Stars are Born in the Desert!

Coachella Valley Repertory Offers Creative Opportunities

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Local performer and recording artist Mara Getz offers an eight-week vocal training series through Coachella Valley Repertory.
CREDIT: Coachella Valley Repertory

Ever dreamed of being on stage? Are you an American Idol wanna-be? Coachella Valley Repertory is holding auditions for the entertainment portion of A Desert Hoedown, an annual fundraiser benefiting the AIDS Assistance Program and Coachella Valley Repertory. The production involves a short musical revue directed and staged by Ron Celona, with musical direction by Paul Cracchiolo.

Celona and Cracchiolo are seeking local singers between the ages of 18 and above with a country-western flavor. Auditions will be held Oct. 1 from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. at the Coachella Valley Repertory Theater, located at the Atrium, 69930 Hwy. 111, Ste. 116 in Rancho Mirage. Please prepare an appropriate song including sheet music in your key. An accompanist will be provided.

Honing your vocal skills is imperative before you hit the stage. Beginning Oct. 8, longtime desert entertainer and recoding artist Mara Getz  (In Your Eyes) will conduct an introductory vocal building class for men and women (16 years of age and above).  During the eight-week class, which takes place Mondays from 6-7 p.m., Getz will teach techniques, such as “Drop Your Jaw,” designed to improve your tone and voice by building up your vocal cords.

The Drop Your Jaw is a vocal workout, not unlike training your body at the gym. . Vocal cords crave and thrive on proper building techniques and consistent training to attain peak performance levels. This technique stretches the whole range of tones in singing and speaking, thereby reaching all the muscles in your face and throat. This workshop is limited to 10 people and concludes Nov. 21. (Cost is $144 or $120 if you sign up prior to Sept. 30.)

A Fundamentals of Improv class taught by Andy Harmon takes place Oct. 15-16 from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. (Cost is $150 or $120 if you sign up prior to Oct. 9.) This weekend workshop will address the fundamentals: the root skills that improv shares with the art of acting in any form or medium. These skills provide the basis for the concentration and confidence that every actor needs to tap their creativity and meet the unknown. Good improvisation comes from performers whose skills allow them to simply play the truth of the situation, and let “the funny” take care of itself.

In this workshop, you will explore the following basic skills.
1. How to be present in the here and now and not embroiled in your thoughts about the past, or what you're going to do next.
2. How to be aware of what's happening within and around you, so that you can integrate your own creative contribution into that of the group.
3. How to connect and communicate, bringing to life the essential elements of theater: Where you are, who you are, and what you're doing to create a firm foundation for the scene.

Coachella Valley Repertory (CV REP) is a non-profit educational, dramatic, and musical theater organization which seeks to present innovative professional productions and outreach programs that enrich, enhance and impact the quality of life for residents and visitors in the Coachella Valley. For more information on auditions or to register for classes call Coachella Valley Repertory Conservatory (Atrium, 69930 Hwy. 111, Ste. 116 in Rancho Mirage) at 1-760-296-2966 or visit

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