Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Artsranch Press release

Jacob Brent

Brad Simmons

Broadway performer, Director, Choreographer, co-founds "The Ranch" Performing Arts Training Center

San Jose, CA April 11, 2009 -- Mr. Jacob Brent (Mr. Mistoffelees Cats, Broadway, London, film) has announced the opening of a three week summer musical theater training camp in Northern California. Mr. Brent will serve as Artistic Director at the new program, which features Broadway performers as guest teaching artists. Resident Musical Director is Brad Simmons (Broadway vocal coach, composer, and actor in the cult film "Camp"). Mr. Brent and Mr. Simmons have worked with young actors in over 20 theatrical productions, including one of the premier productions of RENT, school edition.

"The Ranch" performing arts training program, held at a working thoroughbred ranch and former summer camp in Northern California, is a three week resident camp for youth performers 12-18 years of age. Using existing barns and ranch structures for training spaces, performers will learn proper vocal technique, dance, and acting method. A variety of additional classes will be offered to round out the core theater curriculum. The program will culminate with a feature length Broadway musical performance.

"The Ranch" inaugural summer session enrollment will be capped at 34 campers, allowing for a personal experience for all performers with a wide range of teaching artists. Co-founding along with Mr. Brent are Heather Lerner and Kathy Martinelli. Ms. Lerner has been the marketing associate with Children's Musical Theater San Jose since 2007, and is a 20 year summer camp veteran with a variety of private and non-profit camps. Ms. Martinelli holds a certificate in Association Management as well as a BS in arts education, and is an instructor with Community School of Music and Art in Mountain View. Ms. Lerner and Ms. Martinelli will serve as CEO and CFO respectively.

Mr. Brent says, "A three week resident program enables student performers to fully engage, to let go, to truly participate at the deepest level, to take risks and reap rewards. It's no coincidence that cell phones don't work at the camp. Skimming the surface and 'buffet-style' sample training isn't what The Ranch is about. We want much more than that for our student campers. Creativity takes courage and commitment."

The inaugural summer session dates for The Ranch Performing Arts Training Center will be July 13-August 2, 2009. To sign up, visit For further questions, call The Ranch's off-season office at 408-244-9370 or visit the website.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Candide [May 8th - 17th]

Hey everyone - I'm out in San Jose right now directing a production of Candide. It's going to be fantastic and I'm super excited about it. We are having such a fun time in rehearsals we thought we would share it with you. If you're in the area we would love to have you come and see us.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Boys from Syracuse

Ok, before all of you write to me and tell me how wonderful Boys from Syracuse is. I looked it up. The Boys from Syracuse is a musical with music by Richard Rodgers and lyrics by Lorenz Hart, based on William Shakespeare's play, The Comedy of Errors, as adapted by librettist George Abbott. The score includes swing and other contemporary rhythms of the 1930s. The show was the first musical based on a Shakespeare play. There are actually two sort of hit songs from that show, Falling In Love With Love and This Can't Be Love.

There you are, I told you so.

This is an original dong written by Jodi and composed by Brad Simmons.

Broadway Legend

Last night I went to the Laurie Beechman Theater to hear one of my former campers perform. It got me thinking of Laurie again and I feel so lucky to have performed with her. She was truly amazing and a broadway legend! None of you would be belting if it wasn't for her. She paved the road - there was no road before her. Watch/study these clips! To find out more go to


Monday, December 22, 2008

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Being Billy

Hey everyone - Wow! It's been a while since I've posted anything. Life is good and I have so much to catch you up on. In the meantime take a look a me finding Billy Eilliot.