INDIVIDUAL - SCAD ID - #410
- • Opera/Musical Theatre
- • Theatre
- • Media Arts
- • Dance
- • Music
- Low Country
Richard H. Blake – Most recently directed the musical True North at The Orlando Repertory Theatre and before that directed A Bronx Tale at The Axelrod Performing Arts Center. The show in which he originated the role on Broadway of Lorenzo, famously portrayed by Robert Deniro in the film. Some of his other Directing and Producing credits include the new musicals “Rise”, “Storytellers”, “Taking Wing”, “Whiskeyland””. He can currently be seen as Charlie McClurgle on the television series The Bite streaming on the Spectrum Network and gangster Jonny O on The Equalizer. Before that he was Aaron on Season 1of Prodigal Son on Fox. He has starred in fifteen Broadway shows including: Jersey Boys, Wicked, Legally Blonde, The Wedding Singer, Hairspray, Aida, Saturday Night Fever, Rent, Matilda, The Sound of Music, Macbeth, Teddy and Alice and “The Prince” in The Prince of Central Park. A role for which he holds the honor of being the youngest person to ever have his name above the title of a Broadway Show. His Film and T.V. credits include: Life of an Actress, Ascent To Hell, Any Day Now, Red light August, Law & Order, Madame Secretary, Blue Bloods, HBO’s High Maintenance, Instinct, Dietland, Kevin Can Wait, Elementary, All My Children, The Babysitter’s Club, Toonces and Friends and more. As well as numerous Off Broadway, Commercial and Radio credits.
Creativity/ Teaching Philosophy Statement These days my creative work outside of the classroom is centered around the writing, directing, and producing of original musicals. I have produced and directed several musicals and plays in the past and I’m currently working, in different capacities from writing and directing to producing, on three original projects, in various stages of development. I have also written, directed and produced my one-man show: 15 And Counting: The Music Of My Life; a journey through my career from child star to Broadway journeyman, highlighting the ups and downs on the long and challenging road it took to get where I am today. This show was a labor of love, and I’ve been fortunate to have performed it at theaters nationally and internationally.
As a teacher, I am both participant and witness. I let my students know that their progress is being noticed and appreciated. I ask them questions, offer them tools, and give them space and time within which to make connections. I believe that the study of theater is a lifelong endeavor, and that anyone can make immense progress over time. It is true of any course of study that students will inevitably become better through hard work. Thus, I acknowledge strong work ethics and offer specific, non-judgmental feedback. Acting requires discipline, regular voice and movement work, self-reflection and self-understanding, careful study of the text, a grasp of the needs and desires of the character, deep listening, relaxed breath, attentiveness to detail, and trust in oneself and others. Through the study of acting, students grow into themselves. They learn to take up space, harness time, speak without apology, and offer up their vulnerabilities in safe and channelled ways. These qualities and benefits exist across methodologies, and I draw on and connect many of them in my teaching. My work is rooted in the Uta Hagen method but it encompasses a variety of techniques, including the “viewpoints” of Anne Bogart, techniques of Stella Adler and the vocal mechanisms of Joan Lader.
In courses on directing or devised work, I focus on the arts of observation, communication, and collaboration. I teach students to do research on the piece or source material, learn thoughtful habits of collaboration with both performers and designers, explore beat demarcation and character objectives, and develop a core concept (“matrix”) that can be integrally applied to all aspects of production.
In my teaching of any subject, whether acting or directing or dramatic literature, I always recognize, celebrate, and include in the core of the class the collaborative nature of theater, where writers, actors, directors, designers, dramaturges, and historians come together to create unique pieces of theater for diverse audiences.