Making connections with students, alumni and Broadway!
The 2023 CONNECT on Broadway program was a collaboration with Harpur Edge and sponsored by the Alumni Association, Harpur College of Arts and Sciences and alumna Stephanie Courtney '92 (Flo in the Progressive ads).
Workshops and group excursions take place Monday through Thursday with working professionals who are alumni, supporters and colleagues of our department.
The program began with the Alumni Association's Networking Night at 5:30 p.m. Monday, Jan. 9, at The Sheraton New York Times Square Hotel.
Faculty/staff present for the 2023 program included Kari Ward Bayait '08, Jane Elliott, Elizabeth Mozer and Ariel Thomke. Twenty senior theatre majors/minors/graduate students were eligible to attend this program.
For acting and musical theater students; We selected workshop leads that are either alumni or colleagues of our faculty with whom alumni continue to train. Helping our students identify and meet high-quality artists for continued training is vital to the success of their careers as performers, especially in New York. Workshops selected focused on areas we don't regularly offer classes in, such as stage combat, physical acting and comedy. While we prioritized Binghamton alumni to lead these workshops, often they are working artists with limited availability, hence we connected to other professionals through faculty and alumni contacts, identifying potential sources of additional training.
Workshops for this group were held at Open Jar Studios:
- Physical Acting and Mime with Bill Bowers, (of Broadway’s The Lion King); colleague of Elizabeth Mozer and workshop lead for previous years
- Stage Combat and Musical Theatre Choreography with Mattew Steffens (just coming off Broadway’s Into the Woods); colleague of David Wynen
- Clown and Physical Comedy with Virgnia Scott; colleague of Elizabeth Mozer
- Entering the acting world for film and television with David Dean Bottrell (author and on screen actor); colleague of Elizabeth Mozer
- Talk and Writing workshop with Yvette Heyliger; colleague of Elizabeth Mozer
For design, stage management and technical theater students: We identified alumni who are working on any type of live event within the theater district. We had backstage tours of Broadway and off-Broadway productions, observed load-ins for special events at hotels and visited design studios. These engagements allowed design, technical theater and stage management students to see the broader spectrum of artistic, commercial and entertainment opportunities for which their skills are desirable. A number of these engagements have led to internships and jobs for our students after they graduate.
- Tour of lighting and event work at The Pierre by Peter Markowitz’s ‘88 company, Frost Productions
- Guided tour of Cooper-Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum, where Frost Productions is the house lighting design vendor
- Tour of The Shed, a performing and visual arts and cultural venue in mid-town Manhattan with Laura Aswad ‘88, a producer at The Shed
- Garment District tour with alumna Barbara Erin Delo ‘12
Experiences for the entire group this year included a site visit and talk at Situation Interactive, a marketing agency for Broadway and more. Jeremy Kraus ‘98 is VP of client relations and will led the talk. Also included was a talk covering press and media relations for entertainment, organized by adjunct lecturer Keith Hurd ‘88, at the PRG Offices in the Film Center Building.
We also saw as many shows as possible as a group, choosing shows that have a Binghamton alumni on or off stage. The productions we saw this January were:
- Kimberly Akimbo (Digital Marketing by Situation Interactive)
- Death of a Salesman (Barbara Erin Delo ‘12 is costume design associate; Beth DuBon ‘10 is running wardrobe)
- Seven Methods of Killing Kylie Jenner (Shawn Salick '21 is on staff at The Public's Under the Radar Festival, which produced this show.)
About this program:
CONNECT on Broadway brings senior and graduate students of theater to New York City for 4 days of workshops, venue tours and networking opportunities with alumni and colleagues of Binghamton University's Department of Theatre.
With sponsorship from the Alumni Association and Harpur College, and collaboration with Harpur Edge; this program unites alumni working in the field of arts and entertainment with students who are on the cusp of graduating and seeking professional opportunities. Students are accompanied by faculty and staff members of Theater at each program to assist with introductions and participation thorughout the CONNECT on Broadway.
Students experience the workshops, tours, lectures, and shows at no cost. Students are responsible for booking lodging, travel and food accommodations for the duration of the program. Thanks to Harpur College and generous alumni, funding for these expenses have been made available in the past.
This program began as an idea from the theatre department chair, Barbara Wolfe with donor and Tony Award® winning producer Albert Nocciolino and alumnus, Emmy-award® winning producer and adjunct lecturer, Keith Hurd ‘88. CONNECT on Broadway is administered by Kari Ward Bayait ‘08, who serves on the planning committee for Fleishman Center’s CONNECT program.
How to sign up:
Students who are registered Theatre Majors/Minors/Graduate students* are notified via Binghamton University email they can apply for a spot in the program in the Fall semester.
*Prefence is given to Senior standing Major/Minors and Graduate students. Students with Junior, Sophomore and Freshman standing may take open spots if they are available.