'Blue Man Group' thrills students at local school

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Students at a local school got a special lesson away from the classroom this week.

The Artist Series' Broadway Brochure season is currently presenting Blue Man Group at the Times-Union Center in downtown Jacksonville.

Performances run through Sunday, but three of the people you can see on stage took time out of their busy schedule Wednesday.

They visited LaVilla School of the Performing Arts to lead a workshop for dozens of middle and high school students.

The workshop lasted more than an hour inside the school's theater, and consisted of several live demonstrations from the show.

Students learned how the performers communicate with each other non-verbally, what inspired them to get into the performing arts and how the show comes together using no sheet music.

A video time lapse was also played that revealed how a performer gets into full costume.

Blue Man Group is a high-octane performance that relies on music, technology and comedy. And, as the name might suggest, the performers' heads are completely covered in shiny blue paint.

Self-proclaimed 'blue man' Brian Tavener said his hope for the students is they will realize there's more to the performing arts than what meets the eye.

"I think there's something else there. I think there's some kind of joy and inspiration and liveliness inside the actual art, passion for the art that matters most," he told First Coast News.

Junior Spencer Shack is one of two lucky students who got to get up on stage during the workshop and play the drums with the group.

Afterward, he told First Coast News he was slightly nervous, but walked away learning a lot about the experience.

"One of the best things the Blue Man Group said was passion is such a big thing. And you should have goals, but as long as you're passionate about whatever you're doing and you keep striving toward it, that's what's most important," he said.

Tavener added visiting schools while traveling with the show is something he especially enjoys.

He said it was impressive to see a public school district offer a school like LaVilla that focuses entirely on performing arts.

You can find out more about the Blue Man Group and future shows in Jacksonville here.


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