Musical Theatre Institute
Your Broadway Connection

It's BACK due to popular demand! Our holiday extravaganza, the Christmas Spectacular dinner theatre will be coming to the Plaza Arts Center on the festive Historic Downtown Carrollton Square. Continue or start a treasured holiday tradition. This heartwarming, exciting variety show is in the spirit of your favorite Christmas specials from the "Golden Age" of television. Starring many of DFW's favorite professional performers and featuring entrees catered by the critically-acclaimed Nuevo Leon restaurant. Yum!

John is currently a freelance director and is once again training young artists in vocal technique and performance to prepare them for the highest level of artistry and personal fulfillment. We are thrilled that he has this opportunity to use his God-given gifts, years of experience, knowledge, and wisdom acquired through an amazing career to help others meet their greatest potential.

John founded Riverside Dinner Theatre in Erie, PA and more recently,  spent three years establishing The Firehouse Theatre, whose original mission was to provide classic musical theatre and plays that were suitable for general audiences - family friendly and family affordable. He worked, literally, around the clock, to create an entity that would provide a high standard for community theatre, through work with professionals, a deep understanding of the delicate balance of working with diverse personalities and talents and a maintenance of 'quality control." 

John previously served as Artistic Director at Artisan Center Theater, located in Hurst, TX. The theatre was voted Best Community Theatre of 2009 by the Dallas Observer, and presents family friendly productions of classics, new pieces and has an award-winning children's theatre program.  John was asked to "come on board" to take Artisan to the next level...and he did.

Recent appearances:  John appeared twice as "Emile" in "South Pacific," one of his highly acclaimed signature roles. The productions were in Montana for the Alpine Theatre Project and at Artisan Center Theatre.

Margaret and John teach private voice lessons to all ages and levels. Since being back in Texas, Margaret has been thrilled to star in Lyric Stage's critically acclaimed "Kismet" as the sultry Lalume, opposite Broadway's Christopher Carl and her old friend and now 2 time show husband, Brian Mathis. The Dallas Morning News called her "elegant, quirky, and very, very naughty."  She also appeared with John Davidson in "Will Rogers Follies" at the historic Surflight Theatre on the beautiful Jersey Shore and as "Maria" (the innkeeper's wife...marriage #1 to Brian Mathis) in Casa Manana's "Man of La Mancha" presented at Bass Hall. It was a neat bit of deja vu, as she and several other cast members had appeared in a Casa production of the same show in 1990! She has appeared with Bradley Campbell in "I Do, I Do" at Labyrinth Theatre for which, she was nominated for a "Best Actress" award by the Dallas Theatre League. She also played Jack's Mother in "Into The Woods" presented by WaterTower Theatre in Addison.

Son Shafer was awarded the top scholarship amount to attend Baylor University, where he spent a year as a Vocal Performance major, studying under Curtis Streetman. He released his debut solo album of original alt/rock compositions "Not Today" and currently teaches piano lessons and serves as worship leader and youth pastor at a Bible church north of Dallas.

Margaret continues to present her various programs including  "The Sound of Music Story" to local groups. The program is a 30-45 minute telling (and singing) of the real story of the Von Trapps and the journey from stage to screen and back again. Hear how the versions differ.  Margaret shares her interesting perspective as she not only recounts the history of the show, and the family, but also as a member of the Broadway revival. Hear an insider's view of meeting the Rodgers and Hammerstein and von Trapp families. Pick up a little backstage "buzz" and enjoy hearing some of the best loved songs of the stage. If your club or group is interested, please call 469-522-0766 for information on fees and scheduling.


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