Broadway Pro Jared Gertner Performs With OCSA Musical Theatre Students
Nearly 30 Orange County School of the Arts (OCSA) Musical Theatre Conservatory students showcase a medley of music alongside Broadway actor Jared Gertner for the school's annual "Performing with the Pros" event on Friday, Feb. 1 and Saturday, Feb. 2. Through song and story, his cabaret-style performance takes the audience on a journey through Gertner's life and career, highlighting his various audition experiences. This year's "Performing with the Pros" features Broadway hits, as well as a few surprises.
Gertner is best known for co-starring as Elder Cunningham in "The Book of Mormon" (Broadway, First National Tour, London) and for his role as William Barfee in "The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee" (Broadway, San Francisco, Boston). He also performed in the Roundabout Theatre Company's "Ordinary Days" (off-Broadway) and has appeared in numerous popular television shows including "Modern Family," "Supernatural," Marvel's "Agent Carter," "The Good Wife" and many others.
Leading up to the performance, students attend an intensive four-week rehearsal process where they work together with Gertner to perfect their technique for the show. For 15 years "Performing with the Pros" has given students the opportunity to work side-by-side professionals who provide them with industry knowledge and invaluable arts training. While this event has been a long-standing tradition at OCSA, it is also unique each year because of the different experiences each performer brings to the show.
"Jared has a radiant and special energy about him. His story is one of surpassing expectation, the beauty of hard work and determination, and of course, the power and joy of laughter," said Scott Barnhardt, OCSA's director of musical theatre.
Professionals featured in previous years include Tony Award winners Lindsay Mendez ("Carousel," "Wicked," "Godspell") and Alice Ripley ("Next to Normal," "Sideshow"), Tony Award-winning composer Jason Robert Brown, and Emmy Award winner Liz Callaway ("Merrily We Roll Along," "Cats").
"Performing with the Pros" is part of OCSA's Master Artist Series, which is generously sponsored by Maureen and Michal Mekjian, McBeth Foundation, The Elerding Foundation, Harriet and Sandy Sandhu, Donna L. Kendall Foundation, Kent and Brandi Barkouras, The Kimmel Family, Yamaha and Garys Fashion Island.
"Performing with the Pros" takes place Friday, Feb. 1 and Saturday, Feb. 2 at 7 p.m. in OCSA's Margaret A. Webb Theatre (801 N. Main St., Santa Ana, CA 92701). Tickets are $26 online and $27 at the door, and can be purchased at boxoffice.ocsarts.net.
The nationally recognized Orange County School of the Arts (OCSA) provides an unparalleled arts and academic education in a creative, challenging and nurturing environment to a diverse student body passionate about the arts, preparing them to reach their highest potential. Founded in 1987 and still led by visionary educator Ralph Opacic, Ed.D., OCSA currently serves nearly 2,200 gifted students in grades seven through 12 from more than 100 cities throughout California. In addition to a college-preparatory academic program, OCSA offers pre-professional arts training in 15 conservatories within the schools of applied arts, dance, fine & media arts, music and theatre. The nonprofit public charter school relies solely on private donations, totaling $8.5 million annually, to fund the pre-professional arts training programs. For additional information, visit www.ocsarts.net.