Expanding their dance horizons
Published 12:00 am, Friday, September 4, 2015
One is off soon to Russia; the other to the Great White Way.
Wildly varying destinations they are, for sure, but for a common cause.
Scott Wise and Elizabeth Parkinson will be doing what they do best this fall, sharing their love for dance and musical theater.
The husband-wife team, residents of Sherman, are best known in the Greater New Milford area as owners of and lead instructors at the FineLine Theater Arts school on Railroad Street in the New Milford village center.
They’ll be back together again at FineLine in the near future; first, their paths must diverge in their quest to broaden their reach as talented purveyors of dance.
Wise will be making his return to the Broadway stage for the first time in more than a decade as a lead in the new musical, “Allegiance.”
The show co-stars Tony Award-winning Lea Salonga of “Miss Saigon” and “Les Miserables” fame, as well as Telly Leung and George Takei, formerly of the TV show, “Star Trek,” whose life inspired the play.
“Scott is very excited to return to Broadway after 10 years away,” Parkinson said.
Wise’s Broadway career dates to his debut in “A Chorus Line” in 1982 and has been highlighted by Tony nominations as Best Featured Actor in a Musical for “Jerome Robbins’ Broadway,” for which he won the award in 1989, and for “State Fair” in 1996 and “Fosse” in 1999.
A reflection of his prominence in the Broadway theater community was an invitation to perform June 1 during a New York City tribute to stage legend Joel Grey.
Parkinson, too, has been nominated as a dancer for a Tony Award and both she and her husband have earned the esteemed Astaire Award for their excellence in dance on the Broadway stage.
Wise has been in rehearsal recently for “Allegiance,” which is scheduled to open in early October.
His wife, Parkinson, is meanwhile tying loose ends in preparation for a trip to Russia, where she will represent American musical theatre and Broadway as a cultural attache from the United States Embassy.
Wise was also chosen to go on the Russian trip with Parkinson, but had to bow out because of his Broadway commitment. The couple was selected by the State Department for a series of cultural exchanges.
Parkinson will travel to various schools and universities, conducting workshops in theater dance, acting, vocal performance and musical theater repertory, much as she does at their a conservatory-style performing arts school in New Milford.
She will be accompanied on her trip to Russia by FineLine guest vocal performance teacher Michael Lavine.
“We will be teaching musical theatre workshops to all levels of students ... from young to adult,” she explained. “We are there as ambassadors.”
“I am looking forward to meeting Russian people and sharing our culture and views with them,” Parkinson added. “I think travel is the one and only way to truly understand a culture.”
When Wise and Parkinson make their respective returns to town, they’ll undoubtedly be busy trying to catch up at FineLine.
“We have been in New Milford now for 10 years,” said Parkinson, “and have built a wonderful staff of teachers and administrators at FineLine, so now Scott is free to return to the stage when and if the opportunities arise.
“We are so grateful to have an amazing faculty,” she said, “that we can be proud of and trust completely to maintain our vision and integrity.”
The school offers students a comprehensive education in the artistic discipline(s) of their choice. The FineLine faculty of teaching artists comprises current and former members of prestigious dance companies, Broadway shows, theater schools and university programs.
For more information, call 860-210-1444.