32 Broadway Stars Take The SOPAC Stage In The Broadway Buddy Mentorship Cabaret
Thirty-two Broadway performers have been announced for Vanguard Theater Company's Third Annual Broadway Buddy Mentorship Program and Cabaret. This year's Broadway mentors and recent credits include Alicia Hall Moran (Porgy and Bess), Allison Fischer (Lestat), Andrea Dotto (Bandstand), Avionce Hoyles (Memphis), Bonita Hamilton (The Lion King - "Shenzi"), Bre Jackson (The Color Purple, The Book of Mormon), Catherine Brunell (Something Rotten), Catherine Ricafort (Miss Saigon), Dan'yelle Williamson (Memphis), Darius Barnes (The Sting), David Beach (Something Rotten), Deonte Warren (Aladdin), Douglas Lyons (Beautiful), Dwayne Clark (The Color Purple), Elena Ricardo (Beautiful), Jelani Remy (The Lion King), Joanna Young (The Drowsy Chaperone), Joshua Morgan (Les Miserables), Juan Drigo (JD) Ricafort (In the Heights), Kate Dawson (A Christmas Carol at MSG), Kenita Miller (Once on this Island), Kevin Massey (A Gentleman's Guide), Kris Roberts (Beautiful), Lauren Chapman (Frozen), Lauren Palmeri (Elf, the Musical), Loren Lott (Once On This Island), Marni Raab (The Phantom of the Opera), Martín Solá (On Your Feet), Nicole Van Giesen (Dear Evan Hansen), Randy Blair (Amélie), Robert Creighton (Frozen), Tommy McDowell (American Idiot). These accomplished performers have graciously volunteered their time and experience to mentor up-and-coming artists, ages 12 - 25.
"Last year's program was an overwhelming success. We had a diverse group of 27 mentees rehearsing songs with their mentors, hanging out backstage and sharing the stage with Broadway actors from TONY award winning shows like Hamilton, The Color Purple and On Your Feet. This year, we are thrilled to build more of these exciting, unique and one of a kind partnerships. The culminating cabaret is "just the cherry on top." says Artistic Director, Janeece Freeman-Clark.
After carefully reviewing a record number of auditions by hopeful applicants, the 2018 Broadway Buddy program launched on February 25, 2018. Over the next seven weeks, mentors will meet with their mentees, offering show business advice, personal stories and individual performance coaching during cabaret rehearsals. The mentees and mentors will perform together at the South Orange Performing Arts Center (SOPAC) on April 23, 2018 through a special collaboration with Seton Hall University's Theater Program. Tickets go on sale on March 15th.
"Vanguard is thrilled to partner with SOPAC and Seton Hall Theater Department for a second year. This is a win for access, equity and diversity. Audience members can expect to see a rainbow of talent that represents the best of Broadway's past, present and future. We are beyond excited," adds Managing Director, Jessica Sporn. "We are grateful to our sponsors: TeeRico by Lin-Manuel Miranda and Seton Hall Theater for making this program possible."
Excitement from the mentees is palpable. Says Toni Gardner, a recent graduate of Seton Hall University, "I am thrilled to be part of the Broadway Buddy program and cannot wait to see what the future brings after graduation." Seton Hall sophomore Tess Borsecnik adds: "I am incredibly excited to have this opportunity to work with amazing industry professionals. I am determined to make the most of it."
Mentees are from towns all over Northern NJ, including Bloomfield (Toni Gardner), East Orange (Aaron Bowes), Glen Ridge (Gabrielle McCarren), Maplewood (Franca Rosenblatt), Montclair (Alexa Owgang, Samy Cordero), Newark (Diana Alvarez, Yasmeena Atia Sharif, Leah Jenea, Troi Gaines), N. Plainfield (Amari Key), Nutley (Toni Garder), and West Orange (Olivia Ridley, Maria Nalieth, Indigo Blu and Branden Mangen), as well as from Granby, CT (Tess Borsecnik).
For more information, visit vanguardtheatercompany.org
ABOUT VANGUARD THEATER COMPANY
Vanguard Theater Company is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit producing original, collaborative and re-imagined works of theater. Dedicated to D.R.E.A.M. - Diversity, Reciprocity, Education, Awareness and Mentorship - Vanguard is committed to imaginative, non-traditional casting, and professional artistic mentorship. Vanguard Theater Company's year-round programming is made possible through generous support from TeeRico by Lin-Manuel Miranda; The New York Community Trust; Seton Hall University; Investors Bank; collaborations with Montclair Film, and the generosity of many individual donors. For more information about Vanguard Theater Company, email firstname.lastname@example.org, visit www.VanguardTheaterCompany.org