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  • New York Film Academy (NYFA) Musical Theatre Alum Ilda Mason Makes Broadway Debut in ‘West Side Story’

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    Professional Conservatory of Musical Theatre (PCMT at NYFA) alum Ilda Mason will soon be making her Broadway debut in the upcoming stage revival of West Side Story.

    Mason is no stranger to the iconic play, which began as a Tony Award-winning musical before being adapted into a 1961 film that won ten Academy Awards. Mason has performed in two productions of West Side Story—one at Signature Theatre in Arlington, VA, and another at Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn, NJ. She will also be appearing in the much-anticipated Hollywood adaptation directed by Steven Spielberg, set for a 2020 release. The upcoming film is written by Tony Kushner and stars Ansel Elgort, Rachel Zegler, Maddie Ziegler, Corey Stoll, and original West Side Story star Rita Moreno.

    In addition to her West Side Story role as one of the Sharks, Mason has performed in the Gloria Estefan musical On Your Feet as well as a production of Legally Blonde in China, and has been an ensemble member in the national tour of Cinderella. Additionally, she was a professional dancer for two seasons on Panama’s Dancing with the Stars.

    “Ilda was an engaged, focused student and an integral member of the NYFA Musical Theatre community,” says Kristy Cates, Creative Director of PCMT at NYFA, where Mason attended the 2-Year Musical Theatre conservatory in 2015. “We are all so proud of her many successes and look forward to watching her star continue to rise.”

    The new Broadway revival of West Side Story is directed by Ivo Van Hove, with choreography by Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker. Previews begin December 10, with the show officially opening on February 6, 2020 at the Broadway Theatre.

    New York Film Academy congratulates PCMT at NYFA alum Ilda Mason on her Broadway debut and looks forward to seeing her both on stage and on the screen in Steven Spielberg’s upcoming West Side Story.

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    November 26, 2019 • Musical Theatre, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 452

  • Another Successful Year for Nordic International Film Festival Founders & New York Film Academy (NYFA) Alumni

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    Last week saw another successful edition of the Nordic International Film Festival (NIFF), founded by New York Film Academy (NYFA) alumni Johan Matton and Linnea Larsdotter. This October marked the fifth year for NIFF.

    This year’s fest was held at the renowned Roxy Cinema in Tribeca, and ran from October 16 – 20. The week saw a world premiere, six international premieres, two North American premieres, one US premiere, and 11 New York premieres among its multiple programs, with 79% of the official selections including at least one woman in a prominent role behind the camera. Jury members, hosts, and alumni of the festival included industry notables like Kristin Chenoweth, Bruce Greenwood, Jerome Flynn, Hakeem Kae-Kazim, Veena Sud, Julian Glover, Lyndsy Fonseca, and Eric Roberts. Two special awards were given at this year’s program: the Nordic Film Grand Prize, which offers a one-week trip to the Faroe Islands, and the International Film Grand Prize, which offers a one-week trip to Finland.

    Nordic International Film Festival 2019

    Two additional awards were sponsored by New York Film Academy, and presented by NYFA President Michael J. Young. Night Cleaners by Hanna Nordenswan won Best Documentary Short, while Tia Kuovo, writer and director of We Retired People, won the Aurora Borealis Award for Best Up and Coming Filmmaker. Both award winners received scholarships for a 4-Week workshop of their choice at NYFA to advance their filmmaking studies.

    “New York Film Academy is proud to support the Nordic International Film Festival,” Young expressed to the audience in a short speech, continuing, “and especially proud of our alumni Johan and Linnea, who created such an extraordinary and enduring festival.”

    NIFF was founded in October 2015 by Swedish-born actors and producers Johan Matton and Linnea Larsdotter, both alumni of New York Film Academy. Matton attended the 2-Year Acting for Film conservatory in 2009 at our New York campus, as well as our 2-Day Line Producing workshop in 2018. Larsdotter attended the 2-Year Musical Theatre program at the Professional Conservatory of Musical Theatre at New York Film Academy (PCMT at NYFA) in 2010.

    Matton and Larsdotter have worked hard to put NIFF together while building on each year’s success with bigger and grander goals. While speaking to the audience on closing night, Larsdotter highlighted the festival’s commitment to gender equality in filmmaking: “Here at NIFF it’s been our focus since the very beginning, me being a female producer in this industry, I know that there are obstacles we have to face, and I’m so proud to say … in this Official Selection we were 50/50 male and female directors,” stated Larsdotter to thunderous applause.

    Nordic International Film Festival 2019

    The Nordic International Film Festival is the biggest fest of its kind outside Europe, and features quality work of Scandinavian and international filmmakers in an exclusive, beautifully organized New York setting. NIFF has a mission that goes beyond the average film festival, one that seeks to build bridges between the Nordic region, encouraging and connecting filmmakers from all over the globe.

    NIFF has presented diverse independent films with strong characters and storylines from artists around the world, including Oscar-nominated filmmakers, Nobel Prize winners, and star-studded casts, and aims to achieve a 50-50 male/female ratio each year, as well as creating zero non-recyclable waste during the festival while providing only environmental friendly, vegan food and snacks.

