Feeding Your Inner Spirit with Your Inner Artist – FREE Classes in Theatre, Dance, & Song (NYC)

Prepare to engage the Bible through acting, dance, and/or song through the class of your choice while also relaxing the body and nurturing the spirit. Using scripture for inspiration, classes will develop a short piece of performance art live in the room. Under my instruction, get ready to not only meditate on scripture but activate it with your body and retain it through stimulation of your imagination through art forms integral to theatre.

DATE: Saturday, January 20, 2018
LOCATION: Columbia University Schapiro Studio
605 W. 115th Street, New York, NY 10027
REGISTRATION STARTS: January 5, 2018
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Register for FREE by clicking the classes below!

Class Descriptions

DEVISED THEATRE

  • Skill Level: Any
  • Age Level: 18+
  • This Class is For: People of any skill level who want to engage the Bible through acting
  • Focus: Scripture study, meditation, relaxation, nurturing the spirit, activating the body, stimulating the imagination

DEVISED DANCE

  • Skill Level: Beginner to Intermediate
  • Age Level: 18+
  • This Class is For: people desiring to explore the Bible though dance. You do not have to be a trained dancer to enjoy this class. However, dance experience is a plus.
  • Focus: Using dance to aid in understanding and retaining scriptural messages; relaxation; nurturing the spirit; activating the body; stimulating the imagination

DEVISED SONG

  • Skill Level: Intermediate to Advanced
  • Age Level: 18+
  • This Class is For: People excited to use singing to explore and delve deeper into the Bible. You do not have to be a trained singer to enjoy this class. However, your singing ability should range from good to exceptional. If you do not profess to be a singer or feel comfortable singing around others or in public, you probably will not be comfortable in this course.
  • Focus: As a group, improvising song from scripture to aid in understanding and retaining Biblical passages; scripture study; relaxation; nurturing the spirit; and activating the body

What Does “Devised” Mean?

In terms of performing arts, “devised” is used to refer to works that are developed collaboratively. Such works can be inspired by anything. Using scripture for inspiration, “Inner Spirit Inner Artist” classes focus on building a short piece of performance art developed live in the room from the contributions of participants. ~

NOTE: “INNER SPIRIT INNER ARTIST” IS A PART OF RESEARCH I’M CONDUCTING IN THE THESIS YEAR OF MY MASTER OF FINE ARTS AT COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY. ALL PARTICIPANTS MUST: COMPLETE A COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF THE ARTS – THEATRE “HOLD HARMLESS” FORM PRIOR TO CLASS PARTICIPATION; FILL OUT A SURVEY AT THE END OF EACH CLASS THEY PARTICIPATE IN; AND AGREE TO BE PHOTOGRAPHED AND FILMED FOR AYVAUNN PENN’S ARCHIVAL AND PROMOTIONAL PURPOSES. 

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See you there!

Ayvaunn Penn Follow @PennSpeaks on Facebook Twitter Instagram

 

Upcoming Event: My latest play The Feather Doesn’t Fall Far From the Wing, A Play with Music opens May 9, 2018 at the prestigious Signature Theatre. Enter your email address in the “Follow” section to receive updates on auditions and show times.

(Video) Listen to How Much My ZAREPHATH Cast Rocks!!!!

I just have to share this amazing moment from last week’s ZAREPHATH rehearsal with you. In this video, you will see some of the cast members of my summer musical put together an AWESOME vocal beat…ON THE FLY! I still can’t believe this happened, and I honestly can’t stop listening to it. All I know is that if these amazing actors can create vocal fabulousness for something as simple as an exercise, the actual show is going to be mind-blowing. Details for the show are below. Mark your calendars, invite your friends, tell strangers, and I’ll see you there!

-Ayvaunn

Columbia University Schapiro Theatre
F r e e   A d m i s s i o n  
August 11, 2017 – 7PM
August 12, 2017 – 12PM
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A showstopping, dance-filled, gospel and jazz infused musical based on the Bible story of the widow woman who shared her last meal with the prophet Elijah. ZAREPHATH is written and directed by Ayvaunn Penn under the tutelage of two-time Pulitzer Prize Winner Lynn Nottage & Tony Award Winner David Henry Hwang. Thrilling to perform, enthralling to listen to, and exciting to watch, this ball of summer fun will also be performed in various public spaces in NYC. To receive automatic updates on where the show will appear next, follow this blog by entering your email address at the bottom of this webpage.

Auditions for Zarephath, A Gospel & Jazz Infused Musical

Registration opens May 21, 2017

Written and directed by Ayvaunn Penn under the tutelage of Pulitzer Prize Winner Lynn Nottage & Tony Award Winner David Henry Hwang. Produced by Paloma Estevez.

Non-Equity Actors Only / Ages 17+ / All Ethnicities: Seeking NYC actors with solid backgrounds in singing and dance. This a capella gospel and jazz infused musical requires that individuals have: a good ear, the ability to vocally improvise with a large group, and a strong sense of rhythm. Actors also need a large stage presence that can command attention in busy outdoor venues as well as the physical stamina to perform in summer weather. Non-paid but a great opportunity to work with members of Columbia University School of the Arts.

About the Show: “Zarephath” is a large dance-filled ensemble piece based on the Bible story of the widow woman who shared her last meal with the prophet Elijah. Thrilling to perform, enthralling to listen to, and exciting to watch, this ball of summer fun will be performed in various public outdoor spaces in NYC with one performance at Columbia University.

Audition Dates & Times – Appointment Only – 10 Min. Slots

  • June 5, 2017: 8:30AM – 3:40PM
  • June 6, 2017: 8:30AM – 3:40PM
  • June 7, 2017: 9:30AM – 3:00PM (Callbacks)

Auditions will take place at Columbia University. Exact location TBA

How to Register: Email Ayvaunn at PennSpeaks[at]gmail.com and put “Zarephath – [Role Desired]” in the subject line. Please state the time frame you are available during designated hours on the specified dates, and you will be assigned a time slot. Also, attach a copy of your headshot and resume. Only register to audition if you will be available for callbacks and the full production schedule listed below. Note: Auditions will be filmed and footage may be used for promotional purposes.

What to Prepare: One minute of a song highlighting your vocal range and skill (no musical accompaniment permitted). Thirty seconds to one minute of dance choreography showcasing your full range of ability and any special skills. Please wear movement clothes and shoes with a polished appearance. Script sides will be provided on site for cold reads.

Roles: 

  • The Widow – Female; Mature look and voice; Exceptional vocal ability; Soulful sound
  • The Widow’s Son – Male; Boyish look and voice; Jazz sound
  • Elijah – Male; The prophet of God; Mature look; Deep voice; Stoic
  • Ensemble Leader – Male or Female; Narrator engaging with the audience; Charismatic; Powerful voice
  • Ensemble – Everyone; Creating large visual images, vocal soundscape, and bodily percussion as a group

Note: This is truly a group storytelling piece comprised of 20-30 actors. EVERYONE will move fluidly between and/or share roles and be seen and heard at all times.

Production Schedule*

  • Rehearsals
    • June 12, 2017 – August 11, 2017
    • 6PM-9PM on weekdays 10AM-2PM on weekends
    • 2 times a week in June then increase to 4 times a week
    • On or near Columbia University campus
  • Performances**
    • Saturday, August 12th, 19th, and 26th

*Subject to change **Times and locations TBA