Southeast Theatre Students Chosen as Apprentices for Prestigious Broadway Theatre Project



May 6, 2005 – Two Southeast Missouri State University students who recently thrilled audiences locally with their performances in the Broadway musical “Guys & Dolls” at Southeast will have the opportunity to train with award-winning Broadway artists in the competitive Broadway Theatre Project this summer.          

Stephen Fister and Andrew Tebo, both theatre performance majors, were among only 150 students from across the country selected as apprentices for the prestigious Broadway Theatre Project.

“The Broadway Theatre Project is an intensive summer training program for actors, dancers and singers interested in strengthening their musical theatre skills,” said Dr. Kenn Stilson, chair of the Department of Theatre and Dance. “Andrew and Stephen were chosen from hundreds who auditioned for the program. This is a tremendous opportunity, and we are extraordinarily proud of them.

“Students in the program, as a select group of up-and-coming performers, will get to work with Broadway legends,” he said.

Students will have the opportunity to work with Ann Reinking, a Tony award-winning choreographer; Ben Vereen, a Tony award-winning actor and singer who has performed on Broadway, television and film; and many other big names in musical theatre, according to Stilson. Included in these big names is Paige Davis, who in addition to being the well-known host of The Learning Channel’s “Trading Spaces,” also is a Broadway performer.

“The Broadway Theatre Project is a once in a lifetime opportunity,” said Tebo, a freshman from Wentzville, Mo. “It’s amazing that two students from Southeast got accepted, when almost 1,000 auditioned. It looks very good for our theatre department.”

“To be given an opportunity like this is truly amazing,” agreed Fister, a junior from Fenton, Mo. “I hope to learn as much as I possibly can while I’m there.” 

Both students are looking forward to working with actors like Reinking and Vereen, strengthening their skills, and making contacts that will assist them in their future careers.

“My goal is to be a professional actor in the theatre world,” said Tebo.

Fister is looking into opportunities in New York, Chicago and Minneapolis.

“Ultimately,” he said, “being on Broadway is any musical theatre person’s dream, but as long as I’m doing what I love to do, I’ll be happy.”

The Broadway Theatre Project will be held July 10-31 on the University of South Florida campus. The program will culminate with a performance of “Broadway and Beyond” at the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center.