    All in all, this year’s fest was a great success. “We couldn’t be more thrilled to have completed our 5th annual Nordic International Film Festival,” says Matton. “With our strongest lineup of world premieres yet and the support from our incredible partners and organizations … this film festival will keep growing–and now with the support from NYFA, so will these incredible filmmakers.”

    New York Film Academy congratulates NYFA alumni Johan Matton and Linnea Larsdotter on another successful edition of their Nordic International Film Festival, and looks forward to another stunning event next year!

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    October 23, 2019 • Acting, Film Festivals, Musical Theatre, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 531

  • New York Film Academy (NYFA) Musical Theatre Alum Lisa Monde Stars in Off-Broadway Anne Frank Musical

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    Lisa Monde, an alum of the Professional Conservatory of Musical Theatre at New York Film Academy (PCMT at NYFA) recently appeared in Anne Frank, The Musical, an Off-Broadway limited production that ran in September. 

    Monde plays Edith Frank, the mother of Anne Frank, the teenage girl whose posthumous diary has become one of the most read and discussed stories of the Holocaust. The production was the domestic Off-Broadway premiere of a successful French musical, and featured a dozen artists recreating the life of Anne Frank with music and lyrics written by Jean Pierre Hadida.

    Lisa Monde
    Monde hails from Russia and was one of the very first alumni of NYFA’s Musical Theatre program, having attended the 1-Year conservatory in 2009 at NYFA’s New York campus. She is an award-winning actress, singer, director and writer, who began her career in Europe and has since worked Off-Broadway in various plays and musicals. 

    Her credits include Dali’s Dream (Coco Chanel); Arsene Lupin VS Sherlock Holmes (AJ Raffles Holmes); The Elizabeth Taylor Story (Elizabeth Taylor); Ghost Writers (Mary Shelley); A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Hippolyta); Of Mice and Men (Curley’s Wife); La Cage Aux Folles (Jacqueline); Dracula. Finding of a Shadow (Mina Murray); Teach Me How to Die (Poet); True Confessions of the Straight Man (Rebecca, various); and Romeo and Juliet (Lady Capulet).

    Additionally, Monde has appeared in the web series Existentialism and Callie and Izzy and starred in the feature film The Most Dangerous Man UVX by Future Proof Productions, which is set to premiere later this year. Monde has also has produced, written (book and music), and directed eight staged musicals and seven plays.

    “I am very honored and excited to be playing the part of Edith Frank,” says Monde of her latest role. “First of all, playing Edith is a challenge, in the best possible way. I remember, how when I studied at NYFA, we did character work and learned how to prepare as actors—thorough research, lots of reading, trying out different approaches and emotions for the character. And I do the work every time and apply those skills in my career pretty much every day!

    “Since it’s a musical—it’s not just about telling the immortal story of Anne Frank and her life in the Secret Annex, but also about expressing the feelings and complex emotional states of characters through music,” continues Monde. “Which brings me to the second exciting challenge—music. The composer and author of Anne Frank, The Musical, Jean-Pierre Hadida, has created a very complex musical score, which is meant for singers with great technique and extensive vocal ranges … I really hope that thanks to the rich musical material, very important story—which we all should remember and never forget—and an interesting creative approach of the director/producer, David Serero, this musical will extend its run and find its way to Broadway!”

    Lisa Monde Anne Frank
    Monde was joined in the cast of Anne Frank, The Musical by David Serero (Otto Frank), Kristyn Vario (Anne Frank), SaraKate Coyne (Margot), Wendell Hester (Peter), Jacob Waid (Herman Van Pels), Mackenzie Tank (Augusta Van Pels), Erik Contzius (Fritz Pfeifer), Jordan Flippo (Miep), Alex Schecter (Slammer and U/S), and Emily Samuelson (Ensemble and U/S). The production was directed by David Serero and adapted into English by Dylan Hadida. Performances were held at the Center for Jewish History and ran from September 11 – 24, 2019.

    New York Film Academy congratulates PCMT at NYFA alum Lisa Monde on her latest role and wishes her success as her career, both on- and off-stage, continues to grow!

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    October 1, 2019 • Musical Theatre, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 12

  • New York Film Academy (NYFA) Musical Theatre Alum Audrey-Louise Beauséjour Voices Nala in French in ‘The Lion King’

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    Audrey-Louise BeauséjourNew York Film Academy (NYFA) Musical Theatre alum Audrey-Louise Beauséjour has dubbed the singing voice for Nala in the French audio track for Disney’s live action remake of The Lion King, filling in for Beyoncé who played the role in English this summer.

    The Lion King, which releases digitally on October 11 and on home video on October 22, was one of several successes for Disney in 2019, grossing over a billion dollars at the box office. Several audio tracks have been recorded in non-English languages so people around the world could enjoy the movie’s famous musical numbers, in addition to its incredible visuals.

