Catching up with NYFA’s Musical Theatre Department

June 10, 2014

The New York Film Academy Musical Theatre Department had an excellent winter season in New York City. Some of our faculty went on national tours, some continued in current shows, and others moved to new productions with great promise, such as Kevin Duda who was in Book of Mormon and currently in the new musical Beautiful.

The second year group completed their movie musical titled, Walk the Walk, a comic adventure where six guys awaken the morning after a night out to discover they are now women. Final edit is now complete, those actors have graduated, and excerpts of the film will soon to be available on the website.

Chinese mtI should also mention that our wonderful Performance Lab teacher Mark Price visited Korea to teach master classes at schools and art academies. His work was very well received and this summer five students from Korea will join us for our four-week summer intensive.

Our main attraction, however, and the event that occurred that has everyone in the program really beaming, was our first full-length production. Yes, indeed! Emerging New York director Nathan Brewer (assistant director for Disney’s Aladdin) led a strong team of NYFA staff, including the highly talented choreographer Chad Austin and musical director Anna Ebbesen, and a hugely talented and energized cast of Musical Theatre students to launch on May 1st, an effective production of Spring Awakening. The production was installed at the American Theatre of Actors on 54th street in Manhattan, which proved to be the perfect venue.

Spring Awakening MT

This is the beginning of a new initiative where NYFA will be producing new original musical readings and launching full-scale productions several times a year. Following the close of Spring Awakening, we were given the thrill of seeing a lovely first semester showcase and a very rousing, double bill, end of year showcase. Here’s a photo of the end of year showcase cast rehearsing a number just days before their performance.

MT Rehearsal

We are in the midst of shooting yet another movie musical, the next second year class finished their final films and presented a terrific final showcase event, other classes in residence are staying busy with dancing, singing, and acting classes. And everyone is excited in anticipation of what looks to be a record-breaking summer attendance for our four-week July intensives and the start of a new second year and one-year class.

We had the good fortune of having Tony award winning actress and one of America’s artistic treasures, Tonya Pinkins, come in and present a fabulous master class for our students. Her teaching, like her performing, was generous, specific, bold, healing, and extraordinarily humane. In addition to working with a number of students, she spoke to everyone and gave expert advice about the profession.

Tonya Pinkins

Lots of good work is happening here in our program in New York. Join us and come to know the best of what musical theatre at NYFA has to offer!