Stage It! DIY Musical Revue is Indian Hill’s unique two-week summer musical theater experience for young singer-actors ages 8 – 15. Learn more about our directors, Susan Bonito and Rob Woodin, IHM voice instructors with extensive experience in musical theater and opera stage performance and production. Read their bios.
What singing style(s) do you teach?
Sue: Classical, opera, musical theater, pop, rock, folk, singer-songwriter, jazz, and contemporary commercial music.
Rob: All styles of vocal music, primarily classical/opera/art song, jazz, pop/rock, folk, and musical theatre.
What are your favorite musical roles to perform?
Sue: Although I have done a few Operatic Roles, such as Lina (Stiffelio), Fiordiligi (Cosi fan Tutti) Belinda (Dido and Aneas), and Suor Angelica, I prefer singing solos in large choral works with orchestra like The Verdi Requiem, Mozart Requiem, Great Mass in C, and Bach’s Mass in B minor. I also love The Four Last Songs by R. Strauss and Knoxville, Summer of 1915 by Copeland.
Rob: Papageno from The Magic Flute, The Count from The Marriage of Figaro, Mercutio from Romeo and Juliette, and Marcello/Schaunard from La Boheme
Sue: I started out as a saxophonist. When I applied to USC as a double major, they told me I would not have time to study both sax and voice there, and that I should pick one or the other. I was more drawn to classical music and there was a lot more repertoire for voice than for saxophone. So, I chose voice, even though, at time, I was much more accomplished on saxophone.
Rob: My first voice teacher, Jim Pitka, had performed operas in Europe and was a big inspiration. My parents are both musicians/actors as well and provided a great supportive, guiding base to follow in their footsteps.
Sue: I have been teaching at Indian Hill for almost 15 years. There are so many things I enjoy about teaching at Indian Hill: being part of an incredibly talented group of people, having the opportunity to both teach and perform, helping my students achieve their musical goals, collaborating with other musicians, and creating curriculum are all high on my list.
Rob: About eight years. Indian Hill offers lots of recitals and performance opportunities for my students — I love cheering them on, and seeing the fruits of our labors.
What do you hope to do in Stage It! this summer? What can students gain from this experience?
Sue: I hope to give students the tools, confidence, and opportunity to explore and realize their own gifts and talents through the process of creating a show together. Not only will they have the opportunity to hone traditional musical theater skills like singing, dancing, and acting, but they will also have opportunities to collaborate with others to determine the story line, write their own dialog, develop their character, and design their own costumes. They may also hone life skills such as planning, organizing, marketing, and team building.
Rob: I hope that students unlock their potential in all aspects of the theatre, be it writing, design, singing, acting, or dancing! Stage It! is a valuable experience because we produce something new together, from our own creative minds.
What do you like to do when you’re not teaching or performing?
Sue: I like to garden, write, compose, paint, sew, cook and read. I also like to design and build things.
Rob: Watch the Patriots & Red Sox! Vacation and travel all over European countries, cook, and go out to dinner with my wife, Jenni.