    The film, a remake of the animated 1994 classic, employed a unique, state-of-the-art virtual reality set to bring the African savannah to life—technology partially developed by NYFA Game Design alum Guillermo Quesada. Directed by Jon Favreau (Iron Man, The Jungle Book), the 2019 Lion King co-stars Donald Glover, Beyoncé, James Earl Jones, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Alfre Woodard, Seth Rogen, Billy Eichner, and John Oliver in the original English track, among several others.

    NYFA alum Audrey-Louise Beauséjour was a natural choice for the role of Nala, the love interest of main character Simba. The Canadian-born musician and singer enrolled at the Professional Conservatory of Musical Theatre at New York Film Academy (PCMT at NYFA) in Fall 2018, studying at our New York campus.

    New York Film Academy congratulates musical theatre alum Audrey-Louise Beauséjour on her French-language singing role for Disney’s The Lion King!

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    September 26, 2019 • Musical Theatre, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 483

  • New York Film Academy (NYFA) Welcomes Golden Globe Winner & ‘Crazy Ex-Girlfriend’ Star Rachel Bloom

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    New York Film Academy (NYFA) welcomed Rachel Bloom, the Golden Globe-winning and Emmy-nominated writer, producer, and co-creator of the CW’s hit series Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, on Wednesday, August 21. Bloom spoke with students in an event at NYFA’s Burbank-based campus, moderated by Tova Laiter, Director of the NYFA Q&A Series.

    Rachel Bloom is most widely known as the star of the CW musical dramedy Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, which she co-created and executive produced with Aline Brosh McKenna. For her lead role in the series, Bloom won a Golden Globe for Best Actress in a TV Series – Musical or Comedy, as well as winning at the Critics’ Choice Awards, and TCA Awards. She is also a four-time Emmy nominee for both Crazy Ex-Girlfriend and the Adult Swim sketch series Robot Chicken, which she wrote for.

    Rachel Bloom

    Bloom also wrote and performed in Yes: It’s Really Us Singing: The Crazy Ex-Girlfriend Concert Special!, which aired after the series finale on the CW, and recently voiced the role of Batgirl in Batman VS. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Bloom will be featured next in The Angry Birds Movie 2 opposite Jason Sudeikis as well as Trolls 2: Trolls World Tour with Anna Kendrick and Justin Timberlake.

    Tova Laiter began the Q&A by asking Bloom how the idea for Crazy Ex-Girlfriend came about. “I had been doing comedic music videos on my YouTube channel for quite some time,” replied Bloom. “Apparently, Aline saw them and I got an email from her saying she wants to meet with me to discuss a potential musical television show with CBS. It came out of the blue.” Suddenly, the musical comedy ideas that Rachel had pitched and been turned down had become alive and viable.

    As for developing the skills necessary to be discovered, Bloom told the enthusiastic crowd, “I have to believe that hard work and honing your craft work out and pan out, but you can’t necessarily do it for that end goal because that’s just luck and there’s a lot of factors.” She added, “You have to love the craft and you have to love the work.” 

    Bloom continued on by advising students to “hone the process first and make connections in organic ways, but get good at your work first and then see what happens.”

    Rachel Bloom

    The Q&A then opened up to NYFA students. Bloom was asked how she and her team defined the line between homage and satire of musical theatre on Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. Bloom answered, “It’s a very inexact science and a lot of it was gut and emotion. A lot of it came from my own un-ironic love of musical theatre and learning comedy and realizing that a lot of musical theatre is goofy and embarrassing, but still loving it. It’s just mostly instinctive.” 

    The Q&A ended with Bloom being asked how she approaches writing and portraying characters with mental health issues without turning them into caricatures. Bloom articulated the importance of “coming at it from a first-person perspective and coming at it with empathy.”  

    New York Film Academy would like to thank writer, performer, and Golden Globe winner Rachel Bloom for sharing her expertise with our students!

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    September 4, 2019 • Acting, Guest Speakers, Musical Theatre, Screenwriting • Views: 509

  • New York Film Academy (NYFA) Movie Musical ‘Kaya: Taste of Paradise’ to Screen in Montreal

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    Kaya: Taste of ParadiseKaya: Taste of Paradise, the movie musical directed by Paul Warner for the Professional Conservatory at New York Film Academy (PCMT at NYFA), will be screening as part of Never Apart’s LGBT Film Series later this month in Montreal, Quebec.

    Kaya: Taste of Paradise is a movie musical set in 1979 and tells the story of a young South African immigrant, Kaya (Lethabo Mofomme), coming of age in New York City. Orphaned by the Soweto Uprisings of 1976, her brother, DeMarco (Okieriete Onaodowan of Broadway’s Hamilton and Great Comet), struggles to protect Kaya at all costs. While he rebuilds their lives in Harlem to provide a home for her, Kaya escapes to a disco in Brooklyn called Club Paradise in search of independence. She befriends Pato (Felipe Joglar), a gender-bending performance artist from Chile, and gradually becomes enchanted by the glamorous Cocoa (Stasi Berezovskaya), the headliner and owner of Paradise. The events unfold at the dawn of the AIDS epidemic.

