Broadway director to speak on career experiences tonight

Jenna Gerling

A little piece of Broadway will be visiting Kent State tonight.

Broadway music director Jeffrey Saver will be speaking about his experiences with Broadway professionals and his Broadway career.

In addition to being music director for Broadway musical “Chicago,” Saver has been the pianist for Broadway productions “The Phantom of the Opera,” “Crazy for You” and “Guys and Dolls.”

“I think he could give good advice for people who are looking to be professional performers or musicians,” Crawford said. “He will be able to share the artistic part of the profession and the business part, too.

“I think people not in the arts will still get an idea of how someone has to be an entrepreneur in that kind of work because there’s also the business aspect of it, and how you build a career out of it.”

Saver originally considered teaching a masters class at Kent State, but instead got the chance to be a lecturer for the Thomas Schroth Visiting Artist Series.

“(Saver) will be talking about his career … what it is like to work with these big names like John Kander, Fred Ebb, Stephen Sondheim … and advice for students for anybody looking toward the profession,” Crawford said. “And then he’s going to do some workshops with musical theater students which are open to anybody; students can observe that (master’s class), and they’ll be able to hear the feedback he gives them and be a benefit for them because they’ll see him as a teacher.

“Students will be able to get an idea of what producers and directors are looking for when they audition, when they’re getting ready to hire people and what kind of things they pay attention to, listen to and respond to.”

Terri Kent, professor of acting and musical theater, said in addition to the layers of information Saver will be providing, he will be able to show students his life outside of his professional career.

“This is a man who is into theater, who is married, who has two small children, who is making a living . and maintaining his artistic integrity,” Kent said. “I think that our students tend to think that if they are in the business that they can’t have a life and that’s just not true.”

Saver’s visit is part of the Thomas Schroth Visiting Artist Series, which has presented a wide range of composers, artists, designers, architects and directors since its establishment in 2000.

Alumni David “Max” and Cecile “Cil” Draime, who choose the visiting lecturers for the series, donated a $1 million endowment to the arts in memory of their close friend and professional architect, Thomas Schroth.

“They wanted to honor his memory by making this endowment to benefit architecture and the arts,” said John Crawford, interim associate dean of the College of the Arts and facilitator of the Thomas Schroth Visiting Artist Series. “The schools within our college and architecture as well have had guests come in.”

Contact performing arts reporter Jenna Gerling at [email protected].


Where: E. Turner Stump Theatre

When: Tonight, 7 p.m.