In celebration of our new “Back to School” Collection in collaboration with Playbill Store, we are sharing Broadway’s WOW (words of wisdom) on School! This collection includes three of our favorite Broadway designs dedicated to every young theater lover who dreams of Broadway.
“Back to school to me means life as usual! Your friends all come back from summer fun or summer gigs, and it’s a time to start gearing up for the year! I’ve always seen the start of fall as the start of a new year. A time to get my life back in order, work hard, and do what I love!”
“There is an infectious enthusiasm around the “back to school” season. It’s like this societal representation of new beginnings; a fresh start, a change of perspective. That feeling from my school days still floods me around this time, and I think is it an additional blessing as performers to get that sense of wonder every time we start a new project #firstdayofschool. I am so grateful for this season (and this Broadway industry) that allows us to channel the excitement and momentum of possibility!”
“I grew up in Michigan, and I did some summer arts stuff through high school, but most notably I attended Carnegie Mellon’s pre-college summer program. That program solidified my desire to pursue a career in performance. After graduating high school, I ended up at Syracuse University where I received my Bachelors of Fine Arts in Musical Theater.”
“I started to get really serious about theatre junior year of high school when I realized the only CDs I was listening to in the car were original broadway cast recordings, and I was prioritizing everything in my life around being in shows, making sure my schedule allowed for it. I used to come home from rehearsal and go straight to youtube where I watched Natalie Weiss sing “Quiet” on repeat. That’s when you know the obsession is real. I went to college at CCM for Musical Theatre and was able to get really serious about developing my skill set and figuring out who I am not only as an artist, but as a person. I’m so so thankful for the teaching I got there (and the family of bearcats that are my forever friends)!”
“I’m a proud native of The Philippines! I immigrated here when I was only nine years old. Started as a percussionist in 7th grade band then eventually joined choir and theatre and commenced dance training during my high school career. For my first Broadway show, seeing Wicked during our 11th grade NYC choir trip inspired me to pursue what I am so lucky to now call ‘my profession’.”
“I have studied theatre since the 5th grade and have had a passion for performing since I was 3 years old. I performed in various school productions and the community theatre in my town. In high school I was mentored by my incredible theatre teacher and director Linda Stevenson. She pushed me to break barriers that I didn’t even realize existed. She helped me get into Florida State University’s prestigious Music Theatre program and was always available to me when I needed advice or coaching. Unfortunately Mrs. Stevenson lost her battle to cancer while I was at away at FSU and she never got to see me perform a lead role at the university or anywhere else. After losing her there was a spark of strength and focus that ignited in me because I felt obligated to “make it” for her.”
“I had several pretty tough years. Senior year of high school, I audition for around 12 musical theatre programs around the country. I got rejected from all but 2 schools. One of the schools was sort of a last resort and the other was unfortunately out of my price range. I ended up going to a different school, the University of Oklahoma, for Acting. My goal was to be an Acting major and transfer into the Musical Theatre program my sophomore year. I took as many classes as possible to prepare myself, worked on several of the musicals, and gave it my all in my audition, but was wait-listed. I fortunately found out on the LAST day of school that someone had chosen to go elsewhere and there was now a slot for me in the program! I was thrilled. Honestly though, my work had just begun!”
“In high school, my friends and I were the quintessential theatre kids. Loud, proud, and beautifully weird, we’d dance down the hall belting Next to Normal and quoting Uta Hagen. Theatre was our drug and Broadway was life. At the beginning of the school year, after the fall musical cast list would come out, we’d induct new theatre kids into our group by forcing them to watch Rent. My love for Broadway was really solidified then. It’s so wild for me to think my high school dream really came true. I’m thankful for the band of weirdos, not just my own but theatre geeks all over, who inspired me to keep going.”
Photos by Jane Jourdan.