    The movie musical was directed by filmmaker and NYFA instructor Paul Warner and written by Jerome A. Parker, with music and lyrics by Anna K Jacobs. “This film not only showcases exceptional music, storytelling, and direction, but it also celebrates a significant socio-political era in pursuit of civil rights,” says Sean Robinson, who edited and co-produced the film. “The gift of song should never be wasted and NYFA is providing an avenue for these students’ voices to be heard.”

    Kaya: Taste of Paradise

    Kaya will screen on August 15, at 7:00 p.m., followed by a Q&A with Warner, and hosted by Bradley Grill. The event, which coincides with Montreal’s Pride Week, is part of Never Apart’s month-long LGBT Film Series. Never Apart is a nonprofit based in Montreal, founded in 2015. The organization aims to bring about social change and spiritual awareness through gatherings, music, art exhibitions, panel discussions, workshops, and special events.

    New York Film Academy encourages everyone in the area to check out Kaya: Taste of Paradise on August 15! Details about the screening can be found here.

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    August 5, 2019 • Musical Theatre, Progressive & Social Causes • Views: 722

  • New York Film Academy (NYFA) Community Celebrates Wins & Performances at the 2019 Tony Awards

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    On June 9, New York Film Academy (NYFA) was proud to see several members of the NYFA community and their work showcased and honored this year at the 2019 Tony Awards. The 73rd edition of Broadway’s biggest night was held at Radio City Music Hall, with musical Hadestown crowned standout of the night, earning eight total wins, including Best Musical.

    2019 Tony Awards
    A viewing party for the Tony Awards was held at the NYFA Theatre at our New York campus, where Musical Theatre students were joined by other NYFA students to watch the ceremony on the big screen. The crowd of enthusiastic young artists cheered the winners and sang along with several of the performances.

    James T. Lane, a faculty member of the Professional Conservatory of Musical Theatre at New York Film Academy (PCMT at NYFA), performed live at the ceremony as a principal cast member of the Tony-nominated revival Kiss Me, Kate. Lane’s Broadway credits include King Kong, The Scottsboro Boys, and A Chorus Line.

    Dance Area Head Michelle Potterf was thrilled to see a NYFA instructor on the big stage, saying, “James T. Lane is an amazing Broadway performer and PCMT at NYFA is extremely lucky to have him as a teacher and a choreographer!”

    Potterf added, “Students in the program had the opportunity to view James in his element, as a Broadway Star … What an amazing experience!”

    2019 Tony Awards

    In addition to Kiss Me, Kate, the cast of Beetlejuice: The Musical, one of Broadway’s newest hit musicals, also performed on the Radio City stage. Catie Davis, who has Guest Directed for PCMT at NYFA—helming last February’s production of #MARS as part of our 2019 Winter New Works Series—is the Associate Director of Beetlejuice.

    The NYFA community celebrated some Tony Award wins this year as well. Bryan Cranston collected his second career Tony, winning Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play in the stage adaptation of Paddy Chayefsky’s Network. Cranston spoke with New York Film Academy students as part of our NYFA Guest Speaker Series in 2016.

    Tootsie, another successful adaptation of a Hollywood film, came away with two Tony Awards, including Best Book of a Musical for Robert Horn and Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical for Santino Fontana. PCMT at NYFA instructor Dave Solomon served as Associate Director on the hit musical.

    “We’re incredibly proud of Dave’s work on this show,” says NYFA Chair of Musical Theatre Mark Olsen. “Adapting such a popular film is always a challenge, and this creative team has done a phenomenal job. The show is very deserving of all the accolades its received.”

    2019 Tony Awards
    The Cher Show
    also picked up two Tonys for Stephanie J. Block (Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical) and Bob Mackie (Best Costume Design of a Musical). Travis Greisler, the Associate Director on The Cher Show, has Guest Directed the PCMT at NYFA musicals Nine (2017) and Joni (2016). 

    New York Film Academy congratulates the winners and performers of the 2019 Tony Awards and is delighted to see its community members involved with Broadway’s biggest and most celebrated night! 

    Here is the full list of this year’s Tony Award winners & nominees:

    Best Play
    Choir Boy
    The Ferryman – WINNER
    Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus
    Ink
    What the Constitution Means to Me

    Best Musical
    Ain’t Too Proud – The Life and Times of the Temptations
    Beetlejuice
    Hadestown – WINNER
    The Prom
    Tootsie

    Best Revival of a Play
    Arthur Miller’s All My Sons
    The Boys in the Band – WINNER
    Burn This
    Torch Song
    The Waverly Gallery

    Best Revival of a Musical
    Kiss Me, Kate
    Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Oklahoma! – WINNER

    Best Book of a Musical
    Ain’t Too Proud – The Life and Times of the Temptations (Dominique Morisseau)
    Beetlejuice (Scott Brown & Anthony King)
    Hadestown (Anaïs Mitchell)
    The Prom (Bob Martin & Chad Beguelin)
    Tootsie (Robert Horn) – WINNER

    Best Original Score (Music and/or Lyrics) Written for the Theatre
    Be More Chill (Music & Lyrics: Joe Iconis)
    Beetlejuice (Music & Lyrics: Eddie Perfect)
    Hadestown (Music & Lyrics: Anaïs Mitchell) – WINNER
    The Prom (Music: Matthew Sklar, Lyrics: Chad Beguelin)
    To Kill a Mockingbird (Music: Adam Guettel)
    Tootsie (Music & Lyrics: David Yazbek)

    Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play
    Paddy Considine, The Ferryman
    Bryan Cranston, Network – WINNER
    Jeff Daniels, To Kill a Mockingbird
    Adam Driver, Burn This
    Jeremy Pope, Choir Boy

    Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play
    Annette Bening, Arthur Miller’s All My Sons
    Laura Donnelly, The Ferryman
    Elaine May, The Waverly Gallery – WINNER
    Janet McTeer, Bernhardt/Hamlet
    Laurie Metcalf, Hillary and Clinton
    Heidi Schreck, What the Constitution Means to Me

    Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical
    Brooks Ashmanskas, The Prom
    Derrick Baskin, Ain’t Too Proud – The Life and Times of the Temptations
    Alex Brightman, Beetlejuice
    Damon Daunno, Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Oklahoma!
    Santino Fontana, Tootsie – WINNER

    Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical
    Stephanie J. Block, The Cher Show – WINNER
    Caitlin Kinnunen, The Prom
    Beth Leavel, The Prom
    Eva Noblezada, Hadestown
    Kelli O’Hara, Kiss Me, Kate

    Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Play
    Bertie Carvel, Ink – WINNER
    Robin De Jesús, The Boys in the Band
    Gideon Glick, To Kill a Mockingbird
    Brandon Uranowitz, Burn This
    Benjamin Walker, Arthur Miller’s All My Sons

    Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play
    Fionnula Flanagan, The Ferryman
    Celia Keenan-Bolger, To Kill a Mockingbird – WINNER
    Kristine Nielsen, Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus
    Julie White, Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus
    Ruth Wilson, King Lear

    Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical
    André De Shields, Hadestown – WINNER
    Andy Grotelueschen, Tootsie
    Patrick Page, Hadestown
    Jeremy Pope, Ain’t Too Proud – The Life and Times of the Temptations
    Ephraim Sykes, Ain’t Too Proud – The Life and Times of the Temptations

    Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical
    Lilli Cooper, Tootsie
    Amber Gray, Hadestown
    Sarah Stiles, Tootsie
    Ali Stroker, Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Oklahoma! – WINNER
    Mary Testa, Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Oklahoma!

    Best Scenic Design of a Play
    Miriam Buether, To Kill a Mockingbird
    Bunny Christie, Ink
    Rob Howell, The Ferryman – WINNER
    Santo Loquasto, Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus
    Jan Versweyveld, Network

    Best Scenic Design of a Musical
    Robert Brill and Peter Nigrini, Ain’t Too Proud – The Life and Times of the Temptations
    Peter England, King Kong
    Rachel Hauck, Hadestown – WINNER
    Laura Jellinek, Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Oklahoma!
    David Korins, Beetlejuice

    Best Costume Design of a Play
    Rob Howell, The Ferryman – WINNER
    Toni-Leslie James, Bernhardt/Hamlet
    Clint Ramos, Torch Song
    Ann Roth, Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus
    Ann Roth, To Kill a Mockingbird

    Best Costume Design of a Musical
    Michael Krass, Hadestown
    William Ivey Long, Beetlejuice
    William Ivey Long, Tootsie
    Bob Mackie, The Cher Show – WINNER
    Paul Tazewell, Ain’t Too Proud – The Life and Times of the Temptations

    Best Lighting Design of a Play
    Neil Austin, Ink – WINNER
    Jules Fisher + Peggy Eisenhauer, Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus
    Peter Mumford, The Ferryman
    Jennifer Tipton, To Kill a Mockingbird
    Jan Versweyveld and Tal Yarden, Network

    Best Lighting Design of a Musical
    Kevin Adams, The Cher Show
    Howell Binkley, Ain’t Too Proud – The Life and Times of the Temptations
    Bradley King, Hadestown – WINNER
    Peter Mumford, King Kong
    Kenneth Posner and Peter Nigrini, Beetlejuice

    Best Sound Design of a Play
    Adam Cork, Ink
    Scott Lehrer, To Kill a Mockingbird
    Fitz Patton, Choir Boy – WINNER
    Nick Powell, The Ferryman
    Eric Sleichim, Network

    Best Sound Design of a Musical
    Peter Hylenski, Beetlejuice
    Peter Hylenski, King Kong
    Steve Canyon Kennedy, Ain’t Too Proud – The Life and Times of the Temptations
    Drew Levy, Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Oklahoma!
    Nevin Steinberg and Jessica Paz, Hadestown – WINNER

    Best Direction of a Play
    Rupert Goold, Ink
    Sam Mendes, The Ferryman – WINNER
    Bartlett Sher, To Kill a Mockingbird
    Ivo van Hove, Network
    George C. Wolfe, Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus

    Best Direction of a Musical
    Rachel Chavkin, Hadestown – WINNER
    Scott Ellis, Tootsie
    Daniel Fish, Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Oklahoma!
    Des McAnuff, Ain’t Too Proud – The Life and Times of the Temptations
    Casey Nicholaw, The Prom

