John Howrey, original member of the TAP team, returns in 2011

In December of 2002, Clay Nichols asked me if I was inter­est­ed in start­ing a board­ing camp for the arts at St. Stephen’s in the sum­mer of 2003. I was look­ing for a new project and jumped at the idea. I left his office and drove straight over to my friend, John’s house. John had music direct­ed a few shows with me and had just began a new career path as a graph­ic design­er. We had a meet­ing and came up with a plan. After many meet­ings, brochures went out, a staff was hired, plans were made and TAP Camp was born. John start­ed out as TAP Camp’s man­ag­ing direc­tor, graph­ic design­er and musi­cal direc­tor and con­tin­ued that for the first four sum­mers. He moved to Boston, Massachusetts in 2004 to study graph­ic design. John has con­tin­ued to be instru­men­tal in the suc­cess of TAP Camp from afar. As the graph­ic design­er, John has cre­at­ed beau­ti­ful print mate­ri­als every year and helped us with our mar­ket­ing efforts. He spent the bet­ter part of this year mak­ing us a new web­site and con­tin­ues to pro­vide us with beau­ti­ful mate­ri­als.

When John decid­ed to go into a career as a graph­ic design­er, I wor­ried that the musi­cal artist in him would be lost. But Boston has embraced all of his many tal­ents and allowed him to flour­ish. John has been musi­cal direc­tor for near­ly a dozen musi­cals with Stoneham Theatre Company, where he has also been hired as a direc­tor on a num­ber of pro­duc­tions. He has con­tin­ued teach­ing class­es in pri­vate and group voice and musi­cal the­atre his­to­ry. John has worked as a musi­cal direc­tor for Suffolk University, Arlington Children’s Theatre, Riverside Theatre Works and he is slat­ed to work on a pro­duc­tion of Bat Boy: The Musical for the Metro Stage Company this sum­mer. This year, he was hired as the Musical Director for Sunfish, a new musi­cal, pro­duced at Stoneham Theatre.

I am very excit­ed to have John at TAP Camp this summer…as a musi­cal direc­tor, edu­ca­tor, design­er, musi­cal the­atre geek and gen­er­al artis­tic guru. I look for­ward to col­lab­o­rat­ing with him this sum­mer and I am excit­ed to see the growth of our campers after work­ing with him for three weeks.

-Ginger, TAP Artistic Director

Free Musical Theatre Workshop with Guest Artist, Scott Thompson

Scott Thompson

How often do you get to work with an award-win­ning, Nationally rec­og­nized director/choreographer…for FREE?

What: FREE Musical Theatre Workshop with Scott Thompson
Where: Ballet Austin Armstrong/​Connelly Studio
When: April 23rd 4 – 6:30pm
Why: One-time oppor­tu­ni­ty to work with Scott Thompson in Austin, TX for FREE
How: Sign up online here.

Texas Arts Project Holds a FREE Musical Theatre Workshop for ages 13 – 18 at Ballet Austin Studios Saturday April 23rd from 4 – 6:30pm. This is a rare and amaz­ing oppor­tu­ni­ty to learn a musi­cal the­atre song and dance num­ber from award win­ning director/​choreographer, Scott Thompson.

About Scott Thompson…

Scott Thompson co-found­ed and served as Artistic Director for Austin’s pro­fes­sion­al musi­cal the­atre com­pa­ny from 1996 – 2002. With Scott at the helm, Austin Musical Theatre (AMT) raised the bar for musi­cal the­atre in Austin. As the Director/​Choreographer for six­teen AMT musi­cals, fea­tur­ing Broadway guest artists along­side local Austin tal­ent, Scott gar­nered awards and acco­lades like Austin had nev­er seen. More impor­tant, though, was the train­ing pro­gram for future artists. The Austin Musical Theatre Performing Arts Academy paved the way for many young Austinites to per­form­ing careers from Broadway to Hollywood.

