All hands will be on deck at Alpha/Omega Players as one Broadway star is bringing his showstopping skills to Birdsboro.
Telly Leung will hold special master classes focusing on Broadway musicals “Godspell” and “Rent” on Saturday, July 12. Children with an interest in performing will gain a lot from Leung’s collective experiences on stage and on television.
The “Godspell” workshop is targeted towards children ages 8 to 13 and runs from 3 to 4:30 p.m. July 12; the “Rent” workshop is for children ages 13 and over and will be held from 4:30 to 6 p.m. Leung’s class will incorporate acting, dancing and singing with the art of storytelling.
Leung debuted on Broadway in 2002 in the revival of Flower Drum Song. Since then, he has been in the revival of “Godspell,” performed in a revival of “Pacific Overtures” and “Wicked.” He also starred as Angel in the “Rent: Filmed Live on Broadway DVD” and played Wes on FOX’s television show “Glee.”
Leung has never visited Birdsboro before, he is no stranger to Pennsylvania. He studied theatre at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh and played Song in “M. Butterfly” at Philadelphia Theater Company back in 2007.
Through theatre, Leung learned to be part of a community and hopes to bring that same passion to children who might not otherwise get to experience a live act. He was first drawn to the idea of theatre through PBS’ broadcast of Stephen Sondheim’s “Into the Woods” on Great Performances. The class provides possibility for prospective actors to acquire an “ownership of that material,” which Leung picked up doing Broadway shows eight times a week.
“Both ‘Godspell’ and ‘Rent’ are shows that ask the actor to embrace their individuality - and to invest their own, human life experiences into the storytelling on stage,” Leung said in a recent interview with The Southern Berks News. “I will try to help all the students find their own way into the material.”
For the Broadway performer, “both shows, at their core, are also about community, and how we co-exist together on this earth.”
Leung hopes to awaken a love of storytelling in the students through the sense of community while incorporating the presentation to the audience provoking them to feel something.
“No matter what age, I encourage my students to embrace that sense of play that started when we were kids, playing ‘pretend.’ Children are some of the most skilled and committed actors I’ve ever met, for this very reason,” he said. “Much of my class will be learning how to collaborate and work well with others through creating a piece of performance together. These skills are not only useful on-stage, but off-stage, when these performers leave the studio and the class is done. The lessons will (hopefully) not only make for better performers, but better human beings.”
After the master classes, there will be a 7 p.m. concert open to the public. Alpha/Omega Performing Arts Center is located at 301 E 1st St., Birdsboro. Visit them online at alphaomegaplayers.org or for tickets call 610-404-4844.