    Best Choreography
    Camille A. Brown, Choir Boy
    Warren Carlyle, Kiss Me, Kate
    Denis Jones, Tootsie
    David Neumann, Hadestown
    Sergio Trujillo, Ain’t Too Proud – The Life and Times of the Temptations – WINNER

    Best Orchestrations
    Michael Chorney and Todd Sickafoose, Hadestown – WINNER
    Simon Hale, Tootsie
    Larry Hochman, Kiss Me, Kate
    Daniel Kluger, Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Oklahoma!
    Harold Wheeler, Ain’t Too Proud – The Life and Times of the Temptations
    Recipients of Awards and Honors in Non-Competitive Categories

    Special Tony Awards for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre
    Rosemary Harris
    Terrence McNally
    Harold Wheeler
    Isabelle Stevenson Tony Award
    Judith Light

    Special Tony Awards
    Sonny Tilders and Creature Technology Company
    Jason Michael Webb
    Marin Mazzie

    2019 Tony Award Tallies by Show
    Hadestown (8)
    The Ferryman (4)
    The Cher Show (2)
    Ink (2)
    Oklahoma! (2)
    Tootsie (2)
    Ain’t Too Proud (1)
    The Boys in the Band (1)
    Choir Boy (1)
    Network (1)
    To Kill a Mockingbird (1)
    The Waverly Gallery (1)

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    June 10, 2019 • Acting, Entertainment News, Faculty Highlights, Musical Theatre • Views: 615

  • Hamilton’s Greg Treco Gives Master Class to New York Film Academy (NYFA) Musical Theatre Students

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    Actor, singer, and dancer Greg Treco arrived at the Professional Conservatory of Musical Theatre at New York Film Academy (PCMT at NYFA) on April 9 to hold a Master Class with NYFA’s Musical Theatre students.

    Treco is originally from Nassau, Bahamas, and is currently the standby actor for Aaron Burr, George Washington, and Lafayette/Jefferson in Hamilton on Broadway. He most recently wrapped up playing Burr in the Chicago company of Hamilton: An American Musical. 

    Greg Treco

    His other credits include Taboo on Broadway, the Off-Broadway hit Zanna Don’t, Miracle Brothers at the Vineyard Theatre, Neil Berg and Robert Schenkkan’s THE 12 at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts, and Roar of the Greasepaint at Goodspeed Opera House. 

    Treco was also a finalist on WB’s Popstars, with other TV credits including a guest-starring role on the CBS sitcom Whoopi. He also recently created the choreography and movement for the acclaimed short Celeste, which opened the Brooklyn Beats Film Festival earlier this year. 

    PCMT students chosen to perform in Treco’s Master Class each presented a song and received one-on-one coaching from him on their selections and individual performance. Treco’s goal was to encourage the students to think outside the box and develop a deeper connection to storytelling, imagery, and text. 

    “I was impressed by the amount of tools Greg gave each performer to help them reach what they wanted,” shared PCMT student Santiago Roma. “He was able to identify what was getting in the way of each actor and find a solution to that problem.”

    Treco helped bring clarity to the many complexities of song performance and storytelling, offering constructive feedback for each student and helping them to better understand the audition process.

    PCMT student Jennifer Johansson told NYFA, “What I found most fascinating about the Master Class with Greg was how big of a difference he made with each one of the students’ performances. Whether it had to do with the physicality or the story in itself, I could see and feel the difference between their first and their last passes. It was really cool to watch it happen in such a short amount of time.”

    Broadway actress and PCMT Creative Director Kristy Cates, who worked with Greg in 2004 on a show at the Eugene O’Neill Center, was also in attendance. “I saw him go on as Aaron Burr a few months ago and he was so wonderful that I knew I had to have him come in and do a Master Class with the students,” Cates told NYFA. “He is a beautifully nuanced, yet specific, actor and is just an all around wonderful person.”

    The Professional Conservatory of Musical Theatre at New York Film Academy thanks Hamilton actor Greg Treco for giving our students the opportunity to study and learn from one of the theatre world’s best!

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    May 13, 2019 • Guest Speakers, Musical Theatre • Views: 710

  • New York Film Academy (NYFA) Celebrates Tony Nominations for Instructor Dave Solomon’s ‘Tootsie’

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    Tootsie, the Broadway musical adaptation of the popular 1982 film starring Dustin Hoffman, earned a whopping 11 Tony Award nominations this season. Professional Conservatory at New York Film Academy (PCMT at NYFA) instructor Dave Solomon is the Associate Director on the show.

    Tootsie began previews in March of 2019 and opened in April and tells the story of a talented but difficult actor who impersonates a woman to land a role. The show features a score by David Yazbek, Tony-award winning composer of The Band’s Visit, and a book by Robert Horn, writer of 13: The Musical.

    Tootsie‘s 11 Tony nominations include Best Musical, Best Book of a Musical, Best Original Score, Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role, Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role, Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role, Best Costume Design, Best Direction, Best Choreography, and Best Orchestrations.

