New World School of the Arts Graduating Theater Majors Take Manhattan During...

New World School of the Arts Graduating Theater Majors Take Manhattan During Whirl-wind New York Showcase


MIAMI, April 29 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ — Suitcases packed, they’re on their way to Broadway, not just to give their regards, but to conquer it! Thirteen graduating seniors from Miami, Florida’s New World School of the Arts’ (NWSA) ( ) theater division, having attained their Bachelor of Fine Arts degree through the college’s four-year Arts Program, are set to perform a New York Showcase at the Snapple Theater Center ( )Tuesday, May 4th, starting at noon. The presentation, offered to industry insiders eager to “discover” new talent, welcomes agents, artistic directors, casting directors and other theater experts who every spring anxiously await NWSA’s young theater and music theater actors for a first look at the best trained rising stars entering the profession. “That’s part of what students look for in a high caliber prestigious theater program – to be showcased at that level,” says professor Gail Garrisan, who teaches acting and directing at NWSA, and coordinates the event. “We are at the forefront with other prominent acting schools such as Yale School of Drama, Carnegie Mellon School of Drama, and North Carolina School of the Arts which also showcase their acting students in New York,” she adds.


What happens is the following: The graduating college seniors begin rehearsals by 9 a.m. Each actor prepares to display his or her own unique talent as an individual artist. At noon, they present a full show with costumes, monologues, song, and scenes. One by one, they take the stage and wow an audience of 40 to 50 industry professionals.

“The incredible experience of performing in NY City is what drives our excitement,” assures Renata Eastlick, one of the students attending. “This showcase culminates the four years of training at NWSA and will be our crowning achievement!” she explains, while Tyrone Davis, showcased by NWSA in 2007, comments, “I’m not sure what was going through my mind – it was exciting and nerve wrecking.” The NWSA alum is currently set to be the understudy for “Donkey,” as well as three other characters in the national tour of the Grammy Award-winning musical Shrek. “The showcase gave us an idea of what they [agents and directors] are looking for. They want to see you in this kind of setting, not in a play but in your best light, not always in character.”

The NWSA New York Showcase also includes an evening presentation the same day. “At the beginning of each showcase every professional will get a talent template of our students; a full portfolio with pictures and resumes. They can then check off who they want to see. We then say to each student, ‘you have interest from this or that agent.’ The following day agents contact them for appointments, so they spend the next couple of days following up with the people interested in them,” indicates Garrisan.

The day of the showcase can be euphoric yet grueling. In between the noon and evening performances, the young actors are also offered a master workshop by showcase consultant Mari Lyn Henry, co-author of the definitive industry must-read How to be a working actor. “New World School of the Arts is a renowned and well-respected resource for some of the best working actors in this country. Since Patrice Bailey [Dean of NWSA’s Theater Division] started the showcases a few years ago, a number of the grads have secured representation and made very good connections. They have also been able to reconnect with NWSA alumni,” says Henry.

Shrek actor Davis will be cheering for his alma mater’s new graduating actors on May 4th. “I wish you could’ve seen it last year. They were just as good as some of the performances I’ve seen in NY, if not better,” he insists. According to him, NWSA may not have the funding might of other conservatories, but it makes up for it with passion and imagination. “I’m so thankful the faculty was there to nurture us as human beings. They were just so important in developing the person I am today. I don’t think they’ll ever know the impact they’ve had on my life as an individual and actor … sorry, I’m getting a little teary eyed … ” Davis drifts emotionally for a moment and sums-up, “I just can’t wait to get rich so I can give so much money away to the school.” Rich is the experience of attaining a university degree from New World School of the Arts in Miami, Florida.

New World School of the Arts was created by the Florida Legislature in 1984 as a center of excellence in the performing and visual arts. It is an educational partnership of Miami-Dade County Public Schools, Miami Dade College and the University of Florida.

Information: Maria M. Flores, Director of Marketing and Communications, NWSA.


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SOURCE New World School of the Arts

New World School of the Arts Graduating Theater Majors Take Manhattan During Whirl-wind New York Showcase