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The Wallis, ASCAP & DreamWorks Animation Award Scholarships to Six Student Songwriters

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The three-day 2016 ASCAP Foundation Musical Theatre Workshop in Partnership with DreamWorks Animation and The Wallis concluded tonight with a special scholarship presentation by ASCAP Workshop Artistic Director and Tony, Oscar and Grammy Award-winner Stephen Schwartz. Six recipients - Mina Bloom, Rachel Gilbert, Tristan McIntyre, Dylan Schifrin, Bailey Share-Aizic and Juan Solis - were invited onto the stage of the Bram Goldsmith Theater at The Wallis to receive a combined $5,000 in scholarship funds to be applied to furthering their studies in musical theater and songwriting. The scholarship funds were gifted by DreamWorks Animation in recognition of the Isabelle Stevenson Award that Schwartz received at the 2015 Tony Awards for his commitment to serving artists and fostering new talent through his charitable work. The special scholarship presentation was followed by a Musical Theater Songwriting Master Class featuring Schwartz with special guests David Zippel, Alan Zachary and Michael Weiner.

The selected recipients are students in The Wallis' Songwriting for the Theater class taught by Stormy Sacks. The program teaches high school and college students the fundamentals of creating an original musical through the give and take of collaboration. The students participated in a 15 week session, which began on Monday, September 28, 2015, and concluded with a presentation of two ten-minute original musicals, President Fitz and Murder Afoot, in the Lovelace Studio Theater on Saturday, February 13, 2016. Plans for the next session of Songwriting for the Theater have yet to be announced. Please visit, TheWallis.org/Songwriting for more information.

"These six students have already demonstrated a great level of talent at such a young age and I am thrilled to be able to share this scholarship among them," said Stephen Schwartz. "Through the ASCAP workshop, we take pride in offering musical theater songwriting education to adults and are excited to be able to extend such opportunities to younger aspiring students."

"Stephen's generosity and dedication to furthering the arts and arts education is truly incomparable," said Mark Slavkin, Director of Education at The Wallis. "We are delighted to present this scholarship to the talented students of our Songwriting class as a reward for the hard work and creativity they brought throughout the session. We send our upmost gratitude to our partners ASCAP and DreamWorks Animation for making this possible."


About the Scholarship Recipients:

Mina Bloom is in her junior year studying theatre in the department of Theatre Film and Television at UCLA. As a composer she participated in the 2015 ShowSearch Festival with Leland Frankel and their piece called Emily Again. She is hoping to apply to NYU for a Masters in Musical Theatre Songwriting and plans on playing tunes on the 88s all lifelong!

Rachel Gilbert is currently a senior attending Beverly Hills High School. She has always had a passion for writing, having created over 100 short stories and a full-length screenplay. As a senior producer of her school's broadcast news show, KBEV, she oversees all aspects of its delivery to Channel 6 on Time Warner Cable. Her combined love of musical theater and writing has brought her to The Wallis's Songwriting for the Theater. With the guidance and mentorship of Stormy Sacks, the program has helped expand her teamwork skills, knowledge of developing a story through music and the process of bringing that story to life. Rachel has been accepted as a screenwriting major at Dodge College of Film and Media Arts at Chapman University.

Tristan McIntyre is a senior at Beverly Hills High School and a JRAY award-winning comedian and dancer. At Beverly, Tristan is a member of the advanced acting troupe, the Madrigal Singers, and the dance company. Recent credits include Noises Off (Gary/Roger), Guys and Dolls (Benny Southstreet), Fuddy Meers (Millet), A Midsummer Night's Dream (Demetrius) and Romeo & Juliet (Benvolio). Tristan co-choreographed Beverly's spring musical, Guys and Dolls, and directed his own adaptation of the myth "Pyramus and Thisbe" for BHHS Theatre Department's original production, Twisted Myths. Recently, Tristan's first original song, "Imaginary Place," received over 1K views on YouTube. Upon graduating high school, Tristan plans to pursue a BFA in musical theater while continuing his passion for songwriting.

Dylan Schifrin is in 12th grade at Harvard-Westlake School and is a playwright, musician, composer and shameless self-promoter. Dylan's plays The Soul Doctor and The Exceptional Childhood Center have been performed in the Harvard-Westlake Playwrights Festival in 2014 and 2015, respectively. The Exceptional Childhood Center was also a winner of the Blank Theater's 23rd Annual Young Playwrights festival and was given a professional production in June of 2015. Dylan is a singer in the Harvard-Westlake Chamber Singers and plays classical piano outside of school and jazz piano in the school's jazz band. Dylan was recently selected as a YoungArts finalist in creative writing and in January attended YoungArts Week in Miami, a truly life changing experience. No matter what he goes on to do in this crazy world of ours, Dylan will always treasure music and creative writing as an invaluable passions of his. President Fitz was a super fun project to work on for Dylan, and he hopes you enjoy!

Bailey Share-Aizic is a sixteen-year-old writer, comedian, and homeschooled human person. She is a member of Detention Hall, Second City's Teen Improv Troupe, and has also performed at the Upright Citizens Brigade and The Groundlings. She hopes to leave the world better than she found it.

Juan Solis is currently a senior in the music academy at Ramon C. Cortines High School for the Visual and Performing Arts. He is a vocalist and composer but he rarely jots anything down. He prefers to sit at the piano and release his saudade into the etherin his solitude. And if you'd ever like to speak with him please refrain from looking at your phone and "Look at me..."- Erroll Garner/ Johnny Burke. Juan is absolutely in love with jazz and he can quote any tune you can think of, from Bessie Smith to Lalah Hathaway to Art Tatum and Thelonious Monk. He aspires to be a part of the world that these great musicians have blessed with their incredible voices. To touch the hearts of others just like they've snatched his and used it like a Yo-Yo. He hopes to someday scat with these great musicians.


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