Theatre Majors Learn From Broadway’s Best

Theatre Majors Learn From Broadwayƒ’‚¢ƒ¢â‚š‚¬ƒ¢â‚ž‚¢s BestApril 24, 2017 (Jackson, Miss.) - Some of Broadway’s brightest stars were on the Belhaven campus this semester, sharing valuable knowledge and giving expert advice to theatre majors.

Actors Kirsten Scott, Hairspray, Jersey Boys and Big Fish the Musical and John Scacchetti, Singin’ in the Rain, The Drowsy Chaperone and A Chorus Line both specialized in musical theatre. There visit consisted of workshops, master classes and one-on-one interactions.

Theatre Majors Learn From Broadwayƒ’‚¢ƒ¢â‚š‚¬ƒ¢â‚ž‚¢s BestAccess to industry professionals gave students an idea of what a career in theatre might look like. “It is vital for an academic theatre department, especially one with professional degree tracks, to invite professionals, working in the industry to campus,” said Belhaven Theatre Chair Dr. David Sollish.  “These visits supplement the existing curriculum with invaluable lessons learned in the professional world.”

Scott, who has been featured in major productions as well as on television in All My Children, shared more than just technical advice. “All of the training you get in college is so very important and you need to be the best at all three disciplines: singing, dancing and acting,” points out Scott. “But, whatever makes you unique and special, let that shine through. Because, at the end of the day, it’s those little things that are going to make you stand out from the crowd.”

Scacchetti has performed on Broadway’s 42nd Street, My Fair Lady and Gypsy.  He was recently a visiting assistant professor of dance at Western Carolina University where he reset the original choreography for their production of Gypsy. He spent the majority of his time helping students perfect their dancing and choreography for the upcoming Belhaven production, The Music Man. “The best advice I could give to theatre majors is to keep learning,” added Scacchetti. “You are representing other people’s stories.  Even when you leave campus and graduate from a theatre program, doesn’t mean your theatre training is complete. Always keep learning, growing and perfecting your craft.”

Dr. Sollish believes that students form lasting bonds with these guest artists and when they enter the professional world, they have already begun a network of contacts, which is of the utmost importance in the theatre industry. “Our students are continually inspired by the work they have done with our guest artists; it is an essential part of our theatre program.”

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