PITTSBURG — Pittsburg High School Theatre students will get a special treat just before Halloween: a class with a Broadway actress.
The cast of the upcoming PHS musical “Urinetown” will learn from and interact with Janine DiVita this Sunday at PHS. DiVita starred as Elizabeth in the national tour of “Young Frankenstein” and portrayed Rizzo in “Grease” on Broadway. She is an actor, singer, dancer and writer, and along with spots on Broadway and National Tours, has appeared on television shows such as “Elementary” and “The Americans.”
“Being able to bring her here, to our students, is an amazing opportunity,” PHS Theatre Director Greg Shaw said. “Just the opportunity to have a dialogue with a Broadway actor about what her life in high school, into college, into a professional career was like. I think they’ll find it was not so different from their own.”
The master class was funded partially through a grant from the Community Foundation of Southeast Kansas Future Fund and partially through a private donation. DiVita will work with the PHS cast on performances from “Urinetown” as well as working directly with three seniors on their college audition pieces.
Shaw said it is the theatre equivalent of the PHS football team getting to work with Kansas City Chiefs Quarterback Alex Smith.
The last hour will include a performance by DiVita and question and answer session. The last hour begins at 5:30 p.m. and is open to the public.
“We brought DiVita here for the the students,” Shaw said. “But we wanted to open the Q&A session up so that performers from the community or even other schools could take advantage of her visit.”
The class takes place at Pittsburg High School.
Following the class, DiVita will attend the Best of Broadway performance of “Rent” on Sunday evening at the Bicknell Family Center for the Arts with Shaw and his family.
— Chance Hoener is a staff writer for the Morning Sun. He can be emailed at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @ReporterChance.