I had the good fortune to be able to catch both CCM Senior Showcases this weekend. Friday it was the Drama Class of 2014 (featured above) and Saturday was the Musical Theatre Showcase.
I had never been to either and so I was excited to see what these talented performers had chosen to best demonstrate their abilities. I was very impressed with a few specific pieces on Friday night, especially the work of Hannah Halvorson, Zach Crowley, and Bailie Breax.
I laughed hysterically at the work of John Patrick Maddock and John Odom in their piece, WILD ANIMALS YOU SHOULD KNOW.
They all did a great job and I wish them well as they head off towards the next phase of their careers. We’ll be looking forward to following their successes for certain.
Saturday night was a lot more emotional for me, as I’ve befriended several of the class of 2014 and have watched them grow as performers over the last several years. This is likely the last time I will see many of them on stage for awhile until I can get to New York or the other professional venues in which they will find themselves.
The forty-five minutes of song and dance just flew by and as we neared the conclusion of the night, you could tell the seniors were anticipating the emotions that accompany the closure of any chapter in our lives. But they are pros, through and through, and were able to hold it together until the final number, ironically weeping through “Smile.” There wasn’t a dry eye on the stage and likely in the entire house as these very talented young people are fully prepared to take on the world of theatre.
Some highlights for me: Jordan De Leon’s rendition of “We Beseech Thee” from Godspell, Noah Ricketts, Blaine Alden Krauss, and Kimber Spawl’s “Stomp the Blues Away” from Honky Tonk Nights, Max Clayton’s dancing on both “Blue Skies” and “Ladies’ Choice,” Katie Wesler and Stephanie Cain’s tap prowess on “Go Into Your Dance” from 42nd Street, Stephanie J. Park’s soprano chops on “Falling in Love with Love”, Erica Vlahinos’ numbers, and so many more. There was of course no bad performance in the bunch and I could watch some of these kids sing and dance all day long.
Special congrats also to Jenny Hickman and Hannah Freeman who won an award for their work in the Studio Series production of CARRIE and to Katie Wesler and Kimber Sprawl who were named winners of the Duckett-Offenberger Award for Excellence.
I am going to miss them, especially Emily Schexnaydre, Katie Wesler, Max Clayton, Julian Decker, Colin Kessler, Stephanie Park, and Jenny Hickman. I am such a fan of them on stage but even moreso off the stage as they have always treated me with kindness and graciousness.
Best of luck to everyone in the Class of 2014 – both Musical Theatre and Drama – and we’ll see you soon starring in so many things. I consider it a privilege to follow your successes. Stay in touch!