BWW Feature: SENIOR THEATRE SHOWCASE at Douglas Anderson School Of The Arts, with Interviews

BWW Feature: SENIOR THEATRE SHOWCASE at Douglas Anderson School Of The Arts, with Interviews

There was an energy buzzing throughout the black box theatre at Douglas Anderson School of the Arts last Wednesday night. A thoroughly packed house, full of family, friends, and students awaited the final theatre projects of the graduating class of 2017. As a graduate myself of this school many moons ago, there was the bittersweet smell of nostalgia and hope...which totally could have been the lady with flowers sitting next to me, but I digress.

The evening was stuffed with two movement pieces, 12 monologues, five duet scenes, and four ensemble scenes, and I experienced so many emotions. Margarita Orozco's autobiographical comic monologue was keenly in tune with society and culture, all while remaining personal and reflective. Marissa Ubas brought me to tears as her self-composed movement piece revealed more self-awareness than I ever had at 18, while Elan Sandler and Logan Smith reminded me how grateful I am for programs like DASOTA's theatre program: their fleshed out, unafraid performance of a tough scene from Neil Simon's BRIGHTON BEACH MEMOIRS succeeded my expectations (I definitely peeked at the program before the showcase started and yipped a small song of glee at the thought of the piece).

There were several standout performances, and I had the opportunity to follow up with a few of them who are pursuing a theatrical education next year at universities throughout the country.

Say hello to Lauren Bell. Lauren will be attending Shenandoah University in the fall to pursue her BFA in Acting.

BWW: What is your all-time favorite role you have played?BWW Feature: SENIOR THEATRE SHOWCASE at Douglas Anderson School Of The Arts, with Interviews

Lauren: Little Red Riding Hood in Into the Woods

BWW: What is one role you would love to play?

Lauren: Natalie in Next to Normal. It's my favorite musical because not only do I love the music, but I love the awareness it brings to mental health and how mental illnesses affect people and their friends and family.

BWW: You're attending a great school in the fall. Will you share how you chose your audition pieces for college?

Lauren: I choose my material with great help from my coaches. I also try to listen to a new musical soundtrack weekly, and I found lots of great songs through that method!

BWW: What do you like to do when you aren't on stage?

Lauren: I love to do anything outdoors, especially hammocking, hiking, rafting, and swimming!

BWW: I had no idea "hammocking" is a thing, I'm putting that on my own list.

Meet Jordan Gregson. You may have seen him in D.A.'s production of PARADE last fall (that's where he won my heart, to be honest). Jordan is headed to Texas State University in the fall to pursue his BFA in Performance Theatre and Production.

BWW: How did you find the stage? How old were you?

BWW Feature: SENIOR THEATRE SHOWCASE at Douglas Anderson School Of The Arts, with InterviewsJordan: My Grandma took me to see the PHANTOM OF THE OPERA touring company at the Moran Theatre in downtown Jacksonville when I was six.

BWW: What is your favorite play?

Jordan: My favorite play is FENCES because August Wilson's writing really captures life and has created characters that resonant with many.

BWW: What are your long-term theatrical goals?

Jordan: I would love to open up my own theatre where new/upcoming playwrights could have their work produced and workshopped.

BWW: How do you choose a song or monologue?

Jordan: When choosing pieces to audition with, I see if they resonate with me and my connection to them.

Anita Diaz, most recently seen in Simone Aden's direction of THE DINING ROOM, will be double majoring in Performance and Technical Theatre at Florida Southern College in the fall.

BWW: Anita, How did you find the stage? How old were you?BWW Feature: SENIOR THEATRE SHOWCASE at Douglas Anderson School Of The Arts, with Interviews

Anita: I started theatre at LaVilla when I was 11 (in 6th grade). I got into theatre because I didn't want to audition for voice, even though it was my passion at the time.

BWW: What is your favorite musical or play and why?

Anita: DEAR EVAN HANSEN. I love the music and how it mixes pop with musical theatre. My favorite play is EVERY BRILLIANT THING by Duncan Macmillan. I've never read or seen a play that has a similar format, and I think the message is wonderful.

BWW: What do you like to do when you aren't on stage?

Anita: I like to read and journal when I'm not on stage, because I feel like those help me tend to my spiritual health. I love going to the beach, cooking, travelling, shopping, and spending time with family as well. I also like to work out!

Gena Haylock will be pursuing a BFA in Music Theatre at Florida State University in the fall.

BWW Feature: SENIOR THEATRE SHOWCASE at Douglas Anderson School Of The Arts, with InterviewsBWW: Gena, how did you find the stage? How old were you?

GENA: I have always been inspired by my mother who was a professional dancer, but I discovered my love for theatre in 4th grade when I played Lucy Lettuce in 5 A DAY! THE FRUIT AND VEGETABLE WAY.

BWW: What is your all-time favorite role you have played?

Gena: Ariel, in Theatre Jacksonville's production of THE LITTLE MERMAID.

BWW: What's it like balancing the demanding schedule of productions with classwork?

Gena: Though stressful at times, I have learned such important lessons about time management and responsibility that will stick with me throughout life.

BWW: Will you share your audition pieces? How do you choose a song or monologue?

Gena: My audition songs were "Gotta Get Out" from ORDINARY DAYS and "I've Never Said I Love You" from DEAR WORLD. My monologues were from BOY GETS GIRL and AFTER. I chose through a long process of trial and error. Thankfully, I had my mentor, Kevin Covert, to help me choose.

Broadway World wishes much success to these seniors and their classmates as Douglas Anderson. Thank you for your years of dedication and the great art that resulted. Now go break some legs!

Douglas Anderson will also be producing a Musical Theatre Showcase on Wednesday and Thursday, May 17th and 18th! Don't miss it!

What Do You Think? Tell Us In The Comments!


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From This Author Heather Vollman

Heather Vollman HEATHER VOLLMAN has roots that run deep in Northeast Florida theatre. A graduate of Douglas Anderson School of the Arts, with continued education in theatre (read more...)

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