"Multipotentialite" is a term coined by Emilie Wapnick during one of her TED Talks. (“An educational and psychological term referring to a pattern found among intellectually gifted individuals. [Multipotentialites] generally have diverse interests across numerous domains and may be capable of success in many endeavors or professions, they are confronted with unique decisions as a result of these choices."). It captured my imagination, and I rewrote my biography, inspired by her ideas.
Dr. Larry Hensel is a creative tour de force and wildly inventive storyteller who blends the arts of singing, directing, writing, puppetry and movement, into theatrical and musical works of intrigue and humor. Possessing a comic flair as an actor himself, he has used his unflappable sense of humor in directing such operas as Offenbach's Orpheus in the Underworld, Gilbert and Sullivan's The Mikado and The Gondoliers, Puccini's Gianni Schicchi, and Bernstein's Candide. As a professional singer, the Spoleto Festival (Spoleto, Italy) engaged Hensel for three summers, performing comprimário roles in operatic productions and is fiercely proud to have appeared on the live recording of Menotti’s The Saint of Bleecker Street conducted by the late Richard Hickox, a production directed by the composer himself.
Chosen to participate in the Eugene O’Neil Theatre’s Puppetry Conference in the summers of 2014, and 2016, Hensel has collaborated with master puppeteers from around the world. During the 2016 O’Neill Puppetry Conference, Larry was chosen to be the acting music director for a 30-minute performance of excerpts from Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd. He also was one of three puppeteers that operated the life-size puppet character of “Pirelli,” the barber.
As an educator, Hensel draws upon his Eastman pedigree, twenty-five years of teaching experience and his skills as a Certified Teacher of the Alexander Technique to equip developing singers, actors, dancers, and puppeteers to thrive in the complex arts of singing, acting and movement, and the imaginative world of storytelling. As a Director, his pedagogical fervor for training young artists in collaborative decision-making and strategies for a heightened sense of physical and mental awareness has led to mainstage operatic productions that span the history of the genre and have been met with critical acclaim. Hensel shares his enthusiasm and expertise for Alexander Technique in workshops and clinics throughout the US.
Hensel is Founder and Artistic Director of the Company, "Opera Out of the Box" (OOB!!) an artistic enterprise which provides the materials necessary for Opera companies with educational outreach programs (K-12). This new company provides assistance in puppetry, movement, singing, and acting; it also furnishes original scripts and arranged scores featuring composers in the public domain. This is part of an ongoing "Opera in a Gym Series". Larry has an unwavering belief that children’s lives can be enriched through the transformative powers of the creative arts, and that opera must be accessible to all. Sharing opera’s collaborative beauty of its many art forms is what makes him smile and laugh every time.
Larry in his Imagination Shop where he makes puppets for his new Company, "Opera Out of the Box."