Next On Stage

Kalen Robinson Talks About The Importance of Training in an HBCU Environment - Next on Stage

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We're down to our top 5 in the Next on Stage competition!

Contestant Kalen Robinson shares more about her charity, which shows she's been binge watching during quarantine, and a memory from playing Nell Carter in Ain't Misbehavin' at Howard University!


What charity did you pick and why?

I chose the HBCU Foundation, specifically in the Arts and Culture on Campus branch. I chose this because Howard University is the only HBCU (Historically Black College and University) that offers a BFA in Musical Theatre. The money will aid in funding for programs to expand and eventually become specialized enough to offer black theatre students a BFA in what they love to do in an environment that caters to them. Theatre is becoming increasingly diverse, but training in an HBCU environment prepared me for the industry in a way that I would not have gotten anywhere else.

What is a fond memory you have from a past production?

My freshman year of college at Howard University, I was playing Nell Carter in "Ain't Misbehavin'" and we had just learned the final song. We were told to just improv our choreography while singing and it was so fun and one of the biggest rushes I've ever felt in a rehearsal.

What is your favorite musical and why?

The Color Purple - I grew up on the movie and the story is so touching. The characters are so full and the music is unmatched. It reminds me of my roots in the church.

What have you been doing during quarantine?

I've been binge watching shows like How to Get Away With Murder and Grey's Anatomy. I've also picked up new skills like painting, video editing, and working on my bartending skills lol

Give a shoutout!

Shoutout to God, my parents, and my entire family and village that supports me - You all keep me going!

Want to see Kalen in the final 3? Vote for her HERE!


Inspired by your favorite network TV singing contests, the site invited high school and college aged students to submit videos of themselves performing a song from the musical theatre canon to enter the competition.

Voting for the top 3 is now open! The nominees have submitted all new songs for you to listen to before casting your vote!

Voting for High School will close at 11:59 PM ET on Wednesday, June 24th. Voting for College will close on 11:59 PM ET on Thursday June 25th.

Then tune in for the results LIVE as the judges watch the performances and pick someone from the bottom three to be saved to compete for the top 3! Live shows will air Thursday at 8 PM (high school) and Friday at 8PM (college.)


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