    Tootsie
    “We’re incredibly proud of Dave’s work on this show,” says Mark Olsen, NYFA Chair of Musical Theatre. “Adapting such a popular film is always a challenge, and this creative team has done a phenomenal job. The show is very deserving of all the accolades it’s received.”

    The show is Solomon’s twelfth Broadway play. He was also the Associate Director on Side Show, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, Sunday in the Park with George, The Ritz, Pal Joey, 9 to 5, and Curtains. He also assisted Bill Condon on the films Mr. Holmes and Disney’s 2017 live action Beauty and the Beast. In addition, he will be directing the upcoming show Pump Up the Volume at the Pittsburgh Playhouse, which will open in April 2020.

    Solomon isn’t the only NYFA faculty celebrating this year’s nominations. PCMT at NYFA instructor James T. Lane is in the cast of the Kiss Me, Kate revival, which is up for Best Revival of a Musical, Best Choreography, Best Orchestration, and Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical.

    New York Film Academy congratulates PCMT at NYFA Instructors James T. Lane and Dave Solomon on their shows’ success, and looks forward to seeing the winners announced on June 9!

    Here is the full list of this year’s Tony Award winners and nominees:

    Best Play
    Choir Boy
    The Ferryman – WINNER
    Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus
    Ink
    What the Constitution Means to Me

    Best Musical
    Ain’t Too Proud – The Life and Times of the Temptations
    Beetlejuice
    Hadestown – WINNER
    The Prom
    Tootsie

    Best Revival of a Play
    Arthur Miller’s All My Sons
    The Boys in the Band – WINNER
    Burn This
    Torch Song
    The Waverly Gallery

    Best Revival of a Musical
    Kiss Me, Kate
    Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Oklahoma! – WINNER

    Best Book of a Musical
    Ain’t Too Proud – The Life and Times of the Temptations (Dominique Morisseau)
    Beetlejuice (Scott Brown & Anthony King)
    Hadestown (Anaïs Mitchell)
    The Prom (Bob Martin & Chad Beguelin)
    Tootsie (Robert Horn) – WINNER

    Best Original Score (Music and/or Lyrics) Written for the Theatre
    Be More Chill (Music & Lyrics: Joe Iconis)
    Beetlejuice (Music & Lyrics: Eddie Perfect)
    Hadestown (Music & Lyrics: Anaïs Mitchell) – WINNER
    The Prom (Music: Matthew Sklar, Lyrics: Chad Beguelin)
    To Kill a Mockingbird (Music: Adam Guettel)
    Tootsie (Music & Lyrics: David Yazbek)

    Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play
    Paddy Considine, The Ferryman
    Bryan Cranston, Network – WINNER
    Jeff Daniels, To Kill a Mockingbird
    Adam Driver, Burn This
    Jeremy Pope, Choir Boy

    Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play
    Annette Bening, Arthur Miller’s All My Sons
    Laura Donnelly, The Ferryman
    Elaine May, The Waverly Gallery – WINNER
    Janet McTeer, Bernhardt/Hamlet
    Laurie Metcalf, Hillary and Clinton
    Heidi Schreck, What the Constitution Means to Me

    Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical
    Brooks Ashmanskas, The Prom
    Derrick Baskin, Ain’t Too Proud – The Life and Times of the Temptations
    Alex Brightman, Beetlejuice
    Damon Daunno, Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Oklahoma!
    Santino Fontana, Tootsie – WINNER

    Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical
    Stephanie J. Block, The Cher Show – WINNER
    Caitlin Kinnunen, The Prom
    Beth Leavel, The Prom
    Eva Noblezada, Hadestown
    Kelli O’Hara, Kiss Me, Kate

    Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Play
    Bertie Carvel, Ink – WINNER
    Robin De Jesús, The Boys in the Band
    Gideon Glick, To Kill a Mockingbird
    Brandon Uranowitz, Burn This
    Benjamin Walker, Arthur Miller’s All My Sons

    Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play
    Fionnula Flanagan, The Ferryman
    Celia Keenan-Bolger, To Kill a Mockingbird – WINNER
    Kristine Nielsen, Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus
    Julie White, Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus
    Ruth Wilson, King Lear

    Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical
    André De Shields, Hadestown – WINNER
    Andy Grotelueschen, Tootsie
    Patrick Page, Hadestown
    Jeremy Pope, Ain’t Too Proud – The Life and Times of the Temptations
    Ephraim Sykes, Ain’t Too Proud – The Life and Times of the Temptations

    Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical
    Lilli Cooper, Tootsie
    Amber Gray, Hadestown
    Sarah Stiles, Tootsie
    Ali Stroker, Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Oklahoma! – WINNER
    Mary Testa, Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Oklahoma!

