Broadway composer Jason Robert Brown to perform, give lecture

Jason Robert Brown will perform in concert on Feb. 25 at the Victoria Theatre and discuss his work with Wright State on Feb. 26 in the Creative Arts Center.

Jason Robert Brown will perform in concert on Feb. 25 at the Victoria Theatre and discuss his work with Wright State on Feb. 26 in the Creative Arts Center.

Tony Award-winning composer and lyricist Jason Robert Brown will perform in concert and speak to Wright State University students during a two-day visit to Dayton.

Brown, who won a Tony for Best Original Musical Score in 1999 for “Parade,” will perform in an intimate concert on Thursday, Feb. 25, at 8 p.m. at the Victoria Theatre in downtown Dayton.

Tickets can be purchased at 937-228-3630 or at Brown’s concert is co-presented with The Victoria Theatre Association.

The concert is a unique opportunity to see the famous performer up close since audience members will be on stage with Brown.

“You’re never going to have a more up-close, intimate, personal experience with an artist the way you will here,” said Joe Deer, distinguished professor of musical theatre and director of the Musical Theatre Initiative at Wright State.

On Friday, Feb. 26, Brown will visit Wright State to give a lecture and discuss his work with students at 10 a.m. in the Herbst Theatre in the Creative Arts Center.

Brown will also participate in a Q&A session, hosted by Deer, at 1 p.m. in the Herbst Theatre.

Brown’s lecture and interview at Wright State are free and open to the public. Members of the public are asked to RSVP by contacting

“For anybody who’s interested in the state of the musical theatre art or what’s happening in contemporary culture and art, this is a great opportunity,” Deer said.

Brown’s visit is an invaluable experience with “one of the very best people in the art form,” Deer said.

“It’ll be a chance for us to understand how his personality finds its way into his work, what his ideas about technique and theory are,” Deer said. “It’s always interesting to see how an artist is conscious of his technique or how much it’s unconscious for them.”

Brown’s concert and visit are part of the Musical Theatre Initiative’s Musicals Rock series, a celebration of contemporary musical theatre.

The Musical Theatre Initiative is an international center at Wright State that celebrates and explores the history, culture and craft of the musical theatre through workshops, conferences and performances.

Brown previously visited Wright State to work on the university’s premier of “Parade” in September 2001.

His work has been heard all over the world, whether in one of the hundreds of productions of his musicals every year or in his own live performances.

Deer described Brown as an “equally skilled composer, lyricist, conductor, arranger, orchestrator, musical director and performer — best known for his dazzling scores to several of the most renowned musicals of his generation.” Those include the recent Broadway productions of “Honeymoon in Vegas,” “13” and “The Bridges of Madison County,” the film “The Last Five Years” and his debut song cycle “Songs for a New World.” Brown’s next Broadway production will be a musical adaptation of “King Kong.”

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