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Lesson 3: Triple Threat in Broward County

Acting, Singing, Dancing 

We have it all in our theaters throughout Broward County.

Miramar Cultural CenterFUN FACT:  We are home to the oldest documented children’s theatre in the state of Florida!.

You may be thinking it is this old-fashioned looking theater, but it's not! The Florida Children’s Theatre is located at the Galleria Mall. Yes, you read that correctly. FLCT was founded in 1952 by two mothers in a garage!  (Have you ever put on a play in your garage or perhaps your backyard?) The theatre quickly grew to be the first cultural organization in Broward County to purchase its own building and the first to perform at Parker Playhouse, the Broward County Main Library Theatre and Dillard Center for the Arts. Each year, FLCT produces a season of five mainstage productions and offers year-round classes in acting, creative drama, and other theatre-related skills.  FLCT is headquartered at the Galleria Mall and offers programming at locations across Broward County and beyond, impacting over 25,000 individuals each year. 

Are you one of these individuals? 

Opera

Wait a minute, I thought there was only opera in Italy?​

Guess what, you were wrong! We have our own opera here in Greater Fort Lauderdale. And we have another FUN FACT for you:  Florida Grand Opera stands as the oldest performing arts organization in Florida. The Florida Grand Opera will be going on its 80th season this upcoming opera season. Typically, they perform four different operas throughout the year between both Miami and Fort Lauderdale. In Fort Lauderdale, they perform at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts. What do you know about opera? 

Let’s go over some fun tidbits about this art form:

  1. The English word opera is an abbreviation of the Italian phrase opera in musica (“work in music”).
  2. Mozart wrote his first opera, Bastien und Bastienne, when he was only 12 years old.
  3. Beethoven wrote only one opera, Fidelio, a fiercely humanistic opera. He worked on it for 11 years, revising it repeatedly. It was produced in 1805, just as his deafness was plunging him into depression.
  4. After an opera, it is appropriate to yell bravo for a man and brava for a woman. If you want to cheer for two or more singers, use the plural form, which is bravi. If the group consists only of women, yell brave (BRAH-vay).
  5. The first performance of Puccini’s opera Madama Butterfly was one of opera’s all-time worst flops. The audience made bird, cow and goat calls and booed. Madama Butterfly, however, became one of the best-loved operas in history.
  6. The first public opera house, San Cassiano, opened in Venice in 1637.
  7. Whistling at many European operas means “boo!”

Video Thumbnail - youtube - Thank You for the Music (ABBA) | The Girl Choir of South FloridaNow if you like to sing but you are not sure that opera is where you want to start, perhaps you could check out the Florida Singing Sons or the Girl Choir of South Florida.   

Imagine traveling to Europe to perform with this choir!  Florida Singing Sons participates in festivals and are members of the Concert Choir and Second-Generation Singers which tour annually, alternating domestic and international tours.  Members of the choir have visited Italy, singing in churches in Rome, Pisa, Florence, Padua and Venice.  The Girls Choir also performs locally and travels to perform as well.   Watch one of the Girls’ Choir performances at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts!

Broadway

You may have heard the term “Broadway” before. Do you know what it means when we say that the Broadway Musical, “Cats” or “Hamilton” is playing at a local theater?

Broadway refers to the theatrical performances presented in the 41 professional theatres, each with 500 or more seats, located in the Theater District and Lincoln Center along Broadway, in midtown Manhattan (New York City). Most Broadway shows are musicals.  

Have you ever seen one?  Can you name any?

Lauderhill Performing Arts CenterWe are lucky enough to be able to see Broadway shows right here in Broward County! You can see them at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts, Parker Playhouse or the recently opened Lauderhill Performing Arts Center

Many Broadway musicals incorporate dance as well like the famous, “Cats.”  Dance, known to many as an art, and to some as a sport, is incorporated into theater, music and on its own in many forms.

There are so many different types of dance. Can you name the different forms?

Recently at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts, they had both the traditional Nutcracker Ballet and a new version of the Nutcracker performed with a Hip-Hop style!

Off Broadway you may be able to catch a dance performance at other theaters like the The Rose and Alfred Miniaci Performing Arts Center, the CENTER – Coral Springs Center for the Arts, the Charles F. Dodge City Center in Pembroke Pines or the Miramar Cultural Center.  

Career Corner!

Set Designer

As a set, production or stage designer, your work will begin at the start of the production planning process, and usually end on the opening night.  You’ll create the design ideas and sometimes delegate the practical work to others.

In this job you’re likely to:

  • study scripts and discuss ideas with the director
  • communicate your ideas to costume, make-up, props and lighting designers
  • work out potential problems, such as lighting or complex scene changes
  • research historical, contemporary or futuristic details to get the right look for the production
  • create effective designs within the available budget
  • sketch design ideas to produce a ‘storyboard’, showing what the sets will look like scene by scene
  • build and photograph scale models
  • estimate costs and prepare a production schedule
  • oversee set building and decoration
  • make any adjustments needed during rehearsal

Miramar Cultural Center Theater ViewIn theatre, you might work alone or with an assistant. Many new set designers have an arts-related degree. Several universities, colleges and drama schools offer courses in theatre design, performing arts (production) or design for film and television. Other useful subjects include interior design, fine art, 3D design or architecture.

You may still be able to get into this job without a degree if you can demonstrate you have a high level of design skill and creative vision.

You might start as a designer’s assistant or prop maker in the theatre, as an art department trainee, or runner in film and TV. You can then start to work your way up to become a designer as you develop experience and get industry contacts.

Get relevant experience by getting involved in student theatre or film, local amateur or community theatre, low-budget independent films, and/or experimental or ‘fringe’ theatre.

Quiz Time!

Click here to take the quiz.