    Best Scenic Design of a Play
    Miriam Buether, To Kill a Mockingbird
    Bunny Christie, Ink
    Rob Howell, The Ferryman – WINNER
    Santo Loquasto, Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus
    Jan Versweyveld, Network

    Best Scenic Design of a Musical
    Robert Brill and Peter Nigrini, Ain’t Too Proud – The Life and Times of the Temptations
    Peter England, King Kong
    Rachel Hauck, Hadestown – WINNER
    Laura Jellinek, Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Oklahoma!
    David Korins, Beetlejuice

    Best Costume Design of a Play
    Rob Howell, The Ferryman – WINNER
    Toni-Leslie James, Bernhardt/Hamlet
    Clint Ramos, Torch Song
    Ann Roth, Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus
    Ann Roth, To Kill a Mockingbird

    Best Costume Design of a Musical
    Michael Krass, Hadestown
    William Ivey Long, Beetlejuice
    William Ivey Long, Tootsie
    Bob Mackie, The Cher Show – WINNER
    Paul Tazewell, Ain’t Too Proud – The Life and Times of the Temptations

    Best Lighting Design of a Play
    Neil Austin, Ink – WINNER
    Jules Fisher + Peggy Eisenhauer, Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus
    Peter Mumford, The Ferryman
    Jennifer Tipton, To Kill a Mockingbird
    Jan Versweyveld and Tal Yarden, Network

    Best Lighting Design of a Musical
    Kevin Adams, The Cher Show
    Howell Binkley, Ain’t Too Proud – The Life and Times of the Temptations
    Bradley King, Hadestown – WINNER
    Peter Mumford, King Kong
    Kenneth Posner and Peter Nigrini, Beetlejuice

    Best Sound Design of a Play
    Adam Cork, Ink
    Scott Lehrer, To Kill a Mockingbird
    Fitz Patton, Choir Boy – WINNER
    Nick Powell, The Ferryman
    Eric Sleichim, Network

    Best Sound Design of a Musical
    Peter Hylenski, Beetlejuice
    Peter Hylenski, King Kong
    Steve Canyon Kennedy, Ain’t Too Proud – The Life and Times of the Temptations
    Drew Levy, Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Oklahoma!
    Nevin Steinberg and Jessica Paz, Hadestown – WINNER

    Best Direction of a Play
    Rupert Goold, Ink
    Sam Mendes, The Ferryman – WINNER
    Bartlett Sher, To Kill a Mockingbird
    Ivo van Hove, Network
    George C. Wolfe, Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus

    Best Direction of a Musical
    Rachel Chavkin, Hadestown – WINNER
    Scott Ellis, Tootsie
    Daniel Fish, Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Oklahoma!
    Des McAnuff, Ain’t Too Proud – The Life and Times of the Temptations
    Casey Nicholaw, The Prom

    Best Choreography
    Camille A. Brown, Choir Boy
    Warren Carlyle, Kiss Me, Kate
    Denis Jones, Tootsie
    David Neumann, Hadestown
    Sergio Trujillo, Ain’t Too Proud – The Life and Times of the Temptations – WINNER

    Best Orchestrations
    Michael Chorney and Todd Sickafoose, Hadestown – WINNER
    Simon Hale, Tootsie
    Larry Hochman, Kiss Me, Kate
    Daniel Kluger, Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Oklahoma!
    Harold Wheeler, Ain’t Too Proud – The Life and Times of the Temptations

    Recipients of Awards and Honors in Non-Competitive Categories
    Special Tony Awards for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre

    Rosemary Harris
    Terrence McNally
    Harold Wheeler

    Isabelle Stevenson Tony Award
    Judith Light

    Special Tony Awards
    Sonny Tilders and Creature Technology Company
    Jason Michael Webb
    Marin Mazzie

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    May 3, 2019 • Faculty Highlights, Musical Theatre • Views: 473

  • New York Film Academy (NYFA) Musical Theatre Alum Ilda Mason Cast in Steven Spielberg’s ‘West Side Story’

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    The production of Steven Spielberg’s high-profile Hollywood remake of West Side Story has announced the casting of New York Film Academy (NYFA) Musical Theatre Alum Ilda Mason. Mason will be showcasing her dancing skills a member of the Sharks in the highly-anticipated film from Amblin Entertainment.

    Mason has previously performed in the Gloria Estefan musical On Your Feet as well as a production of Legally Blonde in China, and has been an ensemble member in the national tour of Cinderella. Additionally, she was a professional dancer for two seasons on Panama’s “Dancing with the Stars.” Ilda Mason

    The Tony Award-winning musical was first adapted into a film in 1961 and went on to win ten Academy Awards. This newest adaptation is written by Tony Kushner and stars Ansel Elgort, Rachel Zegler, Maddie Ziegler, Corey Stoll, and original West Side Story star Rita Moreno. Casting announcements are still being rolled out as the film gears for production in New York later this year.

    Ilda Mason graduated from the 2-year program at the Professional Conservatory of Musical Theatre at New York Film Academy (PCMT at NYFA) in 2015. Since then, Mason has performed in two productions of West Side Story—one at Signature Theatre in Arlington, VA, and the second one at Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn, NJ.

    “Ilda was an engaged, focused student and an integral member of the NYFA Musical Theatre community,” says Kristy Cates, Creative Director of PCMT at NYFA. “We are all so proud of her many successes and look forward to watching her star continue to rise.”

    New York Film Academy congratulates PCMT at NYFA alum Ilda Mason on her casting in Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story and can’t wait to see her dance on the big screen!

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    May 1, 2019 • Musical Theatre, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 457