The Wing and More Than a Prayer: The Springboard NYC Program

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This press release is courtesy of Rick Miramontez, Molly Barnett and Elizabeth Wagner at O&M Co., which represents the American Theatre Wing.

When I was first entering the industry in 1985 — all right, go ahead, re-read and study that date a couple of times (my first gig of any kind was an internship at Playwrights Horizons, though I also ushered a performance of Landscape of the Body at Second Stage in, I think, 1983) — I wish there had been a program like this. Smart of the Wing, too, to try and get positive word out. The Wing, being nonprofit, perhaps, hasn’t quite the arrogance of the Broadway League, with which it shared custody of the Tony Awards.

In any event — to the news at hand:

READY TO BREAK INTO NEW YORK THEATRE?
AMERICAN THEATRE WING
NOW ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS
FOR 2010 SPRINGBOARDNYC PROGRAM
SCHOLARSHIPS AVAILABLE

The American Theatre Wing’s SpringboardNYC, an intensive summer boot camp for student actors, is now seeking applications for the 2010 summer program, being held June 7 – 18 in New York City. Limited to 35 participants, SpringboardNYC also offers financial aid and multiple scholarship programs to students who qualify.

SpringboardNYC mentor Neil Patrick Harris said about the program, “It’s a pretty remarkable opportunity, to get to workshop and train with a wide array of working theatre professionals – casting directors, actors, directors. If I were in college, I would definitely try to attend.”

The program is the ideal transitional program, offering young adults information and contacts that would otherwise take years to develop. Designed for serious students looking to take the plunge into the New York theatre world, SpringboardNYC prepares the next generation of theatre artists for working life in New York. Taught by industry professionals, sessions include on-your-feet audition training with directors and casting directors and seminars with the industry’s leading agents and managers, as well as intimate conversations with some of Broadway’s biggest names. Sessions are held with a variety of the theater industry’s major “behind the scenes” players, including general managers, press agents, company managers and more, giving participants the advantage of better understanding the world into which they are entering. Participants also get to attend several Broadway and Off Broadway shows (with special talkback sessions), as well as the dress rehearsal for The Tony Awards.

SpringboardNYC mentors and speakers have included: actors Allison Janney (Tony Award-nominee, 9 to 5), Lauren Graham (Guys and Dolls), Phylicia Rashad (Tony Award-winner, A Raisin in the Sun), Cynthia Nixon (Tony Award-winner, Rabbit Hole), Billy Crudup (Tony Award-winner, The Coast of Utopia), Jonathan Groff (Tony Award-nominee, Spring Awakening), Liev Schreiber (Tony Award-winner, Glengarry Glen Ross), Paul Rudd (Three Days of Rain); directors and choreographers Kathleen Marshall (Tony Award-winner, The Pajama Game) Rob Ashford (Tony Award-winner for Thoroughly Modern Millie), Jerry Mitchell (Tony Award-winner for La Cage Aux Folles) and many more.

The Director of SpringboardNYC is Randy Ellen Lutterman, who founded the program at Musical Theatre Works. Now in its eighth year, many SpringboardNYC alumni are living their dreams of working in the theatre, including: Felicity Claire, currently appearing on Broadway in Mamma Mia!; Ryan Bauer-Walsh, who is appearing in the National Tour of Billy Elliot, opening in Chicago in March, 2010; Amy Toporek, who played Tracy Turnblad in the National Tour of Hairspray, and many more who are working behind the scenes, including Ilana Becker, who was Assistant Director of Reasons To Be Pretty; Frances White, Junior Account Executive at The Hartman Group and Torrie Gekas, Wardrobe Assistant at the “Wendy Williams Show”.

Applications are being accepted now through April 1, 2010. The program, which accepts 35 participants per session, is open to college students who are currently in their junior or senior year. Other admissions may be possible by special arrangement on a case-by-case basis. Because the American Theatre Wing is committed to making the program accessible to everyone, need-based financial scholarships are available.

Visit www.americantheatrewing.org/springboardnyc for application materials and more information.

The American Theatre Wing (Theodore S. Chapin, Chairman of the Board of Directors; Howard Sherman, Executive Director) is best known as the creator of the Antoinette Perry “Tony” Awards¬Æ, which it presents annually with The Broadway League. The Wing sponsors many activities, all dedicated to recognizing excellence and supporting education in theatre. These programs include “Downstage Center,” a weekly podcast featuring in-depth interviews with the leading artists and professionals working on stage today; “Working in the Theatre,” a weekly television program on CUNY TV which gathers panels of theater artists to discuss their crafts; “In the Wings,” a new web series that spotlights theatre’s behind-the-scenes talents; the Theatre Intern Group, a career development program for young professionals; and the Jonathan Larson¬Æ Grants, given annually to honor emerging composers, lyricists and book writers. All ATW media is available on americantheatrewing.org and on iTunes.

For additional information about all American Theatre Wing programs, go to americantheatrewing.org. You can also find the American Theatre Wing on Twitter (www.twitter.com/TheWing).