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Theatre students make it in Manhattan

By : Elaine Kelly

There are many paths to professional success when you are an actor; none of them easy.

Many theatre students at Binghamton focus on getting into the advanced professional training pipeline. Several are on their way to doing just that with help from the University/Resident Theatre Association (U/RTA), which acts as a conduit between undergraduate and master’s degree programs.

Two seniors and four 2005 theatre graduates from Binghamton recently stood before a multitude of representatives at U/RTA auditions in New York City, with hopes of being selected from more than 500 candidates.

Since November, seniors Naamah Harris and Will Green have spent intense hours with their acting coach, Associate Professor Anne Brady, preparing numerous classical and contemporary monologues.


first hurdle at the U/RTAs is an audition of two contrasting monologues. Two judges determine whether the candidates get to audition for all the U/RTA programs.

“I chose what I loved, what I’m passionate about,” Harris said. She picked Joan of Arc from Shakespeare’s Henry VI Part I and Hypatia from George Bernard Shaw’s Misalliance.

Monologues are chosen to demonstrate the individual’s acting ability as well as their facility with contemporary and classical texts.

Harris said the U/RTA process, though highly competitive, was also welcoming, helpful and friendly. Green admitted he was nervous, but energized and focused.

Training institutes, with connections to regional or repertory theatres, have different requirements. The average school will adm

it 16 to 18 students nationwide. Getting a “call back” to a program means that school is interested in further interviews and a possible invitation for admission.

Harris received four call backs and Green received eight. Multiple training programs also expressed interest in 2005 Binghamton graduates Greg Perri and Brian Jones.

It’s an exceptional achievement since most schools would prefer to have actors with two to 12 years of experience after their undergraduate degree.

“These students’ accomplishments exemplify the strength of the department’s actor training,” Brady said. “The acting faculty members have done our best through a long, intense process of preparation to launch these actors toward a demanding career in the performing arts.”
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Last Updated: 10/14/08