Students perform for Broadway agents

Posted April 29, 2011

The pressure is on this Saturday at the ACU Theatre Department's annual senior showcase.

Eight theatre majors will present film scenes, monologues, songs and dance pieces in front of New York City agents from Frontier Booking International and Carson-Adler. Dawne Swearingen, assistant professor of acting at ACU, is looking forward to this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for her students.

"This is the fifth year we have held a showcase," Swearingen says. "Having access to New York theatrical agents of this caliber is a huge benefit to our ACU theatre students."

"Once young performers relocate to a large city, often the most difficult challenge is having the opportunity to present their talents before an agent -- and having an agent is a must. They open the doors of opportunity in this business. Without that support, many performers eventually give up because they grow tired of pounding on locked doors," explains Swearingen.

"We owe so much to John Shea and Nancy Carson, the two agents who began this journey with us five years ago. They have provided opportunities to our students and alums that students at other universities only dream of."

"Any time I perform, I love having the opportunity to learn more about my craft and share myself as a Christian artist," says graduating senior Payton Jones. "I am thankful to ACU for the opportunity to be seen by major New York City-based agents. Competition is fierce in the 'Big Apple,' and performing for these professionals before moving there will give me an upper hand for sure."

"This showcase is the culmination of our four intense years of training to be Christian artists in the theatre," says graduating senior Erick Carter. "This gives us an opportunity to present some of what we have learned."

"I think it's a great opportunity to be seen by professional agents and a wonderful experience to be on the stage with my classmates of four years," says graduating senior Kat Bailey. "I am thankful to Dawne, Adam [Hester] and Kari [Hatfield] for making this possible."

In the past, ACU senior showcases have helped blaze the trail to Broadway for alumni such as Juliette Miller Trafton, Annika Johansson, Lara Siebert, Ben Jeffrey, Seth Bazacas and Jenavene Hester Bazacas. Each of these alumni is featured in the current issue of ACU Today.

Admission is to the showcase is free. Performances are Saturday at 1 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m.

For more information about ACU's Department of Theatre, click here or check out the cover story in ACU Today's Spring 2011 issue.