McPherson Community Theatre hosted a free children’s musical theater workshop Thursday put on by New York musical publishing company Beat By Beat Press.

McPherson Community Theatre hosted a free children’s musical theater workshop Thursday put on by New York musical publishing company Beat By Beat Press.
Denver Casado, who has spent almost a decade as an arts educator with New York’s leading theater organizations, including Disney Theatricals, New York City Center and Young Audiences New York, conducted an interactive workshop.
Casado is the founder of Beat By Beat Press, a new publishing company passionate about distributing original, high-quality musicals to schools and youth theaters worldwide. As a composer, Casado’s original musicals have been produced in more than 10 countries and 28 states.
Children who attended explored how music, lyrics and characters work together to tell a story by creating an original musical from scratch.
After a brief physical warm-up Casado worked with the children to develop characters with a strong, emotional “want,” choose a type of music that conveyed that “want,” then write lyrics to embody the emotion in song.
At the end, the children performed their final result.
McPherson Community Theatre was only one of five theaters across the country to host the workshop as it travels across the country.
“It’s awesome to empower kids with the skills to create their own songs,” Casado said. “They have incredible creativity in them, but to allow them the tools to structure their songs is amazing.”
Cari Myers, whose daughter Jacie attended the workshop as she watched, felt as if she was learning something herself.
“It’s very interesting watching him teach how songs are made,” Myers said, “and see how they add feeling and structure to them.”
McPherson Community Theatre President Shannon Brake pointed out how rare an opportunity this actually was for the children who attended.
“It’s a unique opportunity beyond what they can get in schools and even beyond what we provide,” Brake said. “They learn the entire musical theater process in an entire 90 minute workshop.”
Children that attended the workshop included Hosanna Kroeker, Cora Masar, Megan Eisenbarth, Megan Maltbie, Kendall Brake, Reagan Brake, Kaytlynn Kuder, Josie Strathman, Brynn Talley, Kilynn Starburg, Jacie Myers, Madilynn Allen, Cross Allen, Josh Allen, Hayden Wallace, Claire Adamyk, Trey Grey and Landon Vogts.