close

Faculty and Staff Email Login:

If your email account has not been moved to Google by I.T., then login here using Outlook Web Access:
webmail.cornish.edu/

If your email account has moved to Google by the I.T. Department, then login here:
mail.google.com


New York Stars Shine at Cornish

New York Stars Shine at Cornish

: (L-r) Neo-burlesque instructor Katjana Vadeboncoeur, Theater Department Chair Richard E.T. White, Lady Rizo, and Ellen Boyle, physical technique and yoga instructor. Photo by Mark Bocek.

New York Stars Shine at Cornish

: Alice Ripley (center) meets Cornish President Nancy J. Uscher in the Theater Department offices.. Photo by Mark Bocek.

New York Stars Shine at Cornish

: Cornish professor Timothy McCuen Piggee (right) introduces Alice Ripley and Louis Hobson to students of musical theater. Photo by Mark Bocek.

New York Stars Shine at Cornish

: Alice Ripley and colleague Louis Hobson, Broadway veteran and artistic director of Seattle's Balagan Theatre, speak to students of musical theater. Photo by Mark Bocek.

New York Stars Shine at Cornish

: Lady Rizo (Amelia Zirin-Brown, TH '99) talks to students in Cornish's New Burlesque class as Richard E.T. White listens. Photo by Mark Bocek.

New York Stars Shine at Cornish

: Lady Rizo leads exercise with students in Cornish's New Burlesque class. Photo by Mark Bocek.

New York Stars Shine at Cornish

: Alice Ripley and colleague Louis Hobson, Broadway veteran and artistic director of Seattle's Balagan Theatre, speak to students of musical theater. Photo by Mark Bocek.

New York Stars Shine at Cornish

: Accompanist prepares for the workshop portion of Alice Ripley's visit. Photo by Mark Bocek.

New York Stars Shine at Cornish

: Katjana Vadeboncoeur,Richard E.T. White, Lady Rizo, and Ellen Boyle. Photo by Mark Bocek.

Prev · Next

It’s summer, time to catch up on stories that got away during a busy term. This week: Cornish theater students have received a number of visitors recently, including Tony Award-winning actress Alice Ripley and NY cabaret diva and Cornish alumna, Lady Rizo.

Heavyweights in the art world often stop by Cornish, and the Theater Department sees its share. This past year was no exception. Alice Ripley, winner of a Tony Award for her work in Next to Normal, dropped by this past December to talk to musical theater students and run a workshop. Lady Rizo, Cornish’s own Amelia Zirin-Brown (TH ’99), recently did a workshop with students in the department’s New Burlesque class. Lady Rizo is a mainstay at Joe’s Pub, the cabaret performance space at the New York Public Theater. She has performed across the country and all over the world.

The Theater Department’s new concentration in musical theater continues to draw large numbers of students to Cornish. A large contingent of them from associate professor Timothy McCuen Piggee’s class were in attendance to hear Alice Ripley on creating a career and to take part in a workshop. Ripley has certainly hit the big time, and was able to share a lot of what she’s learned. You know you’ve arrived when you go on a popular TV show like 30 Rock and play yourself, as she did. An actor, singer, songwriter, and mixed media artist, she even has a rock band, RIPLEY. In addition to her award-winning work in the Pulitzer Prize-winning musical, Next to Normal, she has also been seen in Side Show, which received a Tony nomination, Clybourne Park at the Long Wharf Theatre, and in the Seattle, Washington, production of the musical, Carrie. Local theater fixture Louis Hobson, artistic director of Balagan Theatre and himself a Broadway veteran, provided excellent counterpoint to Ripley’s talk.

“As soon as I walked in the door, I could feel the energy!” Ripley said to President Nancy Uscher about her first moments at Cornish. “It’s like everyone I saw had their antennae up.”

One of the most intriguing classes offered by the Theater Department, along with clown class, is New Burlesque, taught by Katjana Vadeboncoeur. Lady Rizo (Amelia Zirin-Brown) brought her knowledge of the art form to the class on April 10 for a talk and a workshop. She now thinks of herself more as a cabaret artist, chanteuse and comedienne, but Lady Rizo cut her teeth and captivated New York audiences as a New Burlesque host, especially at the Public Theater. Hosting cabaret and burlesque was a skill Amelia/Rizo developed while a student at Cornish.

“The neo-burlesque movement was burgeoning in New York in a radical way when I arrived to NYC ten years ago,” wrote Lady Rizo to Katjana Vadeboncoer before the visit. “Now it’s definitely more developed and seen as a respectable institution.  I am happy to share not-so-distant history along with my own story and a couple of exercises.”

Lady Rizo, winner of the TO&ST Edinburgh Cabaret Award, recently came out with her debut album, Violet. She was featured on Yoyo Ma’s 2008 album, Songs of Joy and Peace.

Both visits highlighted the innovative ways actors are trained at Cornish.


Recently

View Archive