VITAE

                                      Rufus Bonds, Jr.

                                                                                                                                                              rbonds@syr.edu                                                  

                                          Cell: 323.893.2857

EDUCATION

M.F.A. California State University at Fullerton – Directing

Awards: Presidential Lifetime Achievement Award/Barack Obama, Drama Desk Nomination, Ovation Award-winner, NAACP Winner and, Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society Member

Additional musical theatre classes and training at:

Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, Cincinnati, Ohio

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE

Broadway/New York City     Role                Theatre

Ellington’s Sacred Music      Soloist            Carnegie Hall/2014

Rent                                       Tom Collins    Nederlander Theatre/1999

Parade                                   Jim Conley     Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts/1998

Once on This Island             Daniel             Booth Theatre/Shubert Organization/1991

International

Porgy and Bess                     Porgy              Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre/London/2014

Miss Saigon                           John               Toronto/Princess of Wales Theatre/1992

National Tours

The Color Purple                   Mister            New Jersey/Atlanta/DC/Chicago/2007-2010

The Lion King                        Mufasa           Pantages Theatre/Los Angeles/2000-2006

Music of Andrew L.Webber Gus/Papa       National Tour/Chicago, DC, Philadelphia/1990

TEACHING EXPERIENCE: SYRACUSE UNIVERSITY ASSISTANT PROFESSOR

Musical Theatre, DRA 300 M017 Devised

(3 credits) Fall/2020

Course Description (in the course catalog):

The class will introduce the student to the challenges of working with an ensemble of actors based on source material. The student will devise theatre created by an artists' ensemble through acting, song, and dance. The experience must represent the pulse of their joy, pain, struggles, hopes, and demand for life. The work will move, propelled by the beats of their core. The students will collectively investigate and experience the power of their essence, unapologetic giving action to their voice.

DRA 300 M0018 Masterclass

(3 credits) Fall/2020

Course Description (in the course catalog):

This is a modular course, co-taught by Professors Kathleen Wrinn and Rufus Bonds.  Half of the course (led by Prof. Wrinn) will center on the design, creation, and performance of short solo cabarets, highlighting students’ unique strengths, life experiences, and artistic points of view.  At the culmination of the course, each "mini-cabaret" will be presented for virtual public performance, with an eye toward how to expand and modify them for presentation at brick-and-mortar venues in the future.  The other half (led by Prof. Bonds) will consist of researching specific industry expertise, connected with interviews, conversations, and masterclasses with Devon Hadsell, DeMarius Copes, Gregory Butler, Angela Robinson, Karen Olivo, and LaChanze.

Each week the class will discuss a particular artist’s body of work. During that week the particular artist will present a seminar. An immersive online experience with these Renown Artist.

DRA 261 Intro to Musical Theater Performance I

(3 credits) Spring/2019 sections: M001, M002, M003 (3 credits) Spring/2020

Synthesis of music, lyrics, and acting fundamentals in the preparation of basic musical theater repertoire for performance.

A study of musical theatre songs and techniques for their performance.  The goals of this course are to assist the student in discovering his/her processes for learning and performing musical theatre repertoire. The student will begin building their resource to develop an understanding of the songs and their functions in musical theatre. The process will assist the student in identifying and overcoming obstacles to performing with freedom and commitment.

Musical Theatre, DRA 462 M001 Auditioning

(3 credits) Spring/2020 (3 credits) Fall/2020

Repertoire, techniques, and the procedures necessary for a professional career in musical theater. Practice, lecture/discussion, and readings.

The course will focus on the skills necessary for auditioning successfully in the Business World, living in the environment, imagery work, telling the story, making bold choices, and how to enter with warmth and exit with grace. This purpose and goal are to prepare each student for their imminent career in professional musical theater. Other goals of this course will assist the student in discovering his/her processes for creating the mindset for auditioning. The course will guide the student toward presenting their authentic self. Students will build a repertoire of songs that represent the actor in many genres, styles, tempos, and eras. Students will undergo mock auditions to understand the preparation required and how to audition under various conditions. Other topics covered include headshots and resumes, types of auditions, clothes, hair, shoes, career maintenance, directors, casting directors, agents, and the accompanist.

DRA 450 Advance Musical Theater Repertoire

(3 credits) Spring/2020

Advanced problems in songs from the entire musical theater repertoire. Emphasis is placed on developing the students’ abilities to choose and prepare the repertoire appropriate to their strengths. One semester required of all musical theater majors.

The course will focus on the individual strengths of the singer-actor. Other goals of this course will assist the student in discovering his/her processes for preparing and performing a musical theatre role. The student will begin building their resources from script analysis, character development, song analysis, scene work, and performance. The process will assist the student on how to build the journey of their character for the entire play. Each student will have a role from a musical selected, specifically for them. The student will work toward cultivating, the passion/imagination, boldness/vulnerability, honesty/simplicity, and the needs/impulses, “you” bring to the craft of acting.

 

TEACHING EXPERIENCE: CALIFORNIA STATE UNIVERSITY, FULLERTON

THEATRE 370A Introduction to the Fundamental Skills of Directing

(3 credits) Fall/2018  (3 credits) Spring/2019

Introduction to the fundamental skills of directing included script analysis and the director’s staging techniques (composition, picturization, behavior, movement, and rhythm) for the theatre. This course is divided into three sections: play analysis, directing skills, exercises, and synthesis (bringing the first two areas together in the form of scene presentations. This class is designed to introduce students to the art of directing and the tools that the director uses to achieve his/her vision

 

THEATRE 478 Introduction to Play Rehearsal and Performance Spring/2019  Fall/2018.

Practicum class related to play production, rehearsals, and performance for Children of Eden and

Lysistrata. Fundamentals of rehearsal, theatre etiquette, collaboration & performance standards.

