The Conservatory of Theatre and Dance at Southeast Missouri State University will hold its annual “Senior Showcase,” a cabaret for graduating seniors, at 7:30 p.m. May 5-6 in the Wendy Kurka Rust Flexible Theatre at the River Campus.
A reception will immediately follow both performances in the John and Betty Glenn Convocation Center.
The showcase promotes graduating seniors completing a Bachelor of Fine Arts or Bachelor of Arts with a performance emphasis. The Senior Showcase is an opportunity for graduating seniors to perform in front of a variety of agents and casting directors based in New York City and, for the first time, in Los Angeles. Select seniors will perform songs, monologues and dance pieces they have perfected through on-campus workshops presented by invited professionals.
“This is their gateway, a bridge of sorts, to help them transition from college to the post-graduate world,” said Dr. Kenneth Stilson, chair of The Conservatory of Theatre and Dance. “Through these contacts, they can find representation and learn about upcoming professional auditions. It’s a great way for them to network as they launch their careers in the business.”
Those performing in the musical theatre/acting numbers will be: Vince Bartola of St. Louis, Missouri, Hannah Brake of Willow Spring, Missouri, Karl Hawkins of Florissant, Missouri, Emily Hooks of Nashville, Illinois, Kelli Jaycox of Ballwin, Missouri, Matthew Kauzlarich of Imperial, Missouri, Daniel Kellett of O’Fallon, Missouri, Sean McCumber of Boonville, Missouri, Kyle Metze of Troy, Illinois, John Pletka of Yorkville, Illinois, and Mirco Tscharner of Schiers, Switzerland.
Those performing dance numbers will be: Macy Holstlaw of Taylorville, Illinois, Jordan McDaniel of St. Louis, and Lauren Tustanowsky of Pevely, Missouri.
Those participating in the design/technology area will be: Nicholas Hart of St. Louis.
Stilson says, “They represent our very best of what we do. It’s very competitive.”
The Senior Showcase is designed to present Southeast Theatre and Dance graduates to New York and Los Angeles agents, casting directors and working professional actors to give them a jump-start to their professional careers as actors, dancers and designers.
“The Senior Showcase is the pinnacle event for all the students in this program. It’s something we speak to them about in recruitment, and they start working toward the showcase beginning their first semester freshman year,” Stilson said. “Every audition, every class, every rehearsal and every performance helps prepare them for this experience, which will help them transition into the professional world post-graduation.”
Sponsors for the Senior Showcase are Commerce Bank, Isle Casino, Saxony Village and SoutheastHealth.
A select group of theatre students, based on their performance throughout this academic year, will advance to perform with Actors Connection, the premier producers of showcases in New York and Los Angeles in May and July respectively, where their work will be seen by agents, casting directors, and top industry professionals. Those participating in the NYC Showcase are Karl Hawkins, Kyle Metze, and John Pletka. Vince Bartola, Emily Hooks, Daniel Kellett, Sean McCumber, and Mirco Tscharner will be partaking in the Los Angeles Showcase. Dancers participate in outside professional master classes on campus throughout the year, and design/tech students attend job fairs at various conventions.
The Cape Girardeau Senior Showcase is open to the public. Reservations may be made with a donation to The Conservatory of Theatre and Dance by calling (573) 651-2149.