Scott has over 20 years teach­ing expe­ri­ence. Though cur­rent­ly resid­ing and teach­ing in New York City, he has worked nation­wide at uni­ver­si­ties, con­ser­va­to­ries, dance acad­e­mies, and sum­mer camps. Scott has guest lec­tured at NYU, California State College at Fullerton, Birmingham University, University of Arizona and the College of the Desert in Palm Springs, California. Scott Thompson has won numer­ous awards for direct­ing and chore­o­graph­ing some of Broadway’s bright­est tal­ents in over 100 pro­duc­tions nation­wide. Scott direct­ed Tony Award win­ner Betty Buckley in her first GYPSY, coun­try music leg­end Larry Gatlin in THE MUSIC MAN and Tony Award win­ner Cady Huffman in DAMN YANKEES. For the Library of Congress, he chore­o­graphed an all-star Gershwin Gala fea­tur­ing four-time Tony Award win­ner Audra McDonald, record­ing star Dawn Upshaw and Tony Award nom­i­nees Lara Teeter, David Garrison and Wanda Richert. For Princess Cruise Lines, Scott Created, Directed and Choreographed a mul­ti-mil­lion dol­lar pro­duc­tion show BROADWAY BALLROOM, which pre­miered on Princess Cruises new star ocean lin­er the Ruby Princess.

Scott Thompson cur­rent­ly teach­es musi­cal the­atre and tap dance at Steps on Broadway. He is simul­ta­ne­ous­ly work­ing on a New York work­shop pro­duc­tion of a BRAND new musi­cal called One For My Baby, which he co-wrote.

See his past work at www​.scott​thomp​sonon​line​.com.

College Auditions: Kat Schober

For this series we have asked for­mer campers to share some­thing about their expe­ri­ences audi­tion­ing for schools. If you have a sto­ry you’d like to share, let us know.

I audi­tioned in Chicago and the city was a per­fect atmos­phere for what was to come. Every moment was tak­en in and cher­ished, as it should have been. I wish I had done so with the actu­al audi­tions though, it all went by so fast. Another thing to keep in mind is focus­ing your ener­gy cor­rect­ly. I was in a new and excit­ing place, doing new and excit­ing things and that gave me a feel­ing like no oth­er; chan­nel­ing that feel­ing in to your audi­tions is some­thing I would strong­ly sug­gest.
I felt very good about my prepa­ra­tion for the actu­al audi­tions and my only mishaps stemmed from ner­vous­ness and lack of con­fi­dence. The one regret I have is not audi­tion­ing for more schools and no doing a sin­gle walk-in audi­tion.
Overall, audi­tion­ing at Unifieds was a great deci­sion and a great mark­er to have in my life and refer back to when nec­es­sary to remind myself why I do this in the first place.
–Kat Schober
(pho­to cour­tesy of Kat’s Facebook pro­file)

What's up with Christian Fleming?

One of TAP’s bright stars has been Christian Fleming. We were so lucky to have this guy join us for TAP and am thrilled to have news of his jour­neys in col­lege. Here’s a note from him:

After my time at TAP camp, I con­tin­ued doing as much as I could, soak­ing up every­thing, hap­py to be doing some­thing I love. My focus has always been Directing and Musical Theatre. It came time for me to audi­tion for col­lege. I audi­tioned at sev­er­al schools and had to make the deci­sion between my top two choic­es: Carnegie Mellon and NYU. I decid­ed that Carnegie Mellon was the place for me. It is incred­i­ble.
Last sum­mer, I was hired by the Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera as the assis­tant direc­tor for their sum­mer sea­son, where I assist­ed the direc­tors on Oliver!, Miss Saigon (which then went on to tour Canada), Curtains, The Producers, Hairspray, and The Student Prince. It was a busy and thrilling sum­mer.
Currently, as a junior in the under­grad­u­ate direct­ing pro­gram at CMU, I had the oppor­tu­ni­ty and was select­ed to spend the sec­ond semes­ter “abroad” in New York City. I was hired by the Vineyard Theatre as part of their lit­er­ary staff and I am work­ing at Michael Wilson’s assis­tant on Christopher Shinn’s new play, Picked. I am very excit­ed to be a senior next year. I can­not believe that I will grad­u­ate soon and begin the next step of my career as a direc­tor. I will be direct­ing a re-imag­in­ing of Hair in CMU’s sea­son next year.
I think that my expe­ri­ence at TAP camp was real­ly ben­e­fi­cial for me. Coming to Austin to do what I love with a group of like-mind­ed kids my age guid­ed by expe­ri­enced teach­ers allowed for a sum­mer what was both fun and edu­ca­tion­al. I knew after TAP camp that I was going to do the­atre for the rest of my life and I am so hap­py with that deci­sion!

College Auditions: Zach Teague

For this series we have asked for­mer campers to share some­thing about their expe­ri­ences audi­tion­ing for schools. If you have a sto­ry you’d like to share, let us know.

