Wagner College Theatre To Be Given Emerging Young Artist Award 10/20


This Thursday, Oct. 20, the Wagner College Theatre program will be given the Emerging Young Artist Award by the Council on the Arts and Humanities for Staten Island. The award honors "a Staten Island individual or group of individuals under 30 years of age who have a strong record of achievement in any discipline or for a particularly significant single achievement."

The award will be given at COAHSI's annual gala [http://statenislandarts.org/galatix.html], being held in the Great Hall of the Snug Harbor Cultural Arts Center.
Melanie Franklin Cohn, COAHSI's executive director, said that Wagner Theatre had been singled out "for being a great community asset, for its achievement of being the most highly recognized theater program in New York City, and for encouraging and helping young artists achieve their career goals."

"The Emerging Young Artist Award honors the students, alumni and faculty who, throughout the department's 40-year history, have created and nurtured a supportive learning environment for young, emerging artists, many of whom have gone on to work on Broadway and beyond," said department chair Felicia Ruff. "It's gratifying to have Staten Island's lead arts agency recognize Wagner Theatre for the artistic achievement of our extraordinary student actors as well as our faculty."

This year alone, four Wagner College Theatre graduates are performing on Broadway: Scott Barnard '01 in the critically acclaimed and multi-Tony-award winning "Book of Mormon"; Monette McKay '07 in "Memphis"; Christina DeCicco '02 in "Sister Act," and Katie O'Toole '10 in "Jersey Boys."

In recent years Wagner's theatre program has been recognized as one of the nation's best collegiate theater programs, and the most highly recognized theater program in New York City. This is the seventh year in a row that the Wagner College Theatre Department has made the Princeton Review's Best College Theaters list. This year, Wagner ranked No. 5.

"This award [from COAHSI] is extra special since it comes from our own Staten Island community, where we have always enjoyed much support," Ruff said, "especially this year, while Wagner's Main Hall is under renovation and our Main Stage theater is closed. The Wagner College and Staten Island communities have demonstrated incredible resilience and creativity during this time."

This year, WCT's Main Stage shows - including the upcoming production of "My Fair Lady" - will be performed in the Music Hall of the Snug Harbor Cultural Center. "My Fair Lady" will run Nov. 16-19 and Nov. 30 through Dec. 4 in the Music Hall.

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