The visiting director cues a student, who reads a single phrase over and over again.
“I work in jazz clubs, not sock hops…. I work in jazz clubs, not sock hops….”
A second student intones different words from the same script, and then three other classmates chime in.
Suddenly their syncopated readings resolve into song, a sort of jazz improvisation. And with that, the script that seemed puzzling on the page leaps to life.
The riff evokes the story of Willie “Cool” Jones, a jazz musician caught between stardom and addiction in the drama Lost Tempo. It’s one of four plays the students will see performed as part of “The Playwright and the Stage” class.