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Magnet Theater

Staff profile for Paul Thompson

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Paul W. Thompson has lived at the intersection of words and music for more than half a century. A native of Nashville, he's made Chicago his home since 1987. A third-generation professional music teacher and performer, he has Music Directed for the Improvised Sondheim Project since 2014, appearing at every major Chicago improv, sketch and comedy festival, as well as at the 2015 and 2016 New York Musical Improv Festivals and the 2016 Improv Festival of Cincinnati. He is on the music faculty of the Second City Training Center, and teaches piano and musical theater voice at his studio in Chicago's Loop. Active in music theater productions, classical concerts and liturgical worship, Thompson has conducted “Gypsy” and "Rent," sung all three "Lord of the Rings" film scores at the Ravinia Festival, and composed a cantata in response to September 11th. He has sung on Grammy-winning recordings of Verdi and Wagner with the Chicago Symphony Chorus, sang Mozart and Berlioz at this year’s Grant Park Music Festival, and was Major Rizzoli in the Midwest premiere of Sondheim's "Passion.” He’s collaborating on the book, music and lyrics of a full-scale musical adaptation of “The Great Gatsby.” Thompson was Editor of BroadwayWorld Chicago for eight years, and is Vice-President and Treasurer of Chicago's chapter of the singing teachers' association (NATS). With bachelor's and master's degrees in musical theater, and appearances in 35 states and Europe (including five performances at Carnegie Hall), his proudest achievement is having seen the original production of every Tony Award-winning Best Musical for over 30 years, from "Cats" through "Hamilton."

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