The Department of Drama the College of Visual and Performing Arts introduced its acting and musical theater Class of 2021 today via a new website: SyracuseShowcase.com. The website offers a digital version of the department’s annual Lewis Hecker New York City Drama Showcase, which is usually held at the end of the spring semester in front of a live audience of industry professionals.
The digital showcase is produced by department alumni Ben Holtzman and Sammy Lopez (“Be More Chill”and the upcoming “Gun & Powder”), with direction by faculty member Katherine McGerr (“Birthday Candles” at Roundabout Theatre Company) and song preparation by alumnus and faculty member David Lowenstein (“Jerome Robbins Broadway,” “Seussical”).
The virtual platform designed by alumnus Joe Tannenbaum features scenes, songs, monologues and dance numbers performed by the Class of 2021. The videos were filmed and edited by Daylight Blue Media and captured onstage in spaces shared by the department and Syracuse Stage–all under strict COVID-19 protocol.
“As a response to the pandemic and industry shutdown, it was a challenge to shift the showcase digitally, but we were determined to offer the graduating actors the opportunity to present their work to the industry,” say Holtzman and Lopez. “Transitioning to a virtual platform allows us to create equitable exposure by expanding the number of students featured and providing access to industry members beyond New York City.”
Recently named by OnStage Blog as the best college theater program in New York State, the Department of Drama offers conservatory-style training in a university setting shared with a resident, professional theater (Syracuse Stage), presenting an unparalleled combination of teaching professionals and diverse performance and production opportunities. The department offers four conservatory-style bachelor of fine arts (B.F.A.) degree programs in acting, musical theater, stage management and theater design and technology, as well as a bachelor of science (B.S.) degree program in drama that features a theater management track.
The department is proud to have trained an impressive array of actors, writers, producers, designers, stage managers, casting directors, agents, managers and countless other professionals in the entertainment industry. The list includes such notable alumni figures as Vanessa Williams, Jessie Mueller, Aaron Sorkin, Taye Diggs, Reid Scott, Vera Farmiga, Frank Langella, Julia Murney, Will Pullen, Hannah Corneau, Matt Britten and Arielle Tepper to name a few.
For more alumni information and updates, follow Orange In The Apple & Beyond, an alumni-run organization devoted to uplifting and connecting Syracuse University drama graduates: @orangeintheapple.