PALM DESERT — Two cast members from Jersey Boys, Kit Treece and Kevin Patrick Martin, recently shared stories of their experiences, as well as what to expect touring with a coast-to-coast production for several months with students at Rancho Mirage High School.
The Jersey Boys pros participated in the McCallum Theatre’s third annual master class where professional cast members from touring productions interact with local students.
The actors also conducted a mock audition for 15 students from the school’s advanced theater class. They are part of the school district’s Musical Theatre University — a pre-professional program for musical theater. Each student was required to sing 16 to 32 bars of a song or do a short monologue during the master class.
“The students of Musical Theatre University are so blessed to have been able to work with two of the cast members from Jersey Boys,” Louisa Castrodale, Arts Coordinator Palm Springs Unified School District, said in a prepared statement. “They were delighted to be able to perform for them and receive constructive feedback, as well as hear valuable advice about life as a performing artist.”
The master class, moderated by McCallum Theatre Director of Communications & Public Affairs, Jeff Norman, had the wide-eyed group eager to learn from pros as theatrical topics were covered during the two-hour session.
“It is a privilege for the McCallum Theatre to offer these master classes to talented local aspiring performers,” Norman said in a prepared statement. “These community initiatives not only raise awareness for the performances at the Theatre, but also give the chance for young Valley artists to interact on a personal basis and learn valuable lessons from Broadway performers. It is beyond wonderful for us to be able to facilitate these very special learning opportunities.”
After giving a brief performance during the mock auditions – set up like real auditions – each student stood before the two Jersey Boys to receive constructive criticism and encouragement. Treece or Martin would sometimes ask the student to sing or recite their chosen piece again. The student would then try to absorb their advice and usually the second time around showed great improvement.
The Jersey Boys performed eight sold-out shows at the McCallum from Jan. 15 through Jan. 20.
Lead photo caption: Kevin Patrick Martin, left, and Kit Treece. Photo by Jeff Norman