FRAMINGHAM – Earlier this month, the Fine and Performing Arts Department of Framingham Public Schools announced a new celebrity series of live workshops and Q&As with professionals in the arts industry.
This began as an effort to create more excitement in a time of remote teaching and learning, as well as to inspire students to think about various arts-related careers.
All art students and teachers have been invited to attend these live weekly workshops.
The series began on May 11 and is now scheduled through the rest of the school year. With increased interest and participation, these events will also be made available to the larger community.
The first session was a Hairspray Master Class with Judine Somerville. Ms. Somerville was part of the original cast and singing trio sensation The Dynamites, in the Tony Award-winning musical Hairspray, and reprised her role on NBC’s live telecast.
The second session featured voice-over Actor Jeff Johnson. Originally from Southboro, Jeff Johnson has made a career as an actor since the late 90s. Before breaking into film and television, he was a Theatre Major at the University Of Massachusetts and played in the rock & roll cover band NSC. He has a long list of film roles and television appearances on shows such as Bones, Criminal Minds, NCIS, Burn Notice, CSI, and more. Over the years, he’s become an accomplished voiceover artist in commercials, industrials, narration, video games, and the like. Most notably, Mr. Johnson has been the voice of TMobile since 2012. “Captain Black”, his debut as a feature film writer/director was featured in 11 film festivals world wide, earning awards for Best Actor, Best Film & Best Direction. CLICK HERE to watch the video of his Live Session.
The third session in the Celebrity Series takes place this Thursday, May 28 at 3 p.m.and will feature a casting director and an actor in a double feature!
Morgan Redfield Smith is an Framingham High graduate who is currently working in LA as a casting director. She worked for many years casting Shonda Rhimes shows like Scandal & How to Get Away With Murder. She is currently working for HBO. She is happy to answer any questions regarding TV casting & HBO casting.
Brian Thomas Smith is an actor who is probably best known for his recurring role as Zack on the Big Bang Theory. Brian Thomas Smith provided this reel showcasing his role as Zack on Big Bang Theory. He’s also appeared on The Amazing Race, Fear Factor, & Two and a half Men, as well as in many commercials, films, and shorts.
Anyone interested in tuning in to the Live Event, please do so HERE.
“Remote learning has become an opportunity to bring our school arts programs and the professional community together like never before,” said Donna Wresinski, Director of Fine and Performing Arts for Framingham Public Schools. “It’s been incredible to work with the dedicated arts staff and professionals in the industry who are willing to share their stories and experiences with us and our students. We’re happy to see the interest and participation grow each week and we are excited to bring this to the larger community.”
The schedule for additional Celebrity Series workshops are included below. When the links become available, they will be posted to the Fine and Performing Arts Department website.
- Monday, June 1st – Shafiq Hicks: The 20th anniversary of Rent was his first tour, where he played Tom Collins.
- Monday, June 8th – Emily Skeggs: Emily Skeggs is an American stage and screen actress best known for her Tony-nominated performance as Medium Alison in the 2015 Broadway production of Fun Home.
- Monday, June 15th – Ken Arpino: Ken Arpino is an actor, writer, and producer who wrote and co-starred in “Ruben and Clay’s… Christmas Show” at the Imperial Theatre on Broadway.