Acting and MDT Seniors Present New York Showcase
Two of the graduating performers discuss how BYU set the stage for their futures
BYU’s graduating seniors in the BFA acting and Music Dance Theatre (MDT) programs will present their annual showcase of songs, monologues and scenes to campus audiences before taking the show to New York to perform for agents, casting directors and other industry professionals.
“The showcase is really an extended audition,” said MDT head Tim Threlfall. “The objective is to give students something of a transition experience from the academic environment to the professional environment. Several casting directors and agents also come to campus here in Provo and help prepare students for the showcase in New York.”
Each of the 15 students will have around three minutes on stage to present their material, which is typically pulled from Broadway musicals, stage plays or film scripts.
“You’ll see a ton of variety and individuality in the different numbers we have chosen to do,” said MDT major Daniel Wallentine. “The preparation for this particular show has been different from any other rehearsal process I have experienced; we’ve had to bring in our own material and ideas rather than showing up and having material given to us. Each participant brings what they feel is uniquely ‘them.’”
Acting major Emily Moore is grateful for the chance to share her monologues and scene with a more familiar audience before taking the Big Apple plunge.
“I love performing, and getting to do so in front of friends and family is especially exciting,” she said. “This is also an opportunity to share our work with those who will be following in our footsteps in taking this course and going to New York in following years. Being able to do that in a space that I’ve loved being in for the past four years is quite exciting.”
The New York performance will take place after graduation on April 30 at the June Havoc Theatre.
“It’s exciting, intimidating, scary — it’s a little bit of everything, really,” said Moore. “It’s the first step in our journey, and it’s unknown territory, so that brings a sense of wonder and intimidation. Overall, though, I think taking the show to New York is such an incredible opportunity and such an awesome experience that we will get to have together.”
While their first New York audition is a daunting launch pad to a potential career, both Moore and Wallentine feel confident in the training they have received at BYU.
“I have loved my time in the acting program,” said Moore. “I learned so much and grew exponentially over the past four years. I loved all of the different aspects of the craft that each of my classes allowed me to explore. I will be leaving BYU with tools in my belt that will assist me in the best ways and will allow me to keep building upon the knowledge that I gained here.”
In addition to the practical skills he has learned over the course of his MDT experience, Wallentine has come to a better understanding of himself, both as a performer and as an individual.
“One of the biggest things I have gained is the ability to consciously recognize my strengths and to be proud of the progress that I have made as a performer,” said Wallentine. “I think it has also given me the tools to recognize my weaknesses and make concrete plans to overcome and change those weaknesses. BYU has done well in helping us understand our eternal identity and how that influences and informs our identities as performers.”
Tickets and Show Details
Performance Dates and Times: April 10-11 | 7 p.m. and 9 p.m.
Location: Nelke Theatre, Franklin S. Harris Fine Arts Center, BYU
Tickets: Available in person at the BYU HFAC or Marriott Center Ticket Office, by phone at (801) 422-2981 or online at byuarts.com