Chris Zavadowski, a native of Northern Virginia, was recently musical director and marketing director for a new production of The Wizard of Oz and is signed on in the same role for a 2014 production of Les Misérables. Before that, he musically & vocally directed wildly successful sold out productions of Man of La Mancha, Annie, and Honk!.
He also recently finished working with the producers of the recent Off-Broadway musical, The ARK - both as an investor, and as Internet marketing director to develop an innovative marketing system to tap into a new audience base. Along those lines, he was a recent guest lecturer at The Catholic University of America on the business of the arts and the future of arts & the Internet.
Before that, he worked with Eric Schaeffer (artistic director of the Sondheim Celebration) on the Kennedy Center’s production of Sunday in the Park with George. Serving as an assistant to the director, he began a relationship that continued at Mr. Schaeffer’s Tony Award-winning Signature Theatre in the following season, where Chris served as Assistant Director on the highly-anticipated new production of 110 in the Shade (winner of two Helen Hayes awards and five nominations, including Outstanding Resident Musical – the same new version that appeared on Broadway starring Audra McDonald). By a twist of fate, Chris was also cast as a swing in the production and performed alongside Matt Bogart, Jacqueline Piro and others to close out the musical.
Chris has opened Virginia Tech’s main stage theatre season as director of the musical Cole. Continuing a new collaboration between the theatre and music departments, he created an ensemble of triple-threat artists within a few short weeks. Offered a guest artist position before graduation, Chris holds the distinction of being the first Virginia Tech graduate invited back as a director. Opening shortly after 9/11, this timely production celebrated New York, America and true patriotism, and received rave reviews in both The Roanoke Times and The Collegiate Times as well as local radio stations.
Prior to his work on Cole, he directed and musically directed the Virginia premier of the Off-Broadway musical Little By Little. Playing to sold out, enthusiastic houses, this show brought a rebirth of musical theater workshop productions to Virginia Tech. Believing no theater — musical or otherwise — consists of “fluff”, he also directed a chilling production of That Midnight Rodeo in southwest Virginia.
Experienced as a musical director, he ran all musical aspects of Mill Mountain Theatre’s Summer Drama Day Camp in Roanoke, Virginia for 3 years. At the same time, he created a new revue, Golden Years of Broadway, then produced and performed two versions of the show throughout his home state. A year earlier, with the help of a fellow Virginia Tech graduate, he created a revue of lesser-known Broadway tunes. Called Applause, Applause!, Chris served as the revue’s producer, musical director and as a performer for the production.
A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Virginia Tech, he holds Summa Cum Laude degrees in both Music and Theater – the first student to ever successfully complete such a demanding curriculum at the university. He has also trained in New York City at the Manhattan School of Music, Broadway Dance Center and at the CAP21 musical theater studio. Plus, he was awarded Virginia Tech’s prestigious Helen Hayes award for his “outstanding contribution to theater”.
Also no stranger to the stage, his professional stage credits include: 110 in the Shade (Swing), Fiddler on the Roof (Constable), Singin’ in the Rain (Roscoe), South Pacific (Brackett), 1940’s Radio Hour (Wally) and Hello, Dolly!. Other performance credits include A Little Night Music (Henrik), A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (Hero), Sound of Music (Captain), Jesus Christ Superstar (Peter), Guys and Dolls (Angie), Dido and Aeneas, his solo recitals From the Heart & Baroque to Broadway and the Kennedy Center. He also served as a soloist for The Metropolitan Chorus’ 2002 season.
With the help of CultureFinder, Inc., Chris Zavadowski created the first online area in the world for students in the arts. The forum, called Extreme Culture, was originally launched on America Online in December, 1996. Chris was Editor-in-Chief of Extreme Culture through 2000.
Based in the Washington, D.C. area, Chris is the president of his own marketing and publishing company, Lifetime Marketing Success, Inc.. He has spent the majority of the last few years blending art with the Internet to create, among other things, new Internet-based theatre projects.
He was also named “coach of the year” in one his industries and with tens of thousands of customers, subscribers and students, Chris currently speaks around the country at the top online marketing seminars, in addition to holding his own live events.