The University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance educates the artists, scholars, educators and entrepreneurs of the future. Students are prepared with expert skills, instilled with passionate enthusiasm, and emboldened to challenge and inspire the world through the power of the performing arts.
After spending their summers working for top performing arts organizations, four undergraduates help promote their host organization's performances in Ann Arbor.
SMTD has partnered with the Gershwin family to bring the music of George and Ira Gershwin to students, scholars, performers and audiences across campus and worldwide.
Assistant Professor of Music, Musical Theatre
Ann Evans Watson is an Equity actor and vocal instructor/coach, who specializes in musical theatre literature and the training of professional voices, with experience coast to coast. She has taught master classes for singing actors at many universities across the U.S. and been a master teacher/lecturer and cabaret artist for NATS (National Association of Teachers of Singing) conferences. She developed the curriculum and was the chair of the Musical Theatre Department at Washington Academy of Performing Arts from its inception to 1998, and has participated in the creation of curriculum as well as teaching all music theatre disciplines at the Village Theatre Institute. Evans Watson's students have consistently placed at top universities across the country, and continue to study with her in Seattle and NYC post-graduation. Some of her students include Cheyenne Jackson (All Shook Up, Zanadu, 30 Rock), Megan Hilty (Wicked, 9 to 5, Smash, Tony nominee for Noises Off), Daniel Berryman (The Fantasticks, West Side Story), Solea Pfeiffer (Eliza in Hamilton, Sunday in the Park with George, WSS at the Hollywood Bowl), and Chicago favorite, Eliza Palasz (Spring Awakening, Carousel, October Sky).
As an actor/singer/dancer/cabaret artist, Evans Watson has performed in NYC at Circle in the Square, Lincoln Center, the Cherry Lane, the Duplex, and Don't Tell Mama's. She's also graced the NW stages in such roles as Aldonza in Man of La Mancha, Nettie in Carousel, Kate in Taming of the Shrew, Mother in A New Brain and Mona in Dames at Sea. Critics have called her performances "poignant," "sophisticated," and having "great mastery of technique and depth of emotion."
Evans Watson's online publication, The Belt Book, was the premier resource dedicated to helping singers find and examine belt and belt mix literature for music theatre. She's also published articles on navigating training and the college audition circuit and homeopathic vocal remedies in both the NATS Journal of Singing and several online publications. She has recorded two albums; Chamber Music, and Crossword with her son, music director Evan Zavada.
Evans Watson holds a BA in music and a BFA in theatre from Stephens College, did her post graduate work at Circle in the Square Professional Actor Training Program and studied at the National Theatre Institute at the O'Neill Theatre Center. She is passionate about cross-training and has taught acting and dance as well as directed, choreographed, and produced numerous productions.
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