By Rachel Morse, Staff Writer
Spring is a showcase season, where student performers learn to expand their talents outside the campus bubble.
The OCU Theatre and Wanda L. Bass School of Music have forged a combination of showcase opportunities on campus and across the country, said Lance Marsh, artistic director of theater.
Students will be exposed to casting directors from cities such as Los Angeles, New York and Chicago.
“We felt like if we were going to be training people to be ready to go out and work in the world we wanted them to have access to some of that before they left,” he said.
This year marks the launch of the first Dallas showcase, Marsh said. The destination has received large amounts of funding for its theater infrastructure, proving it to be a viable fourth city for the arts.
“Dallas is really primed to be the next big thing,” he said. “It will be really interesting to see what the Dallas market thinks about our students.”
About 30 students auditioned for and participated in the Jan. 28 showcase, in which they performed for 11 theater companies and several agents.
Also, the musical theater and theater showcases in New York showcases have been cast, Marsh said. This showcase performance, which will be May 8-9, is the only one with cuts, due to the competitive nature of the New York market.
“We have to bring out very best,” Marsh said.
Six theater students and 16 musical theater students were chosen by a high-profile, New York agent and casting director to attend the showcase.
Emilio Velasco, acting senior, said he couldn’t believe it when he was chosen for the New York showcase. He said he hopes it will help him make connections and get his name out.
“I have never been to New York before, so that will be an experience,” he said. “I am just excited to be a part of it.”
The final showcases include the Chicago showcase, happening April 20-22, and the Los Angeles Spring Break trip.
The Chicago showcase, which was introduced last year, was a huge success for the spring 2011 graduating class and for the university, Marsh said.
“(Casting directors) are starting to fight for who get to come,” he said. Though Marsh said the business is hard and “90 percent of union actors are out of work at one time,” these showcases will be helping graduating students break into the business.
“There are never any guarantees as an actor,” Marsh said. “But this will give them an initial boost into the market.”