THTR 436A Musical Theatre Workshop (3 credits) Fall 2018

THTR 436B Musical Theatre Workshop (3 credits) Spring 2019

These courses provide students with experience in developing their craft for imminent careers in musical theater. Special emphasis is placed on auditioning for lead roles, working with an accompanist, and storytelling as it relates to the song. Students are introduced to approaches to finding and developing material that is suitable for them, understanding how the industry works, and working with directors and authors.

TEACHING EXPERIENCE: CRAFTON HILLS COLLEGE

Crafton Hills College – Taught Master Class in Storytelling in the Department of Theatre and coached students in the art of storytelling through song. The class focused on connecting with an audience, emotional presence, and the importance of the environment. May 2012

TEACHING EXPERIENCE: WESTERN MICHIGAN UNIVERSITY

Western Michigan University – Served as Guest Director in residence in the Department of Theatre. Directed students in the production of Kevin J. Watson’s original musical Enough. The focus of the residency was centered on vocal, breathing, and projection techniques while directing the work for a staged reading. September 2012

TEACHING EXPERIENCE: SPELMAN COLLEGE

Spelman College – Served as a guest artist in residence in the Department of Theatre and Performance. Provided insight into a professional career in musical theatre. This workshop was facilitated through lectures, discussions, research projects, and practical applications.

March 2011

PERFORMANCE AND DIRECTORIAL TRAINING                                                              

My training has provided me with a keen analysis for storytelling and my directorial strengths include skillfully shaping the stage, directing performances with clear intentions, and sparking discussion leading to constructive criticism. Being trained by critically acclaimed artists/scholars at the top of their field has contributed to my development as an actor and director. Included among those artists:

Hal Prince: American-born producer and director best known for Showboat, Company, Sweeney Todd, Parade, and A Little Night Music. 

Michael Grief: American stage director who has received three Tony nominations for Rent, Grey Gardens, Next to Normal, and Dear Evan Hansen.

Julie Taymor: Academy Award-nominated director best known for her innovative work on Disney’s The Lion King and Across the Universe and Titus on film.

Cameron Mackintosh: British theatrical producer of Les Miserables, Hamilton, Phantom of the Opera, Miss Saigon, Mary Poppins, Cats, and Oliver.  

DIRECTORIAL EXPERIENCE

Professional

Once on This Island        Flaherty & Ahrens         3D Theatrical/California/2017

The Wiz                            Charles Smalls               Red Mountain Theatre Co./Alabama/2015

Tarzan                               David Henry Hwang     3D Theatrical/California/2015

 

University

Urinetown                         Hollmann/Kotis            Syracuse University                              2021

Grand Night for Singing Rodgers and Hammerstein     Syracuse University                             2020

Lysistrata                          Ellen McLaughlin          California State University, Fullerton/2019

Children of Eden             Stephen Schwartz         California State University, Fullerton/2018

Shakespeare R&J            Adaptor: Joe Calarco   California State University, Fullerton/2018

Enough                            Kevin J. Watson             Western University/Michigan/2012

Educational Theatre

Mamma Mia                     Catharine Johnson       Muse Machine/Ohio/2019

The Wizard of Oz             L. Frank Baum               Muse Machine/Ohio/2010

Into the Woods                Stephen Sondheim       Muse Machine/Ohio/2011

CREATIVE/SCHOLARLY ACHIEVEMENT

I have received critical acclaim for my acting and directing and continue to be invited for “Artist in Residencies” for theatre companies from across the United States. My professional experience and credentials and active projects affirm me as a seasoned artist in higher education and the theatre field. As a result, I bring a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the field and communicate my views with humor, technical range, a depth that captures the attention of the viewer with its intense physicality, and emotional viability. Along with my work at Carnegie Hall, on Broadway, and in international venues, I have the following experience throughout America.

OFF-BROADWAY

Romance in Hard Times         Bojangles                                The Public Theater/New York/1989

The Apple Tree                       Narrator                                   York Theatre/New York/1988

REGIONAL THEATRE

Parade                                     Jim Conley                              Redondo Beach CA/2018

Sister Act                                 Curtis                                       Moonlight CA/2017

Man of La Mancha                  Don Quixote                           5th Avenue Seattle/2016

Ragtime                                   Coalhouse                               Redondo Beach CA/2016

Big River                                  Jim                                           Mark Taper Forum/2003

Spunk                                      Sykes                                        Cleveland Playhouse/1988

AWARDS OF DISTINCTION

Presidential Lifetime Achievement Award from Barack Obama

Drama Desk Nomination Outstanding supporting actor in a musical, Parade

Ovation Winner Best Supporting Actor in a musical, Parade            

NAACP Winner Best Actor in a musical, The Color Purple

Eugene O’Neill Semi-Finalist Best New Works, Play; The Sisters of Rosewall High

Dora Mavor Moore Nomination Outstanding supporting actor, Miss Saigon

Honors

Beta Phi Delta International Honor Society

Elevar Scholar

Alvin Keller Excellence in Theatre Scholarship

Leland & Marlita Bellot Graduate Scholarship in Theatre

Gretchen Kanne Scholarship

University of California State Fullerton College of the Arts Scholarship

Additional Education

B.S. in Chemistry, University of Cincinnati/June 1982

Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, Cincinnati, Ohio

With additional training in Musical Training through the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music

REFERENCES

Mark Ramont                         Jim Voltz                           Timothy Sheader

Advisor / CSUF                      Mentor / CSUF                 Director / Porgy and Bess in London

mramont@fullerton.edu        jvoltz@fullerton.edu        Timothy.Sheader@openairtheatre.com  (714) 244-0323                       (657) 278-3538                   44 844 826 4242