Broadway witches’ workshop leaves UVU students spellbound

Broadway’s Kara Lindsay and Jackie Burns, both performing in the national tour of “Wicked” at the Eccles Theater in Salt Lake City, made a visit to UVU to hold a masterclass for UVU and high school students.

Jackie Burns and Kara Lindsay give acting tips to audience members at the A "Wicked" Workshop on Wednesday, Feb. 20 at UVU. Photo By: Blanca De La Cruz

Broadway’s Kara Lindsay and Jackie Burns, both performing in the national tour of “Wicked” at the Eccles Theater in Salt Lake City, made a visit to UVU to hold a masterclass for UVU and high school students.

Lindsay, the musical’s Glinda, originated the role of Katherine Plumber in the musical “Newsies.” Burns, who plays Elphaba, currently holds the record for the longest-running performance of the character.

The workshop, held on Feb. 20, started with those in attendance reading short scripts. Then, groups of four went onstage to perform a cold reading, or an unrehearsed reading, of the scripts. They then received feedback from the actresses.

“I never want you guys to be afraid to take things further,” said Lindsay to one group. “You have really good instincts and ideas, so don’t be afraid to take them all the way and go bigger!”

“Those are the things that get you remembered by casting directors,” added Burns. “I probably won’t remember the person who played it safe, but I will remember the person who made a bold choice.”

After the cold readings, both current and future musical theater and vocal performance students participated in a vocal session. Each participant performed a shortcut of a musical theatre song as if they were in an audition. Lindsay and Burns sat in the audience and delivered feedback and suggestions before the students performed again. Burns stressed the importance of making a performance personal.

“You don’t have to do what the show dictates,” said Burns. “Make it personal to yourself. That’s what will set you apart from all the pretty voices.”

Burns also advised students to “stick the landing” of their songs. “If you take yourself out of it before the end, you’ll ruin all the hard work you just did. You have to stick that ending. That’s what makes people believe you.”

Lindsay and Burns remarked several times throughout the afternoon that they were impressed with the level of talent in the students they saw, most just freshman in college.

“There has to be something in the water here,” Lindsay
said after a performance. “Whatever it is, I need some of it. You guys are seriously so impressive.”

Lindsay and Burns can be seen in the national tour of “Wicked,” which runs at the Eccles Theater until March 3. There will be additional masterclasses held this semester by Jason Alexander and Sierra Boggess, who will also perform live as part of the Noorda Center’s Week of Dreams in March.

Photo by Blanca De La Cruz.

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