Carroll University’s associate professor of theatre arts, James Zager, is the choreographer for Skylight Music Theatre’s production of The Tales of Hoffman. The show is in collaboration with the Milwaukee Opera Theatre and features a new version of Jacques Offenbach’s opera sung in English.
It is Zager’s job as choreographer to set all of the movement for the piece. In this case, it’s a highly stylized world of the macabre, so all of the dance and musical staging is accompanied with odd body positions and heightened acting.
At Carroll, Zager teaches courses such as Introduction to Theatre Arts and Theatre Participation, as well as various workshop and practicum courses. This semester he is teaching a Theatre Dance course where students are examining and learning several transformative dance styles and pieces throughout the decades.
“As actors, we say as much with our bodies as we do with our text and so the study of movement and dance styles is vital to good performance training at any level,” said Zager. “When working with professionals, I can always tell which performers have had movement work in the past and which have not.”
Tickets for The Tales of Hoffman are still available for performances this week at Skylight Music Theatre. Check out a review of the show from TimeOut.
Learn more about the Theatre Arts major and minor at Carroll University.
Photo credit: Professor James Zager