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Photo Flash: Tony-Winner Celia Keenan-Bolger Inspires Students At Broadway Artists Alliance

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On Thursday, August 1st, Celia Keenan-Bolger dropped by NYC's Broadway Artists Alliance during a busy week of classes and rehearsals. Keenan-Bolger stars as Scout Finch in the critically acclaimed production of To Kill A Mockingbird on Broadway, a role for which she received the 2019 Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Play.

She is also well known for her starring turns in Peter and the Starcatcher (Molly, Tony® Nomination), The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Olive Ostrovsky, Tony® Nomination), The Glass Menagerie (Laura Wingfield, Tony® Nomination), The Cherry Orchard (Varya), and Les Miserables (Eponine). Keenan-Bolger discussed her experiences working in the entertainment industry and shared advice on how to navigate life as a performer, much to the excitement of the students.

The Q&A session started out with Keenan-Bolger recounting her long-time connection to To Kill A Mockingbird and sharing why the story is so important to her.

"I always thought that Scout Finch was a really special character, and I grew up in a household that focused on social justice and caring about other people, so it's very full circle to get to be in her shoes every night." The students were intrigued with Kennan-Bolger's descriptions of a Broadway rehearsal process, and asked her to share how she finds the confidence to create her characters. "It takes a lot of self-assurance as an actor to bring ideas to the table, and to be ok with it if they don't work perfectly," she explained. "But if you have an idea in rehearsal, be brave and share it, because what you have to offer as an artist is valuable, and the people who invited you into that room care about you being a part of the process." Keenan-Bolger then encouraged the students to support each other in their work, and to remember that there is enough space for everyone to have a voice in this field. "When I was young and my mom heard about an audition nearby, she would call all the other moms to let them know that it was happening. She wanted to teach my siblings and me that there is enough pie for everybody, and that other people's success is not your failure. I still carry that with me, and I hope you will too as you continue to see and work with each other in the future."

Broadway Artists Alliance of NYC, founded with the goal of providing professional-level training to talented young artists, enlists talented Broadway performers, Tony® Award winners, and top industry professionals. Students enjoy a wide range of classes including vocal training, song interpretation, scene study, on camera technique, and various types of dance. BAA offers four Summer Intensive Sessions and one Winter Workshop for students ages 10-21, BAA Junior for students ages 6-10, the Adult Professional Program, and a College Audition Workshop for high school Juniors and Seniors who will be auditioning for Musical Theatre and Acting degree programs.

For more information or to register for Programs, visit

Photo Credit: Laura McBride

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