After classes let out on Friday, February 27, the Performing Arts Department trio of Ms. Hutchison, Mr. Hodges, and Mr. Viscardi hosted a workshop for the Perry-Mansfield Performing Arts Camp. Students settled into Room 405 to work with Phillip Hernandez, a Broadway performer, television actor, and musician. Mr. Hernandez made his Broadway debut in the original cast of the Tony Award-winning musical Kiss of the Spider Woman and later went on to play both Javert and Jean Valjean in Les Misérables. He has also worked on a number of television shows and now holds a reoccurring role on the new Fox series, Gotham.
Perry-Mansfield, the performing arts camp and school at which Mr. Hernandez has taught for five years, is the oldest continuously operating performing arts camp in the country. Located in the breath taking Rocky Mountains near Steamboat Springs, Colorado, Perry-Mansfield has been training theater and dance artists since 1913. Some of the students who worked on last fall’s musical production, Underground, were particularly excited to learn more about the camp at which it was originally developed by Mr. Hodges and Mr. Viscardi.
Whether they were planning to actively pursue careers in the performing arts or looking for a fun way to spend the afternoon, a group of nearly thirty students were eager to meet Mr. Hernandez and hear what he had to say. One at a time, performers stood up to sing a song and received helpful advice from this master teacher on how to capture their audience. Mr. Hernadez’s personable nature and humorous approach helped make for such a perfect learning environment that the time seemed to fly by. Students who had the chance to be critiqued walked away from the afternoon with very valuable knowledge.