Asolo Rep Announces Masterclass Teaching Artists for two upcoming online series

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Asolo Rep Presents Two Online Masterclass Series
for Adults and High School Artists

Masterclass Teaching Artists Include Broadway’s Josh Rhodes;
Dr. John Cornellius, II; Megan Larche Dominick
and more

Teaching Artist Headshots are Available by visiting:

(SARASOTA, FL) – Asolo Rep proudly kicks off 2021 with two intimate and engaging online masterclass series for theatre lovers of all ages. The two series feature the Young Artist REPertoire Workshops designed for 8th – 12th graders, and Monday Masterclasses, a set of workshops geared toward adults. The two-hour long courses will be offered at 3pm (Adult) and 5:30pm (Youth) on select Mondays January 11 through May 10.
Both youth and adult participants will learn from and connect with professional theatre artists who will introduce and coach participants through new, challenging, and fun performance skills and theatre magic. The series offers an all-encompassing look at the world of live theatre, featuring courses on choreography, musical theatre, auditioning, Shakespeare, movement and more.
Teaching artists include nationally recognized stage favorites, renowned musical theatre scholars and casting directors: Diana Coates (Asolo Rep: Murder on the Orient Express, Into the Breeches), Dr. John L. Cornelius, II (Helen Hayes Award-winning composer, professor, and music director); Helen Joo Lee (Asolo Rep: Murder on the Orient Express, The Great Leap); Megan Larche Dominick (nationally recognized casting director, audition coach, and guest lecturer); Cedric Leiba, Jr. (National Tours: Rent, Miss Saigon); Tina Stafford (Asolo Rep: Murder on the Orient Express, Into the Breeches); Levin Valayil (Asolo Rep: Jungle Book); and Broadway’s Josh Rhodes (Bright Star, It Shoulda Been You, Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella) who helmed Asolo Rep’s box office record-breaking productions of The Sound of Music, Evita, and Guys and Dolls.
“These unusual times have paved the way for Asolo Rep to dig deeper as an institution and explore creative and exciting ways to connect with theatre lovers of all ages throughout the country and globe,” said Sara Brunow, Muriel O’Neil Education & Engagement Director. “These workshops have something for everyone – and are a fantastic ways to engage with and learn from these highly esteemed artists.”
For series information and registration, visit:
Classes for the adult masterclass are $45 each, or the entire series can be purchased as a package for $200.

The Youth Artist Academy REPertoire series is available as a package only for $220.
For more information about Adult Online Classes: Monday Masterclasses, please visit:

For more information about the Young Artist: Repertoire Workshop Series, please visit:

Series Schedule:

Asolo Rep Young Artist

REPertoire Workshop Series:
· January 11: Shaking-up Shakespeare with Diana Coates
· January 25: Standout Auditions: Use the power of YES with Tina Stafford
· February 1: 5, 6,7,8,: Audition Choreography with Josh Rhodes
· February 8: Mastering the Musical Theatre Self-Tape with Cedric Leiba, Jr.
· February 22: Finding Your Song with Dr. John Cornelius
· March 1: Spontaneous Movement and Miraculous Monologues with Levin Valayil
· March 8: Casting 101: Bringing Your Best into the Room with Megan Larche Dominick

Asolo Rep Adult Online Classes

Monday Masterclass:
· January 11: Standing Up and Standing Out with Tina Stafford
· February 8: Brush up Your Shakespeare with Diana Coates
· March 8: Lightning in a Bottle: Understanding the Alchemy of Musical Theatre with Dr. John Cornelius
· April 12: The Actors Body: Movement & Creativity with Levin Valayil
· May 10: The Power of Playful Presence with Helen Joo Lee

