From Broadway to Blackbox

Posted by Rachael Wilbur
Emory & Henry College had the opportunity to bring current Broadway performer Matt Dengler to campus to help teach a Master Class for the students of Assistant Professor of Musical Theatre Rachel Black.

The students participating in the class were those with pieces they were trying to audition with. Junior Hannah Rivette said his best advice was “Don’t forget about the acting” when attempting to perform well in a show or audition. Dengler was able to give substantial advice to students because he worked with them one-on-one in both a group setting and their private music classes.  

One benefit of having a professional’s influence is their wealth of experience. Broadway performers are nicknamed the “triple threat” as they excel in singing, dancing and acting. The class helped educate students on many concepts surrounding the theatre trade such as what auditions/cattle calls are like and how “talk backs” are run.

Professor Black explains Dengler’s first-hand experience helps students better enter the professional world of theatre. “Students in past Master Classes have used Dengler as a reference and connection to the Broadway world.”

This is the first time Black has conducted a master class in her two years at Emory & Henry College and hopes to bring in a new performer every year. In addition to visiting actors, the Theatre Department has a professional guest costume maker for the current semester.    

Dengler has had a wide range of off and on Broadway shows with the most recent being Rod/Princeton in the MusicalAvenue Q.  His Broadway credits include The Visit and A Little Night Musicwhere he played the male lead Henrik.  He also performed as a soloist at Carnegie Hall for the 28th New York Pops Gala: Honoring Bob Hope.

  • Broadway actor Matt Dengler and Assistant Professor Rachel Black on stage during their recent per...
    Broadway actor Matt Dengler and Assistant Professor Rachel Black on stage during their recent performance in the Black Box Theatre.
  • Matt Dengler, Broadway actor performs in the Black Box Theatre.
    Matt Dengler, Broadway actor performs in the Black Box Theatre. 

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