AHHH YES. The “dread­ed” col­lege audi­tions.

But, com­ing to TAP strips you of this fear. Going into the process I was com­plete­ly naïve! At TAP you will become so com­fort­able with the audi­tion process even if it was actu­al­ly quite scary before. Of course, you are ner­vous, but you are sooooo pre­pared.

At TAP we were told how to sched­ule audi­tions, how to impress the audi­tion pan­el, what to say…what NOT to say.…so on and so forth. It’s actu­al­ly freak­ing me out a bit…“Where would I be if I hadn’t went to TAP camp?” I would not be sure of myself. That’s what TAP does, instills con­fi­dence into you, that you did not have before. What’s also amaz­ing is that the fac­ul­ty won’t give up on you. THEY WILL LITERALLY DIG INTO YOUR SOUL TO HELP YOU FIND THAT CHARACTER.…that love for the song.…the hip move­ment for the dance! I’ve now been accept­ed to Elon, Otterbein, NYU, Roosevelt and Emerson for Music Theatre. (Waitlisted to Carnegie Mellon and CCM. OH WELL)

Thanks to this amaz­ing camp…I wouldn’t have sur­vived with­out Ginger, David, Michael, Travis, Alan, Aaron or any of the oth­er fac­ul­ty.

Oh and they let you know.…denies are not the end of the world. It just means you’re meant to be some­where else. TAP Camp Summer of 2010 will live on for­ev­er in my mem­o­ry ! 🙂

–Zach Teague
(pho­to cour­tesy of Zach’s Facebook pro­file)

135 Questions with... Claire Augustine

Every so often we will bom­bard for­mer camper, fac­ul­ty or staff mem­bers with our pile of 135 ques­tions. We’ll edit down their respons­es and post them here, pick­ing the best answers. We like to check in with each oth­er every so often and thought you’d enjoy it as well. (btw, wan­na make it 136? Let us know if you wan­na add some ques­tions and we’ll see what we can do…)

What is your full name?
Claire Elizabeth Augustine

What was the open­ing num­ber of your first TAP show­case?
Heart and Music

What is one place you would love to vis­it right now?
Paris, France

Which cof­fee fla­vor are you?
Cinnamon Dolce

Recommend a book/​play/​musical/​poem/​movie that has changed your life.
Book: The Artist’s Way by Julie Cameron
Play: Eurydice by Sarah Ruhl
Poem: “Us” by Anne Sexton
Movie: Harold and Maude

Do you know any­one famous?
I feel I know peo­ple who grew up to be kind of famous, like Nathan Parsons who’s now on General Hospital. Devyn Ray just starred in an inde­pen­dent movie, Blacktino, that just pre­miered at the SXSW Film Festival. That kind of thing keeps hap­pen­ing. They were right when we were train­ing at places like TAP Camp. So many of my teach­ers told me that we would be the future gen­er­a­tion of the art com­mu­ni­ty. You don’t real­ly believe that as a kid, but as you get old­er, that real­ly comes true.

What’s your favorite col­or?

If you could meet any liv­ing per­son, who would it be?
Probably Twyla Tharp, because she’s so seri­ous about her art.

What’s the last piece of live per­for­mance you attend­ed as an audi­ence mem­ber?
The Merce Cunningham Company when it stopped in Austin. I was going to school in Columbus, Ohio, where the Legacy Tour start­ed. I couldn’t believe it when I heard that they were stop­ping in Austin. Now I’m deter­mined to see the last per­for­mance in New York at New Years. Tickets are only $10!

What was your favorite TAP activ­i­ty?
This may sound weird, but the one after­noon we had all the staff sit and answer ques­tions from the campers. I love hear­ing people’s back­sto­ries and I was so incred­i­bly curi­ous how artists became artists as a kid. Back then I thought there was a set path to suc­cess, but now I know that’s real­ly not true. But I real­ly tried hard to get it out of peo­ple when I was younger.

What’s the fur­thest you’ve ever trav­eled?

Are you stub­born?
Oh yes.

What project are you work­ing on cur­rent­ly?
About to per­form Transitional Spaces III for Ellen Bartel at the New Works Festival at UT, and in May will be in Ariel Dance Theatre’s The Grand Theory of Everything Between. Very excit­ed about both of these shows!

Where did you go to col­lege?
Otterbein College (now named Otterbein University) in Westerville, Ohio. I got two BAs, English (Creative Writing) and Choreography.