FSU Alumni & Broadway Stars Kevin Covert and Amanda Watkins speak to School of Theatre
Kevin Covert and Amanda Watkins had what Executive Director of the School of Theatre at Florida State University, Cameron Jackson, called a "reunion catch-up," where the longtime friends and colleagues spoke to students, faculty and staff about their lives since graduating from the School of Theatre.
Covert appeared in the original Broadway productions of Monty Python's Spamatlot, Memphis, and How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying – where he shared the stage with Daniel
Radcliffe (Harry Potter). Covert has toured across the country in numerous productions. He is thrilled to be back in Tallahassee to play Biggely in the School of Theatre's production of How To Succeed… and to choreograph the show.
Watkins started her career on Broadway, but after 15 years, she transitioned into management
and currently serves as the Executive Vice President of Production and Development at The
Araca Group in New York City. The Araca Group is a leading theatrical Production Company
with noteworthy productions that include Wicked, Urinetown: The Musical, Lend Me a Tenor, and A View from the Bridge.
Watkins shared with the audience information about the Araca Project, a program that commits
resources to artists for early career development. These resources allow selected artists an
opportunity to produce their work in an Off-Broadway venue. The program currently supports
graduates from Syracuse University, University of Michigan, Northwestern University, and soon, Florida State University.
Since graduating together in music theatre, Covert and Watkins have maintained a strong
friendship. From moments of laughter to words of wisdom, they reminisced upon college and
career highs and lows. They shared their tales of breaking into the business in New York and the obstacles they encountered, and how they continue to rely on all they learned while at Florida State.
As a parting word of advice to students, Watkins offered, "You have no idea how what you're
learning right now in school is going to stay with you for the rest of your life… the commitment that you make to your education is what will stay with you no matter what; the faculty here is such a gift."
For Covert's parting advice, "Something that's really important that I took with me from Florida
State is the camaraderie. This support is evident still today in the network and the family that's in New York City. It's amazing!"