Program Details

Dramawise: The Light in the Piazza

Gary Cadwallader
Drama / Storytelling

Course Description

Explore the excitement of Palm Beach Dramaworks' lyrical and shimmering musical, The Light in the Piazza. In this thought-provoking musical set in 1953, an American tourist and her daughter, Clara, travel to Florence, Italy, where Clara falls in love with Fabrizio. Clara and Fabrizio both live with challenges, and their parents try desperately to dissuade their union. The rich score, written by Adam Guettel, grandson to Richard Rodgers, includes beautiful melodies and clever lyrics. In this interactive lecture, PBD's Gary Cadwallader leads a discussion about the characters, their relationships, the major themes of the play, the source material, and an analysis of the score and lyrics. Interesting multimedia clips supporting the discussion are used to enhance an understanding of the production. Participants receive a copy of the play prior to class, and a comprehensive, informative PBD Dramaguide explicitly written for this production. Participants leave with a deeper understanding of the musical and new insights into societal views of differently-abled persons.

About the Instructor

  • Founded in 2000, Palm Beach Dramaworks is a professional theatre company with a mission to engage and entertain audiences with provocative and timeless productions that personally impact each individual. They are dedicated “to enhance the quality of life through the transformative power of live theatre.” Consistent artistic excellence throughout their history places Palm Beach Dramaworks at the forefront of the artistic landscape of Palm Beach County.

    Gary Cadwallader, MFA, is the director of education and community engagement at Palm Beach Dramaworks. As a professional actor, director, and educator, Cadwallader is committed to providing strong, vibrant arts and arts integration opportunities for educators and students to nurture creativity, inspire potential, build confidence, and encourage self-expression. Cadwallader was most recently seen onstage at PBD as Captain Brice in Arcadia and John Adams in 1776 (Carbonell nomination). He maintains a career as an actor and director and has performed across the country at theatres such as Wisdom Bridge Theatre in Chicago, ZACH Theatre in Austin, Great Lakes Theater in Cleveland, Northern Stage in Vermont, and on the national tour of Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story. On camera, roles include A League of Their Own, The New Untouchables, and Forensics (pilot). He has an MFA from Western Illinois University and is currently the president of the Florida Theatre Conference. He is a proud member of Actors’ Equity Association and the Screen Actors Guild (SAG-AFTRA).

Upcoming programs presented by Gary Cadwallader.

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