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Meet the Creative Team! Karen Pauley

We've interviewed members of the creative team so you can get to know them better. Meet Karen Pauley, vocal director and member of the vocal ensemble!

Tell us briefly about your work as an artist

In the past couple of years I have worked as a vocal director for a number of groups in Tokyo that perform or teach musical theatre.  

What is your role in ‘Disturbance’?

I am the vocal director and will be singing as part of the ensemble.

What attracts you about ‘Disturbance’?

I was initially interested in Disturbance because it was being directed by Rachel Walzer.  Working on this type of project takes a lot of time and creative energy and I was happy to be given the opportunity to work with a director that I admire.  

After Rachel spoke to me I read the poetry and listened to the music that had been composed for the show. Some of the musicals I have worked on are very entertaining, but don’t have a lot of substance.   Disturbance, on the other hand, has a story that it worth telling. The poetry is beautifully written and I feel that the music, written by Mark Ferris, adds an extra dimension that will allow the story to be told to a new audience.  Whilst some people might think that domestic violence is an odd choice for a musical, I know that the voice can be used to tell every type of human story, and that singing is a highly expressive art form.

Mark’s music appeals to me as I feel that it blends classical and musical theatre influences.  There is a purity to the sound that allows for the story to be told without elaborate vocal riffs or some of the vocal techniques that have become popular with the juke-box influences in musical theatre.  This is also the first musical I have worked on where I can communicate directly with the composer. That is exciting, a little scary, and motivating.

What are some of your favourite staged performances you’ve ever seen or been in?

Recently I really enjoyed Marianne Elliott's Company.  This gender-reversed revival of Sondheim’s musical was stunning.  I also loved a production of Jesus Christ Superstar, that Peter Corry directed for the Belfast School of Performing Arts.  

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