Alisa BelflowerSenior Lecturer; Coord. Music Theatre; Voice & Acting Faculty
Area of Focus: Performance / Directing, Theatre, Voice
- Coordinator of Musical Theatre Studies in the Hixson-Lied College of Fine & Performing Arts
- Voice Faculty in the Glenn Korff School of Music
- Acting Faculty in the Johnny Carson School of Theatre & Film
- Associate Producer in Musical Theatre Development with the Lied Center for Performing Arts
Alisa Belflower joined both the Johnny Carson School of Theatre & Film’s acting/directing faculty and the Glenn Korff School of Music’s voice faculty at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln in 2000. At UNL, she designs and teaches courses integral to musical theatre training and stage performance. She teaches a studio of both classical and musical theatre voice students and serves in the varied roles of Musical Director, Coach, or Director for UNL's productions. In addition to her teaching, Alisa is the Coordinator of Musical Theatre Studies in the Hixson-Lied College of Fine & Performing Arts and an Associate Producer in Musical Theatre Development with the Lied Center for Performing Arts.
Alisa earned a Masters degree and completed doctoral course work at the University of South Carolina. From Furman University, she holds a Bachelor of Music and a Bachleor of Arts in French. Following her undergraduate degrees, she was an opera apprentice to Mme Joan Van Praag in Paris, France, where she also studied theatre.
Successfully developing new programs in Musical Theatre Training at Miami University of Ohio, Towson University in Baltimore, and now at UNL has led her to develop an approach in training healthy voices that allows classically-based singing techniques to coexist with theatre's innovative voice/body techniques. Her pedagogical approach is driven by the goal to train voices flexible enough and singers knowledgeable enough to embrace various musical styles ranging from opera to jazz. Her philosophic reverence for the creative and artistic potential of Musical Theatre generates her belief that almost any song can be transformed into art by a well-trained actor/singer's ingenious performance. These ideas motivated Alisa to write her book, SINGING MUSICAL THEATRE: AN ACTOR'S GUIDE TO PREPARATION AND PERFORMANCE.
Alisa has musically directed, coached, and/or directed over 100 productions. Locally, she is the writer and director of UNL's Celebration of American Song Series founded in 2004. At the Lied Center for Performing Arts, she develops and directs new musicals as well as directing in the Midwest ASCAP Musical Theatre Workshop. Internationally, she has presented workshops and master classes in vocal performance and guest lectures on Musical Theatre's diverse literature. Alisa serves as editor and executive board member in West Central region of the National Association of the Teachers of Singing (NATS). In the National Opera Association (NOA), she is the current West Central regional governor. She serves as a respondent to musical productions entered in the Kennedy Center's American College Theatre Festival (KCACTF). She is also active in the National Alliance for Musical Theatre (NAMT) and the Educational Theatre Association.
Alisa is a passionate advocate for little-known musical theatre repertoire, both older and newer. She created www.musicaltheatrearts.com, the first multimedia encyclopedia of contemporary musical theatre composers on the internet. Her research in contemporary Musical Theatre has led to artistic exchanges with award-winning composers, as well as emerging younger composers. For over a decade under Alisa's direction, UNL's students have performed developmental premieres of new musicals with composers, lyricists, and bookwriters in residence as guest artists at UNL. Currently, all musicals developed at UNL have received equity productions and/or further development at prominent national and regional theatre companies. Alisa directed Mary Zimmerman's new adaptation of Leonard Bernstein's CANDIDE in it's first performance with full orchestra. This production won the NOA’s national opera production competition. For more, visit http://arts.unl.edu/hlfpa/candide
Alisa's students have won awards for both classical and musical theatre performances including honors won in the Metropolitan Opera Council Auditions, Hal Leonard’s North American Vocal Competition, the Kennedy Center’s American College Theatre Festival, and other prominent competitions. In the 2014 NATS National Student Auditions in Boston, her studio established three records: the most national finalists, the most students chosen as national finalists in both classical and musical theatre divisions, and the most awards won in the collegiate divisions. Her former students are widely spread—some working professionally in theatre in London, New York, Washington D.C., Chicago, and on the West Coast as well as some who find satisfaction in singing as an avocation. Alisa has taught and performed in South Carolina, New York, England, France, Ohio, Maryland, and now the Midwest.