Druid Academy masterclass with Broadway producer Jack Viertel
A Druid Academy masterclass with American theatre producer Jack Viertel at University of Galway
23 November 2022
Last Friday, students at the Druid Academy at University of Galway attended a masterclass with acclaimed American theatre producer Jack Viertel.
Hosted by Dr Máiréad Ní Chróinín (Druid Artist in Residence at University of Galway), the masterclass gave students a unique insight into the American theatre industry, art and business of Broadway, and the dramaturgical structure of the stage musical.
The Druid Academy forms a key component of the 10-year academic partnership between Druid and University of Galway. This masterclass is an example of this partnership in action, affording University of Galway students unrivalled access to world-class knowledge and experience.
The masterclass with Jack Viertel took place as part of The Stars and Stripes Shaded Green, Druid's Irish American play reading series, for which Jack was Guest Dramaturg. To conclude the series, Druid hosted a panel discussion featuring Garry Hynes and Jack Viertel, chaired by Patrick Lonergan, Professor of Drama and Theatre Studies at University of Galway.
Jack Viertel, Senior Vice-President of Broadway’s Jujamcyn Theaters, also served as the company’s Creative Director beginning in 1987, in charge of developing projects for the company’s Broadway theatres, including five of August Wilson’s ten–play ‘Century Cycle’, M. Butterfly, Angels In America, Grand Hotel, City of Angels and Proof. He produced the Patti Lupone revival of Gypsy, and conceived the long running Smokey Joe’s Café and the critically acclaimed After Midnight. He served as the dramaturg for Hairspray and Dear Evan Hansen. The musical and movie The Prom were developed from his original concept. From 2000 to 2020, he served as Artistic Director of the Tony-honoured Encores! series, presenting 65 Broadway musical revivals. He is the author of the New York Times bestseller The Secret Life of the American Musical and got his professional start playing National steel-bodied guitar behind Bonnie Raitt, Son House, and The Pointer Sisters. His relationship with Druid and Garry Hynes began with the Broadway transfer of The Beauty Queen of Leenane, and includes the play 16 Wounded and the musicals 1776 and Juno, Marc Blitzstein’s adaptation of Juno and the Paycock.
Image: Dr Máiréad Ní Chróinín and Jack Viertel, photo by Emilija Jefremova