2013 New York Theatre Showcase Launches Careers
Monday, May 12, 2013
The Annual New York Showcase offers UNCG Theatre students an opportunity to perform in front of 500 invited casting directors, agents and managers. The project just finished its 14th year in Spring 2013, and was the brainchild of UNCG Theatre faculty members Jim Wren and John Gulley. Wren commented, "Showcase provides our students with an introduction to life as an actor in New York City. It's a bridge from the safe classroom environment to the real world experience of auditioning while living in a fast paced theatre mecca".
Students usually perform two contrasting pieces in each Showcase. This provides them the opportunity to show the industry officials their ability to handle comedy and drama or classic text vs. contemporary dialogue. Outstanding performances are honored with requests for future meetings, interviews, or an agent's offering to represent the actor. Showcase 2013 was a tremendous success according to Michael Flannery, UNCG Theatre faculty member and the producer of Showcase:
The planets aligned for us in 2013. We moved the Showcase from its traditional timeline - immediately after graduation in the month of May to the month of March. Showcase 'season' begins in New York during March, and reputable University and College programs flock to the city to introduce their students and recent alumni to the industry. We finally decided that for Showcase to be the most successful stepping stone for our students and alumni, it was more strategic to be at the beginning of the season than the end.
Indeed, Showcase 2013 touts a list of achievements. Patrick Ball, a Bachelor of Fine Arts alum in Acting (2013), was immediately signed with Abrams Artists agency based on Showcase 2013. This agency was so impressed with his talent and marketable skills that Patrick is already living and working in New York. He has recently auditioned for several Off-Broadway plays and films in the New York area. Four other students - Kris Hayes (MacNeill), Eliza Gilbert, Cameron Prevatte, and Megan Oots - were offered exclusive agency representation as soon as they arrive in New York to live. All four plan to move to the "Big Apple" this summer.
Showcase also underwent an intense "makeover" in 2013. Flannery, Wren and Gulley decided to continue developing and following a new model for Showcase preparations. They enlisted the help of Scott Wojcik of Wojcik-Seay Casting in New York. Wojcik and UNCG Theatre alumna Gretchen Ferris visited UNCG's campus and the Showcase student actors in early spring. Although Showcase has long since brought in important industry leaders including alumna Stephanie Yankwitt (formerly of Telsey + Company and Tara Rubin Casting) to preview monologues and scenes, this new model allowed for more time and personalized attention from New York connected industry officials.
Showcase is an exciting and exhilarating project where we culminate all we've been learning in classes and on stages through production and performance for the past four years. However, perhaps the less quantifiable 'element' of Showcase is the chance to be in the city, networking with UNCG Alumni and having the opportunity to learn from their experiences. After all - many of them came to New York for the first time with their UNCG Showcase. (Eliza Gilbert, 2013 graduate of the Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting)
For more information on Showcase or on the 2013 group of actors, log-on to http://uncgshowcase.com/
In previous years, some of our proud success stories include:
- Alex Marshall-Brown, (Class of 2007) featured on ABC's Winter 2013 hit series, SCANDAL
- Terrance Johnson, (Class of 2012) Dreamgirls International Tour
- Chris Chalk, (Class of 2001) Cast member on News Room, Homeland, and Broadway's Fences (with Denzel Washington) and Ruined
- Brandon Ellis (Class of 2005), Broadway's Once (http://www.oncemusical.com/cast.html) and Company!
- Ali Bayless, (Class of 2005) Criminal Minds
- Meghan Hoffman, (Class of 2009) The Boss, Off-Broadway's The Metropolitan Playhouse
- Emma Reaves, (Class of 2010) Too Much Light Makes The Baby Go Blind, Off-Broadway's The Neo-Futurists (http://www.nyneofuturists.org/; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x1R4XRCcyLw)
- Janie Brookshire, (Class of 2001) The Mound Builders, Off-Broadway's Signature Theatre Company; Mary Broome, Off-Broadway's The Mint Theater; Man and Superman, Off-Broadway's Irish Repertory Theatre
- Candace Thompson (Class of 2005), Josh Tyson (Class of 2001), Law and Order
- Dave May, Caitlin Davis, & Elizabeth May (Class of 2011), performers & producers of the The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Brooklyn, https://www.facebook.com/mormonsformitt
- Michael Ferrell, (Class of 2000) Producer, Writer, Actor, Director of Twenty Million People (film) premiere at Cinequest Film Festival in San Jose, CA, 2013
- Isabelle Gardo, (Class of 2009) Courage, New Hampshire (TV Series)