Teaching Artist Bios

Diana Coates is a Chicago based actor, director, and teaching artist who received her Master of Fine Arts in Acting from Regent University. Some of her performance work includes Isabella in Measure for Measure, Hermia in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Antony in Julius Caesar, Paulina in Winters Tale, and the titular role in Henry V. She recently made her debut with Asolo Repertory Theatre in last season’s Murder on the Orient Express and Into the Breeches. Passionate about theatre and storytelling for young audiences, Diana has partnered with a number of theatre companies including the Virginia Stage Company bringing summer programming to the Tidewater region and Pegasus Theatre of Chicago’s Young Playwright’s Festival where students explore writing for the stage using their varied experiences and voices. “Everyone’s story is worth telling.”
Dr. John L. Cornelius, II is a member of ASCAP and the American Federation of Musicians (AFofM) and his output includes a number of chamber works, orchestral works, and song cycles. He has also written, along with his collaborator, Michael J. Bobbitt, several works for the lyric theater including Garfield: The Musical with Cattitude, Bob Marley’s Three Little Birds (Nomination – Charles MacArthur Award for Outstanding New Play – Helen Hayes Awards 2014), Mirandy and Brother Wind, Say It Ain’t So!, The Yellow Rose of Texas, and The Bingo Long Travelling All-Stars and Motor Kings, Both Garfield and Three Little Birds are licensed through R&H Theatricals and Mirandy through New Plays for Young Audiences. His most recent concert works include Chansons Creoles, a song cycle whose text is by gens de colour of 19th-century Louisiana, Three Creole Songs commissioned by the Kingwood Chorale, Song of Houston and The Kashmere Cycle, song cycles commissioned by Houston Grand Opera’s HGOCo., and Fulfilled, a Passion Week Cantata. His new chamber opera, What Wings They Were, a commission from HGOCo, premiered in May 2016. His most recent works include a set of Cowboy Songs and Sweet Freedom’s Song: a Fantasia on the hymn-tune America. Dr. Cornelius is a native of Jackson, Mississippi and is a Professor of Music at Prairie View A&M University.
Megan Larche Dominick specializes in cultivating creative partnerships between artists and projects through mindful and meticulous talent acquisition. Her professional career in the entertainment industry spans almost 20 years. In addition to being a nationally recognized casting director, sought-after guest lecturer, and audition coach, Megan is a successful executive producer. She has worked on a multitude of Broadway shows, national tours and first-class musical productions across the country. She is currently active in the regional theatre market, utilizing artistic development to bridge connections between creatives, audiences, and communities. Megan has a passion for artistic curation and is a frequent mentor to early career professionals.
Helen Joo Lee made her Asolo Rep debut this season as Mary Debenham in Murder on the Orient Express and Connie in The Great Leap. She performed on the famed The Second City stages in Chicago as a permanent replacement in Fantastic Super Great Nation Numero Uno (e.t.c. Stage / 41st revue) and understudied in Dream Freaks Fall From Space (Main Stage / 106th revue). She is also a proud member of the all-Asian improv group Stir Friday Night. Television and film credits include Chicago Med, Empire, The Chi, Later Days, Teacher, and Canal Street. Before she was a performer, Helen graduated cum laude with a degree in Art History and Education from UCLA and spent a decade in the classroom as a 3rd grade and ESL teacher here in the States and in Melbourne, Seoul, and Rome. She can be seen currently in a national commercial for Lowe’s.
Cedric Leiba, Jr. was born in Santurce, Puerto Rico, Cedric has toured with RENT (Angel), MISS SAIGON (Ensemble) and performed in CARMEN LA CUBANA (Tato) at Theatre du Chatelet in Paris. Some regional credits include Goodspeed Theatre’s LA CAGE AUX FOLLES (Jacob), Colorado Springs FAC’s HANDS ON A HARDBODY (Jesus), TUTS’ GUYS AND DOLLS (Benny Southstreet) and assisting director/choreographer Ann Ye in Dallas Theater Center’s AS YOU LIKE IT. TV credits include HBO’s HIGH MAINTENANCE and Fashion One TV’s THE SWITCH. His movies include MILLIE AND THE LORD and ELLIOT LOVES. Cedric is currently portraying the role of Manny in the 2020 Tribeca Film Festival Nominated Best Narrative Short, GETS GOOD LIGHT. Cedric has recently put out several singles under his artist name Ceddy and has also co-founded DominiRican Productions. @ceddynyc
Josh Rhodes is thrilled to be working with his “artistic home.” At Asolo Rep, Josh directed The Sound of Music, Evita and Guys and Dolls, and he is slated to choreograph the future production of Knoxville in addition to his work on Barnum, Working, My Fair Lady, and Yentl. Other directing credits include Grand Hotel (NY City Center Encores!); The Who’s: Tommy (Kennedy Center); Ken Ludwig’s Baskerville (Old Globe Theatre); Paint Your Wagon, Jersey Boys (Muny); Guys and Dolls (Old Globe); Spamalot (5th Ave.); Showboat (Bucks County Playhouse); and Celestina Warbeck and the Banshees at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. He also choreographed the Broadway productions of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella, It Shoulda Been You, First Date and Bright Star. On London’s West End, he choreographed Carousel at the English National Opera and Sweeney Todd starring Emma Thompson. Other choreography credits include Company starring Neil Patrick Harris and Sondheim: The Birthday Concert (PBS) and the U.K. tour of Doctor Dolittle. Rhodes is a proud graduate of the University of Michigan.
Tina Stafford is thrilled to collaborate with this daring company, bringing relevance, and challenging audiences to think outside of the box. She has most recently been seen in Asolo Rep’s 2019-2020 Season in Murder on the Orient Express and Into the Breeches. She spent two years on the road with the first national tour of the Broadway musical Once. Leading roles around the country: York Theatre, 59E59, Soho Rep, Prospect Theatre, Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, Buck’s County Playhouse, Paper Mill Playhouse, Goodspeed Musicals, Cleveland Playhouse, Cincinnati Playhouse, Cape Playhouse, Westport Country Playhouse, Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, La Jolla Playhouse, Arena Stage, Geva Theatre Center, Kansas City Rep, the Utah, Texas and Maine Shakespeare Festivals, among many others. Proud AEA member.
Levin Valayil is a performing artist, educator, and lifelong learner. Favorite theatrical roles include: Mowgli, Jungle Book (US/Canadian Tour,Asolo Rep); Dharun Ravi, Craig Carnelia’s Poster Boy (Public Theatre, Williamstown Theatre Festival); Raj, Mira Nair’s Monsoon Wedding (Berkeley Repertory Theatre. New Musical Workshop: Bhangin It (LaJolla Playhouse). Film: “Lipreaders” dir. by Erick Spink, “Click Next to Continue” dir. by Abdul Jackson. Levin has trained with Steppenwolf Theater company in Chicago on Viewpoints, Meisner, and voice, with clown training from Christopher Bayes (Yale Drama School.) He is currently in training to become an Alexander Movement Technique Teacher and a Feldenkrais instructor. Levin holds his B.M. in voice/piano performance and music therapy from Berklee College of Music and his Masters of Fine Arts in musical theater from Boston Conservatory.

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