show when we are performing.  Because we see our own face so little, we don’t know what signals others are picking up when they look at us.
One of the things I urge young and new performers to do is spend time every day looking at themselves in the mirror.  I want them to feel the physicality of what different types of smiles feel like as they see them to ensure they look how they think they do.  “How do my ‘Christmas morning’ smile and my ‘happy that my enemy had something bad happen to her’ smile look and feel different from one another? Once we train ourselves to feel the difference, we can use repetition to help ourselves physically support the mental part of acting.  An actor who can physically show you the difference between 5 different kinds of smiles without having to mentally feel the emotions involved will have a much easier time.
1.  Stretch every feature on your face as wide as you can, the pinch every feature as tight as you can.  Go back and forth between the two.  I like to alternate between a “Lion” face and a “Lemon” face to help stretch out all my facial features and help them be as elastic as possible.
2.  Write down 10 – 20 more complex emotions in preparation.  Look at yourself in the mirror showing each one both still and while talking.  Are you seeing what you think you are giving off?  Repeat this process daily to help cement the look and feel of these emotions to help train your face to form these looks on command.